Do your children feel led or pushed? Or asked another way, are you as a parent dominated by love or frustration? The two questions are inexorably tied together. Leading is born out of love and pushing is born out of frustration. Too often as parents we tell our children that we demand obedience and speak sharply because we love them and only want the best for them. Most likely our children are not buying this explanation. It feels to them as if they are being pushed into doing what mom and dad want. In contrast, notice the sequence of thought and actions in Deuteronomy 6:5-7:
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
First, you are to love God with every fiber of your being, with all that you have to offer as a human living and being sustained by the grace of God.
Second, the commands of God are to dominate your inner being because of your profound love for God.
Third, these commands are to be deeply implanted into the lives of your children during every event and opportunity that God brings to you each day.
So, you as a parent are to deeply love God with all that you are as a person. This love is expressed by drinking deeply of his commands so that your heart is permeated with them. Then, this love for God and his commands is to overflow from your heart into the everyday situations of life that you and your children encounter.
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