Lately I’ve been wrestling with some child rearing opinions. One place says, “Do this! It works!” Another source says, “Oh no! Absolutely NEVER do that to your child!! It might “work” but it will be damaging to their spirit and break their will! It will ruin them!”
So whose opinion is the “right one”? They sure make it sound like if I decide wrong then I can really hurt my child in the long run! FEAR rules in this kind of warning!!!
Turns out there are LOTS of things that people — Christian people — disagree on. (No surprise, really!)
In John 7, there were so many conflicting views about who Jesus was!
John 7:27, 31, 40-44 —
“But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from…Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”…When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.”
These people were actually confused! Some thought He was the Christ, others thought that was impossible! They were confused because of what they ‘knew’ about the Scriptures and what they ‘knew’ about Jesus’ earthly origins!
One of the main key words in chapter 7 is “know“. It’s used in v.4,17,26,27,27,28,28,28,29,49 — 10 times! The people argued over who Jesus was – using the word “know” — “but we know!” Like they wanted to believe in Jesus but were confused because of how they had understood the Scriptures. I’ve certainly done that — how about you?
But as the Lord says elsewhere: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me,” (John 5:39).
So how do we find the right answer in the sea of conflicting opinions? Here is Jesus’ take on it in verse 17 —
“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.”
He says if our will is to do God’s will then we will know if the teaching is from God or not. While that’s not the easiest answer, it does give us some guidance. Another great reason to pray always and to seek to do God’s will in all things! Psalm 63:8: “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Cling to the Lord – t’s relationship with Him that will lead us to the truth — not how well we ‘know’ the Words of God!
So why is it that having any rules with consequences will damage my children? Maybe it’s the opposite! But as I read in Hebrews 12:10 “For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them,” my only option is to discipline as it seems best to me (and my husband!) as we listen to the Lord Himself. And to remember that discipline is painful, so it may in fact seem damaging, but —
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
So for now i’m praying to do the right thing and seek His will in training my own children, remembering to do what seems best to me while I listen to hear what His teaching is. 🙂 And as a friend always reminds me — the Lord can redeem all of my mistakes!