These comments are in response to Diane’s comments here:
I don’t think we are ignoring it if we are displaying correct behavior on our part (which is your quest, from what I’ve read…mine too!) and teaching our kids to choose and model correct reactions (also on your 24/7 to-do list, I’ve seen). Those things are “gold” for those tiny ones. More is caught than taught when they are little bitty, I believe.
Diane, I think what you’re saying is that verbally correcting anger (as opposed to spanking for it) is an appropriate action. You seem to be making a distinction between various modes of responding to a problem, but maintaining a need to always respond. I like that.
First Thessalonians seems to give us insight that different actions fit different personalities and situations.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. I Thessalonians 5:14
What we don’t see from this scripture is whether not responding at all might not be a right response.
I’ve experienced times where my baby (19 months) is so angry that she is completely irrational. I can tell her that her behavior is sinful, but she won’t hear me. I can spank her, but that doesn’t stop the screaming. At some point, it seems as though the best action is to put her in her bedroom with happy music and let her come out when she is happy again. I can relate. Since I have always turned into a pumpkin at ten o’clock, I have several memories of crying late at night and my father saying gently, “Go to sleep, dear. It will be better in the morning, and then we can talk.” Even as an adult, my husband has also found that line of use occasionally. 😀
On the other hand, I’ve noticed my older children display the same anger more subtly. They’re not irrational or completely out of control like the baby can be, so I do correct this verbally in some way. I’m actually very consistent in responding.
I’m starting to see a little more clearly that my indecision is mostly related to “stopping screaming” (and as a related issue, “stopping crying”). I know of parents who spank to stop screaming and crying, and I’ve just not ever done it.
When Diane asks whether we as parents should ever ignore sin, there’s an underlying question that might help us come to a decision.
Maybe this is ignorant or overly-simple minded…but if anger is sinful behavior (regardless of the reason, except if it is “righteouse indignation”) then should it ever be ignored??
This question makes me wonder, Does God ever ignore our sin?
On the surface, we might say, absolutely not. Here are some verses that I’ve been thinking about along these lines.
If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Psalm 103:3
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Proverbs 10:12