|Pop, Grammy, and the Four Sisters (1992)|
And so...with that philosophy, and the love and support of family and friends, we tried hard to discipline our daughters in a way that would bring about good things: love, obedience, kindness and the like. What I didn't fully understand then is that we were imitating our heavenly Father who does that very thing with His beloved children.
Consider these verses:
- Proverbs 3:11-12 "My son,do not despise the Lord’s discipline,and do not resent his rebuke,because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
- Hebrews 12:6-13 “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined — and everyone undergoes discipline — then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
We had friends who marveled at our daughters when they were young because they seemed mature in a group setting and would make a remark or answer a question as they joined in as we visited. We somehow knew that we were not just raising "kids", our goal was to raise our children to be lovable and loving adults. That involves thought and consistency and discipline. We were not always consistent and certainly not always thoughtful; but God blessed our efforts and we are so pleased with the women they have become.
With 14 grandchildren (Number 15 is still hiding out in his momma's tummy and is due on February 18 by c-section.) and our four daughters fully grown for some time now, Pop and I are no longer in the throes of raising children. We have the privilege and honor of helping our children as they raise their children. We are grateful that we are not the ones having to discipline. Loving them and spending time with them is our focus; but we do feel compelled to support the work of their parents.
|The Four Sisters - Christmas 2013|
With four grown daughters who each has her own goals, ideals, and ways of raising children, Pop and I sometimes have to shift gears as we spend time with our grandchildren, recognizing that they come from different parents and are not all being raised exactly the same way. Pop and I were blessed by parents who gave us permission to do things differently with our children and we have chosen to give that same gift to our daughters. We have the benefit of hindsight and of knowing that God gave each of our grandchildren exactly the parents He intended...and vice versa.
In this life, there is no "one-size-fits-all" for relationships...and that includes child/parent relationships. It looks different from family to family and it can all be good. I love to encourage young parents. Raising children is the hardest job you will ever do in your life...and you can raise loving, godly children with God's help. It is never too late to make changes and never too late to tell your children sorry. It is advisable to ask for help, to figure out what works (even if it means employing different methods than your parents did), and above all else, to pray...because your heavenly Father is the best at raising kids...after all, He's still raising you and me!