Leading out of love or pushing from frustration

Posted on · Posted in Authority

Are you, as a parent, dominated by love or frustration?  Leading is born out of love and pushing is born out of frustration. 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.


Deuteronomy 6:5-7 addresses this issue.


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.


You 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. This is what it means to lead.


Even as you embrace this deep love for God that Deuteronomy requires, your children will be still the same sinful creatures that desperately need the grace of God. You will still have to discipline, train, and patiently endure the challenges of being a parent. The difference will be that you will not be pushing your children 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.


Living out Deuteronomy 6 in this way requires dependence upon God to do what you cannot do in your own strength. It is this dependence that will uniquely draw you closer to your God and his beauty. An unexpected joy will emerge, the deepest longings of your soul will be met for the joy of the Lord will be your strength!

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.