One of the benefits of intimately knowing and trusting the word of God is the ability to avoid coercion and manipulation in dealing with others, especially your children. It is an easy thing to slip into manipulation rather than to trust God’s methods and direction. Manipulation provides an all too accessible short-cut for trusting in God to work in the lives of your children. Manipulation is trying to get someone else to do what you want them to do simply because you want them to. This kind of behavior is quite different from what Proverbs 16:12 teaches:.
Kings detest wrongdoing,
for a throne is established through righteousness.
Notice how authority is secured – through righteousness. Manipulation, no matter how noble the motive, involves a contest of wills – yours and your child’s. Here is an example of manipulation. Sean, if you are good today and pick up your toys after each time you play with them, Mommy will buy you an ice cream cone tonight.
Give this little scenario some thought. How is this manipulation? What types of problems can arise from making this type of request to your child? We’ll look these questions and more in the next post.
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Another question: How would this scenario change if the ice-cream cone was a legitimate reward for good behavior?