Loss brings grief. Everyone hurts when they suffer loss and many losses are met with grief. The recent Florida school shooting brings the trauma out in the open for all to see. Yet, before and after that singular tragedy there have been and will continue to be countless experiences of deep grief that are not so public. For many of us bereavement acts like a disease. Its symptoms can be deep and debilitating, and its cycle is repetitive and exhausting. Grief stinks and yet is an important and even healthy part of our coping with our traumatic personal losses. So, how do we go about finding the healing part ? How do we know what to hang on to, what to let go of and when any of this should happen? Finally, what can those of us who are not presently experiencing a personal loss do to help those who are in such pain and anguish?
We are losing our grip. Really. There is a battle for our children raging before us and we are losing it miserably. Raising children does not at all look like it once did a few generations ago. Back then, parents were expected to control their households and children were expected to grow up within that control. You might argue that such an arrangement was a little rigid. Perhaps. Now children and their feelings have become the idols of their parents' lives and those parents dutifully bow before and serve the desires, hormones and natural immaturity their children display. You might say that such an arrangement is a little - a lot - permissive. Absolutely! So, what do we do about it? How do we think, act and respond to our present parenting crisis? How do we swim upstream against the current of pitiful parenting and grab hold of and apply principles of powerful parenting?
Whether we think about it or not, we all leave a legacy behind us as a result of our life and experience. Sometimes that legacy can be rich with wisdom, accomplishment and example, and other times our legacy can be a sad tale of unfulfilled potential, broken dreams and a trail of “if only” and “why didn’t I?” The thing is, we choose much of what our legacy will look like! What if you thought about your legacy in the context of leaving something behind of great value to your grandkids? Aside from material things to give them physical comfort in life, what would you want them to learn? What would you want them to know so that their lives could blossom with fulfilled potential and with true contentment? Even if you don’t have grandchildren, let’s suppose that you do and are writing them a letter with words of wisdom…what will you say?
Raising children is different than it used to be. Somehow or other the lines between parents and children have become blurred. Somehow or other the very idea of firm discipline has become associated with beatings and abuse. Somehow or other our children’s feelings have become the foundation for our parental actions and responses. What happened to parents unequivocally “ruling the roost?” Is that now wrong? What happened to parents being authoritative and firm? Is that now wrong? What happened to the clear lines of right and wrong being the solid foundation for parental decision making? Is that now wrong? Have we begun to approach the point where we assign so many rights to children that we as parents are inherently wrong? What do children need and how are we supposed to know what they need and how to give it to them?
For many, one of the most exciting events in life is the birth of a child. Once they are born, we really begin to understand how fragile, innocent and utterly dependent they are. If not completely cared for on a round-the-clock basis, they have little chance in life. As they grow it dawns on us that their physical dependence gives way to emotional and life skills dependence, so we must continue to rise to the challenge of parenting in an ever-changing way. At some point, the plan is for them to stand, think, act and live on their own. This is, or should be the victory of parenthood! Folks, something is really wrong...many of our children are not learning this independence! Where did we go wrong?
Children are people too! Yes they are, but what does that really mean in terms of raising them? After all, they are children, and the object is for them to become adults...real, full fledged, mature, contributory adults! As a parent, is it our responsibility to walk them to that destination or do they instinctively know how to get there on their own? Could it be that parents are just in the way? What does the Bible say? Is the Bible right for our generation? Stay with us!
Here we are just a few days before Christmas 2012. This is a time when there is usually a magic in the air, an excitement for friends, family and good cheer. Usually, that is the case – but not this year. No, not this year. Something happened, and as a result the giddy joy is gone. We have suffered a great loss. A few short days ago, an unimaginable crime was committed and 27 people, 20 of them 6-and 7-year old children, had their lives taken from them, brutally and without mercy. Today we honor their memory and recognize the pain of their grief-stricken families and friends. Today we also search to find how the hope of the true meaning of Christmas can give us – all of us - strength to cope, strength to stand, and strength to begin to move forward.
Summer vacation, graduation and the long lazy days of summer. For many, this is a time to spend more time with family – the question is do we as adults ever take time to observe and learn from the kids in and around our lives? What do they teach us about life? About choices? Innocence? Ourselves? Jesus’ own words indicate that we are to become like children to gain entrance to the kingdom! What does that mean? Stay with us as we open up what promises to be an informative and delightful conversation about children and the incredible lessons we can learn from them!
Children – they are so sweet, adorable and predictable when they are infants – their needs are obvious and so caring for them takes an obvious path. Then something happens – they start to grow and develop a personality, a temperament, and preferences and suddenly what was once predictable now becomes more of a mystery and an adventure. So, what rights do children have? What rights do parents have? How do you know what kind of discipline should be used? How do you know where to set limits and boundaries? Stay with us as we discuss children, rights, discipline and the Bible!
Raising children...not only is it a full-time job, it is a full-time job whose outcome will largely contribute to the fruitage of that child’s life. Not only that, it is a full-time job with great cost and sacrifice attached to it, not just in a monetary sense, but in a personal sense as well. It is a full-time job whose rewards are often not seen until many many years later. To top it off, there is the peer pressure to parent as others do and the choices of methods are as numerous as there are ways to cook an egg. Stay with us as we look into that scary world of parenting and try to find sense and guidance from our favorite book, the Bible.