By Jackie Scrivanich
The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons in the Trinity. When we follow Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in us. The Holy Spirit has power and that power in available to be used through us. The Holy Spirit guides us and teaches us and convicts us as we journey in our faith. As adults we need the Holy Spirit to teach us how to follow Christ, and how to model our lives after Christ. The fruit of Spirit comes from having a relationship with the Holy Spirit and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through our lives. We need to give way to the Holy Spirit so that He can shape us and mold us.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
The same is true for our children. Do you believe the Holy Spirit is big enough to guide and teach and convict our children? Just as it is not our job to convict other Christians of their choices, it is not our job to convict our children of their poor choices. It is not our job to use punishment and anger in order to make our children feel bad about the choices they made. We should not be shaming our children into behaving the way we want them to.
Our job is to model how to be a good citizen in God's Kingdom. Our job is to teach them through unconditional love and grace and mercy. Our job is to remain calm even when they are being disrespectful. Our job is to remain kind even when they are yelling. Our job is to remain loving even when they are being unloving towards us. Our job is to show grace and mercy when they are at their worst. This is what God does for us and this is what we need to be doing for our children if we want to model Christ and if we want to be like Christ.
Do you value your children enough to remain calm? Do you trust the Holy Spirit enough to remain kind to your children? Do you truly believe God's Word when He says to treat others as you want to be treated?
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
I'm not saying to never discipline your children. I am saying that we need to ensure we are doing our job while leaving enough room for the Holy Spirit to do his job. If discipline means "to teach", then we need to look at Jesus' example and how He teaches us. He teaches us through grace, mercy, unconditional love, sacrifice, blessings, and so much more. He models forgiveness, and sacrifice, and true love.
Think about people you know who push God away. People who use His name in vain and disrespect Him on a daily basis. Think about when the Pharisees and the soldiers were speaking lies about Jesus and mocking Him and beating Him. How did Jesus respond? He didn't make his case. He didn't get angry and yell and scream and demand respect. He could have called down a whole legion of angels. Instead He prayed to His Father and asked Him to forgive these people because they do not know what they are doing.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Our kids are like this. They will disrespect us. They will make us angry. They will make bad choices. Because they don't know what they're doing. They need us to show them what to do. When we meet their chaos with more chaos we are only further igniting the fire. When we meet their chaos with our calm we are able to slow down the flames. When we react in an unkind manner, we miss the opportunity to instruct and connect and truly teach our children. We cannot afford to miss these opportunities.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Do you partner with the Holy Spirit when parenting? If not, what are you waiting for?