Sunday, March 10, 2013

Want to see how un-Christlike you are? Try raising kids.

The below is from the Joel J Miller blog. When I was a younger parent I asked God for patience and He responded by giving me more children... many more children. It was not what I expected, but it worked in much the same way water wears away the rough edges from stone. You learn over time what the Orthodox life of a single person is in contrast to what it means for a parent through trial and error (and if you're smart, from your parish priest). There's a lot of guilt and anxiety in that process, but this also erodes all your ungainly protrusions.

If you’re looking for a gauge to measure how un-Christlike you are, try raising kids. At least that works pretty well for me.

In The Four Loves C.S. Lewis speaks of “the bad manners of parents to children.” Ahem. Guilty.

The other day I spoke harshly to my son. An hour later he was rude, and Megan corrected him. “In our home we honor each other with our words,” she told him. And I had to interrupt and apologize right there, lest I make her a hypocrite. I had not honored my son in my words and tone.

Exasperating our kids

When preaching through Paul’s marriage advice, pastors often make the comment that Paul has to instruct husbands to love and wives to respect, because if they’re prone to going off the rails, it’ll be in those directions: men growing cold and wives losing respect.

Apply the same thinking to Paul’s instruction to fathers. Twice he says, “Fathers, do no provoke your children.” In the letter the Colossians he adds “lest they become discouraged” (3.21), and he tells the Ephesians to not to provoke “to anger” (6.4). When I go wrong with my eldest, that’s exactly the direction I head: I drive him to discouragement and frustration...

Complete article here.

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