Logical Love

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Yesterday we had a special parenting speaker at church. The teaching hailed primarily from Love & Logic (loveandlogic.com), an entire curriculum designed to instruct parents, teachers and those who work with kids/youth, how to help kids/youth become responsible people.

I am amazed at how simple, yet profound it is. Our kids are older (Emily is going on 17) and doing smashingly so our work is pretty much done, but I do wish I would have had this information nineteen years ago (when we were first starting out). So much heartache, brain ache, gray hair ache, vocal chord ache, ‘kids are going to drive me nuts’ ache, could have been avoided….can’t go back, I know…

The teaching, as you can tell from the name, mingles logic with love…dare I say, justice with love. Kids get what they deserve (and nothing more) and, as a result, learn from their mistakes, often the first time around. Anger and a desire to punish, on the part of the parents, is averted and is replaced with love and a deep belief that their kid has what it takes to make good decisions, has what it takes to learn from mistakes, has what it takes to start again. Learning from mistakes at home makes for fewer mistakes later in life, when consequences can be utterly brutal.

When I look at the teaching, I see God and the Israelites in the Old Testament. Limits set, breaking of limits, consequences, starting again. This cycle repeats itself throughout the OT. Do the Israelites learn? Yes, they learn but then new generations emerge and forget, discount or ignore and the cycle begins again. Unlike individuals who learn a lesson and never repeat, successive generations of people must have a harder time of learning from the past, hence they repeat mistakes that were once sworn would never be repeated. Maybe collectively we, as a people, as Christians do the same…our church fathers (oh, and mothers :) learned/saw the Light, then we forgot and strayed, then we got hammered with some aweful something, then we hopefully learned and turned and saw the Light. Does that mean there are lost generations? Well, I don’t know…I can say that each individual will stand before God and answer and that each individual has a choice, regardless of his/her generation.

Can we lift the generational/cultural blinders to see where we are? Dare we open our hearts to Him long enough to ask if we’re swimming in a generation that is hell bent? Dare we gaze long enough into His eyes to see what is reflected there as He looks on His children? Are we willing to be mistaken or immature? Are we willing to grow? Are we willing to let Him change and transform us from our generation’s likeness into His likeness?

Oh yeah, back to parenting…As our Father, God’s got his hands full with all of us wayward sorts (regardless of the generation He finds us in), yet He knows we’ve been given what it takes (the Holy Spirit) to make decisions rooted in His will, to learn from our mistakes, to start again…

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