Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 29, 2015
Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 (Amplified Bible).
Yesterday, I enjoyed watching our four-year old grandson at swimming lessons. On our walk back through the parking lot to the car we encountered a bright yellow speed bump—two feet wide, ten feet long and one foot thick. It was perfect for a pretend walk on a circus high wire. Our daring four-year old and his two-year old brother drifted toward the speed bump with mom and dad in tow. The parents patiently watched the boys walk briskly across the asphalt adventure. With only a five minute delay, we all enjoyed a moment—maybe a memory together. Mom and dad allowed an uninvited speed bump to slow them down and joyfully experience their children.
Paul had no children of his own—but was a student of parenting. He knew from keen observation that a child needs spontaneous opportunities to express their childlike interests. A forceful and inflexible father [parent] risks running through his son or daughter’s childhood with only a blur of activities. A child who is unable to slow down and be a child can become irritated, exasperated even resentful. Parents who allow for unhurried time with their child model God’s patient love. The Lord’s instruction is best received with slow parenting.
“It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us” (2 John 1:4).
Do you occasionally find yourself worshipping at the altar of hurriedness? You discover your hyperactive schedule competes with quality family time. Hurriedness is not a badge of good parenting, but a confession of an out of control calendar. An out of control calendar can lead to an out of control child. Perhaps you declare one day a week technology free. Use this time to act out Bible stories and play board games. Take a walk after dinner and pray for a friend who needs Jesus. Enjoy at least one meal a day with everyone together. Slow parenting requires bold planning.
One sport/hobby a year per child can be plenty. When you slow down as a parent you can get up to speed in really understanding each child’s unique needs and wants. No one feels left out when you have quantity time with each one. Quality interaction with your child flows from unhurried blocks of time. Most of all, slow down to be with your Savior. Christ grants clarity and confidence in an unrushed prayer time. Your soul reveals who you are—your heart receives strength for life’s journey, your mind is renewed by truth and your will aligns with God’s will. Slow parenting is a picture of the Lord’s loving patience. Slow down to invest in what’s best!
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” (Exodus 34:6-7).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the patience to have unhurried time with You and my child.
Related Readings: Proverbs 14:29; Joel 2:13; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:21; 2 Peter 3:9
Post/Tweet this today: Parents who take the time for unhurried moments with their child model God’s patient love. #parenting #wisdomhunters
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