Do your children feel led or pushed? Or asked another way, are you as a parent dominated by love or frustration? The two questions are inexorably tied together. Leading is born out of love and pushing is born out of frustration. Too often as parents we tell our children that we demand obedience and speak sharply because we love them and only want the best for them. Most likely our children are not buying this explanation. It feels to them as if they are being pushed into doing what mom and dad want. In contrast, notice the sequence of thought and actions in Deuteronomy 6:5-7:
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
First, you are to love God with every fiber of your being, with all that you have to offer as a human living and being sustained by the grace of God.
Second, the commands of God are to dominate your inner being because of your profound love for God.
Third, these commands are to be deeply implanted into the lives of your children during every event and opportunity that God brings to you each day.
So, you as a parent are to deeply love God with all that you are as a person. This love is expressed by drinking deeply of his commands so that your heart is permeated with them. Then, this love for God and his commands is to overflow from your heart into the everyday situations of life that you and your children encounter.
It is this combination of loving God and living out his commands that will allow you to impress the love you have for God into the lives of your children. In this sense no pushing is required. This is what it means to lead. Even as you embrace this deep love for God that Deuteronomy requires you to have, your children will be still the same sinful creatures that desperately need the grace of God. The difference will be that you will not be pushing them to grasp what remains elusive to you. Rather you will be leading them to the same place that you long to go – to the cross.
Are you pushing or leading? Think about it.
One thought on “Do Your Children Feel Led or Pushed?”
I am so thankful to see an article like this that is a wake up call and I see myself here.
I love my girls so much and I do not want them to suffer as I did from so many people
misleading me or living in apathy to Gods word.
However lately I felt that God wanted me to remember that all suffering can shape our character and that I needed to make sure I was reading my Bible daily and seeking the will of God
and surrendering all of MY struggles and challenges to Jesus, then I can know that as My girls
watch how I respond to pressure and the temptation of sin and apathy, they will learn how to obey God and follow Jesus themselves.
The resulting peace, joy and happiness (contentment) I experience might just influence their
own choice to stay in Gods word and remain in Jesus forever.