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False Beliefs set False Expectations and False Choices - Issue 344
June 06, 2014
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Last weekend I was involved with a parenting retreat with parents coming from across the Kimberley region. It was a great time of fellowship and building friendships. The theme of the weekend was kingdom parenting – regardless of cultural backgrounds, as Christians we need to consider Biblical principles in our parenting approach. Two main themes that we talked about was that all we do and all we teach our kids to do needs to be shaped by loving, or showing respect to the other person and secondly, the importance of sharing God’s word with our kids.
As far as our study week goes, it was a bit of a short one, because of the long weekend and then we took Tuesday off to recoup from the weekend, and take some out of town friends to a local waterhole. Little Miss (respite foster care) has had some pretty intense training days, where she is learning she is not the boss. I think the big excitement for our kids was the arrival of a new laptop, which we’ve bought to help the kids in some of their more artistic pursuits.
One thing that is never written on a to-do list or on a plan for the day are the heart conversations: the times where we need to talk to re-align or confirm our kids thinking. Though not planned, these conversations are so worth the time that it takes – even if other things don’t end up happening. We had a few of these during the week!
Live life with your kids!
If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.
This week I also wrote Homeschool Report Cards - helping Grandparents know your successes There are ways we can report on what is happening in our homeschool without copying the report card system that happens at school.
False Beliefs set False Expectations and False Choices
What we believe, what we think about actually affects our actions, the things we do. The Bible says Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Prov 4:23).
We’ve talked about the heart before – the heart is
Our actions are determined by our passions, emotions, character, inclinations, by the things that we know and understand and the things that we believe. Therefore it is really important that we focus on truth, that we feed our heart the stuff that will bring life. When we focus on a lie we get a distorted view of life. It reminds me of those horrible apps on phones these days that can twist your face to very weird images. That is not how you are supposed to look, and when we don’t focus on truth, we don’t see life as it is supposed to look either.
In our language we have these little sayings, we don’t even think about them when we utter them – but maybe we should. These little sayings may subtly set the wrong information in our heart – which as I’ve said, affects our actions.
And they lived happily ever after – not only does this myth play with our own marriage relationship it is a concept that we have to debunk in our little girls (and maybe boys) head as well. Disney movies are full of this lie – the story ends (with a happy ending) at the wedding – we presume the rest. But the road through life is always going to be bumpy. Not only are we human, but we are married to a human as well. When humans interact, especially when they
get close to one another as is bound to happen (that is, should happen) in a marriage there is going to be some friction. The idea ‘and they lived happily ever after’ also tells us that everything will be okay if we are just married. This is not true. One person, even a very nice person, whom you love, will not make life okay. Only a complete trust in Jesus can do that.
Better Safe than Sorry – We are parents and so we are going to worry about our kids – we want them to be safe. But if we start making decisions based on this little quip – better safe than sorry – then we are going to inhibit our kids. We will restrict their curiosity, limit their potential, and truly clip their wings! They will explode like a volcano or bolt like a wild horse. You will have lost or at least damaged your relationship with them. Or they will comply and they will be never blossom into all they can be (maybe one day resenting you for it). Better safe than sorry
is a way of thinking that says we can control circumstances. We can’t control circumstances. We can teach and train them to have the skills they need to manage risk and explore life, we can expose them gently so they have experiences when we are still around to catch them and guide then. But ultimately we need to trust God that he will look after them.
Have your cake and eat it too – This line of thinking tells us there are no consequences for our choices, that we can have it all. Well, that simply isn’t true - we can’t have it all – and there certainly are consequences to our actions. When considering my role as homemaker this saying really does play with my head – it tells me that I can sit at the computer, blog or browse, and there will be time for the housework later. It tells me that I can ignore the housework and clean up quickly before the visitors come, that muffins can be cooked in 15minutes, and that the kitchen will clean itself if
I just ignore it!! We cannot go out of the house every day and expect the laundry to be caught up. We cannot spend the morning on the phone, and expect the groceries to be in the fridge. We cannot spend money freely without realising it will run out. We need to shake off this idea – we cannot have it all. One of the principles that helps me keep this in balance is the recognition of seasons in my life. I need to make decisions, based on my priorities and I need to be diligent in working on those priorities knowing that the life changes and there will be a time of different opportunities at another time.
Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me - I think this is one of the biggest porky-pies that our parents ever told us. I can’t imagine what they were thinking!! True, sticks and stones may well break our bones but words certainly hurt us. If we go into a relationship – be it our marriage relationship, or a
friendship, thinking that we can say whatever we want, in the guise of friendship, then we are in for a rude awakening – people will be hurt! We need to guard our tongue, and instead live by the saying: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all! Of course, sometimes we are going to have to talk about hard stuff, we are going to resolve conflicts, discuss hurts and so forth, but whenever we go into a conversation, we should remember the Bible verse from Col 4:6 - Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Salt is used in the Bible as a preserver – our words can preserve our friendships or destroy. We must believe there is power in the tongue, and choose carefully what we allow it to say.
Better late than never – is this true? Are things better late than never? In a sense I guess so, but the thing that concerns me about living with this proverb is that it is an excuse for slackness. We drop our standards, and then give an excuse making it all right. But we need to be aiming for excellence, not perfection, we can never attain that, but we can aim for excellence. Excellence is a hard word for us to describe but I found these words today in the dictionary: Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. The synonyms for excellence are: distinction, quality, superior, brilliance, greatness, merit, calibre, skill, talent, mastery. We’ve all heard of the tall poppy syndrome – Australians are inclined to ridicule and make small the idea of a job well done, of any standard of excellence, but why would we settle for anything less than the best we can do. Don’t let this these subtle attitudes affect how you approach your daily tasks, be it work at home, or in business.
Are you living by some of these ideas? These sayings, though quirky, though we may chuckle, when put under the microscope there is a twist there that isn’t straight truth. If we live by these sayings then our life is going to be a little wonky. These culturally accepted sayings, may well be feeding your heart false expectations and prompting you to make false choices.
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Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.
Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.
Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?
This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.
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Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!
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