Law or grace?
That is the question…
How do you deal with your children and those around you when you’re angry, frustrated, tired, and burned out?…
- YELL and raise your voice ?
- Play the martyr and do the silent treatment?
- Cuss and swear and scream?
- Dole out corporal punishment in the name of training ,control, and authority…
In other words, how to we use our authority?
When I talk about fathering, I think of how God the Father deals with me. And then I realize his kindness, patience, and love and see how short I fall as I deal with others…
God doesn’t always use a stick to beat us when we make mistakes… so why are we as fathers so quick to undress and apply the stick of punishment to those around us, especially our kids.
It’s okay to be angry, and it’s okay to not like injustice, disobedience, immaturity, and some of the zany things kids do in their selfishness.
But what gives you and me the right when we are tired and frustrated to dole out law in the spirit of anger. Our Lord never modeled that type of authoritarianism. He did everything in love, including correction, chastisement, teaching, and encouragement.
You and I as men need to relearn authority. We need to not get caught up in the disciplinarian model and playing the heavy, which is so common in our society. We need to learn the authority of Jesus, based in love, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control.
We need to relearn the father heart of God, and how that applies to our leadership and authority over those for whom we have responsibility. We must be intentional and incremental in learning this model, as it will transform our parenting, and indeed, our lives.
So, the next time you’re faced with someone’s shortcomings, or your own, for that matter, what’s going to be different?
Will it be grace or law?
Some fathers spend more time with their kids in one day, and some debts due in one week, or even one month!!
Time spent with your child shows your love by action.
We need both quality and quantity time with our kids.
We need to include them in our world, and include ourselves in their world.
Here’s some examples of what I do with my kids.
These are areas where we’ve found common ground to play together…
- hot tubbing
- on the swing
- playing Legos
- playing boardgames
- doing crafts…
You get the picture… find common ground and leverage the time with your kids.
You must be intentional and methodical and sequential if you are to be successful in this endeavor of spending quality time with your kids…
- date your kids…Go to Starbucks, bagels, McDonald’s, ice cream or whatever
- put them in your day timer or in Outlook
- schedule them, as you would your most precious appointment… because that’s what these are.
have daily and weekly schedule routines together, including…
- Meal times… the best place to teach your kids your values, heritage, and spiritual foundation.
- Bedtimes… a key point in showing love, closing the day correctly, and praying together
- Weekly rituals… Friday night pizza, movie night, the family night etc….
- Running errands… always bring a kid with you on car rides… again leverage the time.
- Chores and projects… build relationships and teach a good work ethic… All in one package!
Let’s address the “I don’t have time” excuse.
Everyone has time, no exceptions.
We give time to what we value the most.
Create time today that you would normally spent on TV, the Internet, sports, hobbies, boating, hunting golfing, or just being lazy….. begin to incrementally give it to your children!
Just hang out with your family and kids because you want to and get to.
Not because you HAVE TO…
Make a solid choice of attitude and motivation.
We GET to hang out with our kids.. we are blessed and privileged!
How could you be more intentional and incremental in dating your kids?
Dream it, plan it, write it, and do it!
If not you, who?
If not now, when?