Maya Angelou famously said, “When you know better you do better.” I can’t think of anything more relevant than this thought when it comes to parenting.
He stands there, holding the fragile squirming baby in his arms and he can't help but say.......it. "I love you" he murmurs. Brave words to say aloud when his own parents never said them to him.
Her daughter throws herself down in the middle of the kitchen and wails because she can't have a popsicle. Suddenly, the memory flashes as real as yesterday, except it's herself and the tears of a child are met with a medal belt buckle and blood. But she pushes it aside, and speaks soothing words to her own child now, full of self-control and love.
The teenager comes up behind his chair quietly, timid, and he knows something is wrong. He turns, and his son's words tumble out....."I thought there was enough space...I didn't mean to...the side of the car is badly scraped...I'm so sorry." And he replaces the brutal scathing words of punishing screaming that he remembers so well with a look of compassion, a hug, and the understanding that we all make mistakes.
It’s been an honor for me to witness this in the lives of some friends. Their upbringing was less than nurturing. Difficult. Sorrowful, even. And yet, they have determined with the help of God, to turn aside from what could be so habitually easy to do-to fall into the same unhealthy and ungodly pattern of being a critical and harsh parent.
And to those that have endured abuse, chosen to forgive, and then turned to their own children with tenderness and self-control, I stand in awe. They know better. They do better.
And they rely on Christ to do it.
It’s the kind of victory over our enemy’s generational plan for destruction that shows us how great God is. I pray that your own example was one of lovingkindness and that your home life was deeply nurturing, but for those who are breaking the cycle of punitive parenting, you are demonstrating a special and supernatural kind of love.
I recently came across a message from a pastor I have never met. Nor have I ever set foot in his church. And yet, as my brother in Christ, I couldn’t be more impressed with this particular sermon that he recently shared with his local congregation. If I were to give a message about parenting, this may very well be the one I would write.
Its encouragement is worth every minute of viewing. I think you will agree that nothing else matters more than “seeing your children truly commit to God and the life He has for them.” If that’s your desire then pull up a seat and be prepared to be blessed by Pastor Chuck Booher from Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, California.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/68144481 w=400&h=300]
I'm praying for each of you that have watched this message and for those that have broken the cycle of harmful parenting. Seeing our children blossom under this kind of God-designed parenting is an eternal gift. If you had the pleasure of being raised in this way, then you already know the blessing of your heritage. But for all of us, may God's healing and wisdom guide our hearts as we lead our families in Christ-likeness.
YOUR TURN!! What portion of the message encouraged your heart? Is there a generational sin that you desire to break in your own home? How is your parenting style different from the way you were raised?
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