One of the most significant parts of Chapter 8 in my mom’s book, Parenting with Wisdom, is the following quote:
The work of motivating and inspiring children to obey and achieve involves three basic areas of his thinking.
- The child’s desire to acquire the benefits of achievement and obedience– what he believes those benefits are and what he must do to obtain them. (Key verse: Jeremiah 31:3)
- The child’s fear and dislike of the consequences of disobedience and lack of achievement– what he believes those consequences are and what he must do to avoid discomfort. (Key verses: Hebrews 12:5-15)
- The child’s heart attitude towards God and his desire to do right or wrong– what he believes about God’s character, promises, personal involvement in his life and the manner in which he is held responsible for his belief and willful unbelief. (Proverbs 4:23)
What is significant is that many parents tend to emphasize one element over all the others. Secular sources completely leave out number three. Many strict parents leave out number one, and many tender-hearted parents tend to leave out number two.
What is your tendency? How does that reflect your understanding of who God is, and the gospel of Jesus Christ?