Time to Read: 6 minutes
Listen as Don and Suzanne talk about how pursuing God changes us from nagging parents into inspiring parents.
In the month of April, we are talking about how Pursuing God, which is at the top of our Crazy Cool Family diagram, helps you become an amazing parent.
See if this ever happens to you. Suzanne was talking to a mom the other day while the mom was getting her kids into the car. Ok, first of all, getting our kids from the house to the car with all the proper clothes/shoes/paraphernalia needed may be equivalent to the level of difficulty as solving world hunger. The complexity multiplies as the number of kids increases. And sometimes we repeat it multiple times in a day!
As this mom was talking to Suzanne, she sounded so positive…“Oh, I can’t believe we did this. We had such a good time, and everything went so well.” Then, in the next breath, her tone changed completely when she addressed her kids. “Get in the car, get in the car, get in the car RIGHT NOW! Put your seatbelt on! Why is your seatbelt not on yet?! We have to go! We are in a hurry!”
Sound familiar, moms and dads? Almost every parent I know has been a nagging parent at some point but doesn’t want to be. We want to be inspiring leaders yet at times we can act like raving lunatics. We talk so nice to our friends but so harsh with our kids.
What if we could help you go from being a nagging parent to an inspiring one? We can! And the answer is Pursuing God.
Pursuing God turns critical, nagging parents into inspiring parents.
How? Easy. As we Pursue God, we see how God parents us, and He shows us how to parent our children His way instead of ours.
What if God parented us like we sometimes parent our kids?
- Why is there dust all over the ceiling fan?
- Your email box is so full! People are waiting on Why have you not responded to them?
- Did you know you have bills due? Get over there and pay them!
- Are you eating pizza again? Really?!
But that is not the way God parents us. Now for some of you, that may be your perception of God as a parent. But it is not the God of the Bible.
Romans 8:14-15 says, “For those who are led (i.e. parented) by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
God does not parent by fear. He is not a nagging taskmaster. He comes to us with patience and grace while still calling us to the narrow road of life (Matthew 7:14). His standards are high because they are best for us, but his methods are different. As we Pursue God, we begin to understand His methods and apply them into our own parenting. It changes us…not overnight, but over time.
Let’s get practical. Here are two ways God wants to help you become an inspiring parent:
1. Show your kids who they are instead of who they aren’t.
We have three boys in our home, ages 19, 15, and 13. I know this may be hard for you to believe, (ha!) but sometimes they do not work as hard as I would like. Now it is a good thing to work hard. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do (even the yard work), work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not human masters.”
It gets all over me when I have to drag them out to do something and/or they don’t work hard when we are out there. It bugs me when they leave something sloppily finished or only do half the job so they can get back to their video games more quickly.
But then God reminds me of what I was like as a teenager. I acted the same as they did, yet somehow I learned to be a hard worker. I didn’t want to do yard work at their age any more than they do now, but now I work hard at it. Do I believe they can do the same as me or do I believe they are destined to be lazy?
Just like God chooses to believe differently about me, I will choose to believe differently about my boys and will choose to inspire them to work hard rather than nag them about it.
How? First of all, I will show them by example. I create projects to work hard with them. As we work, I ask the Lord to give me the patience to see them not as failures, but as a work in process. It is my job as a father to show and teach them to work hard, not to tell them they are lazy.
2. Ask God into critical, nagging scenes.
We nag because it seems like it’s the easiest way to get to the result…because we are frustrated and because we really don’t know any better way.
Suzanne mentioned in the podcast about how her default when the kids were little was to basically throw a fit herself because she felt it was the only way they would listen to her. Then she heard a mom talk about how letting God into the situation gave her insights into speaking differently into these kinds of situations. It opened Suzanne up to new ways of thinking. “Wow! That really works? There is a different way to parent?”
How do we Pursue God as we are going from the house to the car? What if we asked God, “What do my kids need to hear this morning to encourage the right behavior? Does it need to be authoritative? Or do they need to be encouraged? Do I need to cast vision for them? ‘I am so proud of you for how you guys are getting ready this morning. We are almost to the car and ready!’ Or maybe it needs to be a game because they are beaten down with work. ‘Ok! The first one that gets in the car and gets in their car seat is going to get a surprise when we get home.’”
Do you see how we are trying to flip your thinking here? Again, we don’t change the standards. My boys need to work hard. The kids need to get in the car in a timely manner. But the approach changes. We see life through God’s eyes to give us a better perspective of expectations and creative ways to make the right things happen.
Pursuing God turns nagging parents into inspiring parents.
This week we want you to share your victories with us! Share with us specific examples of times this week when you inspired your kids to greatness instead of nagging them. We are confident our good God is going to show you how to become an inspiration to your child and we want to hear about it!
Go be crazy, parents! Crazy, inspiring parents!
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].
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