Hello blog world. I'm here to say that I'm still alive and well...quite well actually. I've been busy baking and birthing a sweet new boy named Truman Shepherd. He's now 4 months old and truly a bundle of joy! But being a mother of 2 has made me re-evaluate how I spend my time. Blogging is just not a priority for me. However, I still want to share things with you every now and then, so please don't completely give up on me. =)
I continue to ponder my approach to parenting in light of the fact that Sam is now almost 4 and we have another child (with a totally different personality!) to teach and love. It's been a long road, and there are many years of learning yet to come! As a reminder to myself, and to get your input if you'd like to give it, I want to post a summary of my parenting ideas that I wrote shortly after Sam was born. It's basic, but sometimes I find making simple points can be helpful. I will try to fill you in on thoughts I've had since then at a later date.
What do I want to communicate to my children? I want them to learn that we will always love them, no matter what, and that we want everything good for them. I want them to learn that God is the source of all that is beautiful and good. I want them to learn that we are all sinners--that includes their parents--but that God is merciful and gracious to forgive our sin. I want him to learn that though life is hard, we are part of a grand story, God's story. He is sovereign over all things, and will use us for His glory. I want them to learn that God's law does not exist to deprive us from joy, but to give us greater joy. Because the Lord knows we cannot keep the law as we ought, He has provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sin, Jesus. I hope they will see that as Augustine says, "Our hearts are restless til they find our rest in Him."
How can we communicate these things well in daily life?
1) Lots of prayer!
2) Humility. We should be constantly seeking to acknowledge to them our weakness and need for Christ.
3) Talking with them about our Christian worldview--specifically taking all opportunities to explain redemption.
4) Affirmation. We need to praise them as often as possible for thinking and doing right.
5) Sacrificially serving one another. (husband-wife-children)
6) Setting boundaries, and explaining WHY they are there. (few and with good reasons) And yes, punishing when they willfully cross those boundaries.
7) Knowing each individual child, and loving him for who HE is. And though this seems obvious, showing tenderness and affection to each one.