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Earl Middleton, M.Div.At a parenting lecture most people expect to hear secrets to get a child to do what a parent wants them to do, or learn how to get a child to do what the child doesn’t want to do. But that is really what the bible calls witchcraft; manipulation. And it’s fueled by the belief that a parent’s job is to control a child.
This is not the parenting model that God uses.
God doesn’t try to control us. He loves us. And proves it by giving us the freedom to choose what we want to do while also ensuring that we deal with the consequences of our decisions, too.
What if what we taught people at parenting conferences wasn’t secrets to control a child, witchcraft? What if we taught them secrets to controlling themselves, instead? What if we taught them how to be the best lover of their children they could be, rather than the best witch? What if we taught them PARENT SKILLS instead of parenting skills. What if we taught them how to BE a parent rather than how to DO parenting? What of we taught them how to love instead of how to control?
If we did that we would create parents who didn’t parent out of fear (of being embarrassed by a slacking, antisocial, difficult kid). We would create parents who loved their child enough to let that child reject wisdom, direction, and care, and suffer the consequences.
Our culture has created an anti-biblical coven of well meaning parental witches who have accepted the error that real parents control. To reverse this trend and teach parents how to love, instead, I propose the following:
  • Teach parents how to accept rejection. Parents who can’t stomach rejection from their kids resort to control.
  • Teach parents that their parental identity and success isn’t measured or determined by the level of obedience exhibited by their kids. That’s a control definition. A love definition measures parenting identity and success by how much the parents give to their kids what all kids need from parents: nurture, wisdom, guidance, attention, care, comfort, understanding, etc. What our kids give us (respect, obedience, pride, achievement, love) doesn’t define or impart our parental identity, what we give them does!
  • Teach parents that their job is not to get their child to like them, but to teach their child how to suffer in order to gain (which will not be appreciated until later). To train someone, which the bible identifies as the primary job of godly parents, the trainer must teach his student how to manage and profit from pain. Our culture erroneously teaches parents to help their children avoid all pain at all costs. That is the very opposite of training. That’s enabling.
  • Teach parents how to be trainers and coaches rather than witches and bullies.
  • Change the definition of successful parenting from what we produce (model children) to what we impart and give. This is counter culture because it’s not visible. Others won’t know the seed we plant. They only see the tree that grows. Most parent for the applause of men rather than for the love of God and good of the child.
  • Heal parents and deliver them from the spirit of python and witchcraft and loose the spirit of love over them so that they can go back home and bring the spirit of love and miracles into their households and their children’s lives.
  • Heal the broken souls of parents and deliver them from past parental pain.

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