Thursday, May 15, 2014

God's Agent or Supermom?

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Two words from our online book study continue to ping through my head. 

God's agent. 

Author Tedd Tripp of Shepherding a Child's Heart says:
As a parent, you have authority because God calls you to be an authority in your child's life. ... You act at his command.  ...  You may not try to shape the lives of your children as pleases you, but as please him. 

You exercise your authority as God's agent. 
You may not direct your children for your own agenda or convenience.  You must direct your children on God's behalf for their good.
Up until recently, I believed that I was 95% the determining factor in whether my children turned out "good" or "bad."  I truly felt that if I developed in them useful skills, told them about Jesus, maintained strong boundaries, and provided them with a good education, they would end up an asset to society.   This meant that I had to be at the top of my game 110% of the time.  This meant that I had to maintain incredibly high expectations of myself and those around me 110% of the time.     Naturally, high expectations raise the stress level and tension in a home. 

Thus the reason why many momma's fall into the "angry" cycle.  Mr. Tripp explains that when we realize our role of God's agent in parenting we don't have a need to get frustrated or angry with our children. 
Your right to discipline your child is tied to what God has called you to do, not your own agenda. 

Unholy anger- anger over the fact that you are not getting what you want from your child- will muddy the waters of discipline.  Anger that your child is not doing what you want frames discipline as a problem between parent and child, not as a problem between the child and God.  It is God who is not being obeyed when you are disobeyed.  It is God who is not begin honored when you are not honored. 
You only muddy the waters when the bottom line in discipline is your displeasure over their behavior, rather than God's displeasure with rebellion against his ordained authority.  
In Heidi terms, Tedd Tripp is declaring, "It's not about you!  You are simply an agent doing what God has called you to do.  It is not about your own agenda.  There is no need to get angry because this is an issue between your child and God." 

In discussing this chapter on the ABC Jesus Loves Me Facebook Group page, Joylynn shared the following statement from a podcast by Dr. James Dobson about screaming mothers.  
Humbly accepting that we can't do everything and we can't do things perfectly all the time will greatly reduce the stress and frustration of wanting to be supermom.  
Embracing our role as God's agent frees us from the stress and frustration of thinking we hold the keys to our child's future, which in turn will defuse the anger. 

Join me for tomorrow's post - "How My Expectations Nearly Ruined My Family"


6 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing... the bible is very clear on the subject of anger and how we must refrain from it.

    I recently read Praying for Boys and I liked how the author suggested a quick prayer when we feel stressed and then being able to address the child or situation properly.

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    1. Love this suggestion. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. It does not matter if you work full time or part time. Maybe you stay at home with your children but you are working from home. Even if you stay home with your children, you are busy trying to get everything done. No matter who you are, you probably think that you are not spending enough time with your children. Quality time, that is. There are many ways to spend more time with your children.
    Your children do not need to play every sport or do every extracurricular activity out there. You could spend all of your time running your children from one practice to another. Pick just one or two activities that your children love and stick with them.
    Plan family dinners where everyone sits at the table, eats, and talks about their day.
    Make dinners special so everyone likes to spend time together while eating.
    Let your children help when you are working on things.
    They can help fix dinner, clean, and fix things. Children learn by watching and doing. Chores can turn into time together so that they are much more enjoyable.
    Do things that your children want to do.
    It is hard when the house is a mess but get on the floor and play with your children. Play games that they enjoy. Have a movie night and watch their favorite movie.
    Find things that you enjoy doing together.

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  3. I just stumbled onto your blog, and this post has really impacted me. I just had my first child, a son, and I have not yet reached the point of discipline. (He's only 4 months old at this point.) But, I know that I am so unsure, in myself, how to discipline without anger. The book you mentioned seems to be something that will help me. I will check it out. Thank you.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.