Monday, September 15, 2008

Are The Spankings Really Working?

I don't know where you stand on the issue of using spanking as a form of disciplining your children. While I grew up in a family that believe in it, if you ask my mom, I simply never needed one...I was just such an angel all the time. My wife and I believe in it whole heartedly.
It's really difficult though, when you have a three year old and another one pushing two, to know if the way you are disciplining your children is working. We know it is important to discipline and correct but when they continue to do the thing that you are trying to get them to not do, you have to question it...while you are pulling your hair out! Today I saw evidence that shows me that, while it's very difficult and tears your heart out to have to discipline and correct, it's worth it.
Jacob (3) and Eli (almost 2) were sitting at the kitchen table having their lunch as I watched from the living room. Eli is our eater, will eat anything put in front of him...and very quickly I might add. He had polished off his cheese and his bowl of fruit and wanted more. So, he asked Jacob..."Jacob, I more?" To which Jacob responds, "Here E, you can have some of mine..." To which Eli responds, "Oh, tank you Jacob" (I misspelled "thank" on purpose...he's two remember). Jacob shared some of his cheese and some of his fruit with Eli. Seems like such a small thing but when you hear these two arguing and fighting all day over the issue of not sharing what you have, it's huge. I literally sat in the living room worshipping God in that moment...I know it sounds so over spiritual to say that, but get off of my back, you're not the one who has to pass out all of these spankings. I was literally filled with joy over this small interaction between my children.
And this is why...think of the spiritual implications of what happened today. What if in a simply moment at the lunch table my children start to understand the importance of sharing what you have with someone else? What if my two young children become life time sharers after today? What if they always think about the needs of others more than they think about their own needs? All of a sudden this is really starting to sound like a sermon Jesus would teach.
What makes it even more difficult is taking this "lesson" and turning it back on me. Does Christ look at me from time to time and think, "Are the spankings really working?" Do you think He ever wonders, "How many times am I going to have to teach this lesson?" Because I assure you, I am much more thick headed than my children.
I want to live my life with open hands. Understanding that nothing that I have is truly mine but it was all given to me by Him to glorify His name, to make Him more famous and to push back what is dark in the world. I want my children to learn to live this way also. I hope one day they begin to understand that I didn't spank them because I didn't love them, I wasn't out to steal their joy, but ultimately I was trying to increase their joy.
Will I ever learn this lesson from my Father?
God Help Me!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

For The Praise Of His Glory!

I have to warn you up front, this is very political...the first time and hopefully the last time you will see anything like this here.
I was standing in the living room tonight and I realized I was watching the Republican National Convention. I try to avoid things like this because I hate politics...the same thing happened last week too when the Democratic National Convention was on...I just found myself watching it for no good reason. I was somewhat interested in seeing Donald Miller give the benediction at the DNC...but, I did find his prayer online so it really wasn't necessary for me to watch. Anyway, as I was standing there listening to people talk bad about other people in hopes that I would give them my vote, I turned to Susan and said "why am I watching this?...this stuff makes me feel like I need to go read my Bible". So I did!
This week Trent is starting a new series on the book of Ephesians, it could take us into the holiday season. So, this week we will be covering the first ten verses. This is what I read tonight:
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

I feel like Jesus lead me to this passage again tonight because of the last couple of verses. It just reminded me that when the fullness of time has come, He will bring all things on heaven and earth under the head...who is Christ.
So, how will I vote? I will vote Jesus Christ...daily...I will cast my ballot daily to live for him, not a political party. Jesus never tried to legislate change while He was on earth, He just loved people and allowed them to be change by that.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. I will live a life anxious for your return.
For the praise of your Glory!