I’ve been reading Reggie Joiner’s Parenting Beyond Your Capacity and came across a description of some Biblical parenting models:
“Noah had a drinking problem. Abraham offered his wife to another man. Rebekah schemed with her son to deceive her husband, Isaac. Jacob’s sons sold their brother into slavery. David had an affair, and his son started a rebellion. Eli lost total control of how his boys acted in church.”
He also mentions Joseph & Mary’s 3 day desertion of their son and Adam and Eve’s raising one son who killed his own brother.
Not what you expected at the words ‘Biblical parenting models’?
Joiner suggests that maybe God’s not trying to give us pictures of perfect families, but rather trying to reveal his redemptive work through families just as dysfunctional as ours. Those families had some messed up episodes! Which actually should give us hope: I’ve sometimes joked that our family is a sitcom where we’re both the characters and the audience – and we’ve had less than stellar episodes, too.
I try to be a good dad, but I’m not always great. The ‘end of my rope’ is all too near some days. Other days, I have to try pretty hard to stifle the laughter in order to muster up a stern rebuke! I don’t let my kids beat me at games. I teach my kids to jump off furniture and climb up walls, literally. We have lava floors, so this is an important life skill in my opinion. Anyone can find a spot behind the couch or under the bed to hide, but how many kids can hide at the hallway ceiling? Can’t reach something in the pantry? Stop whining and climb the shelves. [Incidentally, Liz fell off a shelf the other day and got a bit of a scrape on her back. LuAnn told her that it was life spanking her for climbing where she shouldn’t have. (Which, just for the record, was on a shelf I had also told them NOT to climb.)]
Parenting isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being there. Being a family isn’t about having every day turn out like an after school special. It’s about watching God together. It’s about letting Him make art out of the broken pieces of us we leave lying around on the carpet.
So, got any good parenting stories/goofs to share? What do you think are some elements of good parenting? What does a good parent look like? How have you seen God work through the broken parts of your family?