You've made it to Episode 4, and I’m glad you did because we’re going to discuss a hugely important factor in a healthy relationship between parent and child. You may not have considered the importance of our topic today. I know I didn’t truly appreciate it until I moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin and started working at Victory Academy for Boys.
You see, we work with teens in crisis, and every family that sends their boy to our school has one vital element in common: in each situation dad and mom have lost something without which it’s impossible to parent. They lost their influence. In every situation mom and dad no longer had the ability to influence their son. It’s at this place where most parents start looking for help. They may’ve spoken to pastors or friends before this, but when they reach the point where nothing they say or do has any affect, they’re next move is to google someone, anyone who can influence their son.
The ability to influence our children is rarely appreciated until it’s lost. And when it’s lost it’s very hard to recapture. I’d like to take a future episode to consider “How to Win Back Your Influence,” and if that’s a topic you would be very interested in, please email us at TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com. But today I want to dedicate this episode to the parents who’ve not lost their influence. Today’s episode is called “Don’t Lose Your Influence,” and we’re going to look to God’s Word to see what influence is and how to maintain and invest in this invaluable parenting commodity.
This is Truth.Love.Parent and we are dedicated to helping you become an intentional, premeditated parent. I asked my wife what she thought of that tagline and she said, “the only thing that comes to my mind when I hear ‘premeditated’ is murder.” Well, no doubt there’re a couple people out there who might feel that way in their parenting, but that’s not what we mean!
Merriam Webster defines premeditated as “characterized by fully conscious willful intent and a measure of forethought and planning.” I love that definition! Imagine your parenting being “characterized by fully conscious willful intent and a measure of forethought and planning.”
Well, that is our topic for the day: 5 Steps to Being a Premeditated Parent. And if this podcast benefits you in any way, we’d love for you to share it with your friends.
Think about your greatest skill. Isn’t it great that you can fix that transmission, balance that checkbook, grow that pumpkin, and shoot that basketball without even thinking about it?
Have you ever noticed, though, that no one seems to be an expert in parenting? Open any Christ-honoring parenting manual and you will read somewhere in the the first chapter that the author acknowledges he isn’t the perfect parent.
Well, I’m here to say that I’m not the perfect parent either. In fact, when it comes to your son, you’re the best parent he can have because you’re the parent God chose for him . . . not me. Of course, our sin keeps us from being the best parent we can be even with our own children. This is why in one way or another it’s always about me, because I need to defeat my own sin if I want to successfully help my children defeat theirs.
Part of that process is learning some things God calls wisdom, discernment, and self-control. We like to call it Premeditated Parenting.
Counselee: “My wife doesn’t respect me.”
Me: “Why do you think you’re not easy to respect?”
Counselee: “What does this have to do with me?”
Counselee: “My parents are such idiots!”
Me: “You know, I don’t think the Lord’s glorified when you talk about your parents that way. ”
Counselee: “You’re just like my parents! Why’s it always my fault?!”
Friend: “When you’re talking with atheists, it doesn’t do any good to quote the Bible to them.”
Me: “Well, I don’t see any other options. God says His Word is powerful and effective. My human reasoning won’t sway them if His Word doesn’t.”
Friend: “Yeah, I don’t think it works.”
Me: “Maybe you need to reconsider the sufficiency of the Scripture. What’s God been teaching you in His Word recently?”
Friend: “Why does this have to be about me?”
Of course, you realize that few conversations actually work this quickly. Wisdom dictates that it take a bit longer to get from the first observation to the last.
Still, over the past ten years of family counseling I can’t remember a single situation where a counselee was perfectly innocent within a conflict. There wasn’t a single man who hadn’t provoked his children to wrath or not lived with his wife according to knowledge. I never counseled a wife who’d submitted to her husband and loved her children consistently. And – believe it or not – I never met a child who honored and obeyed his parents without fault.
They all had grievances, they all had mental fingers to point, they all had emotional subpoenas to deliver, they all had judgment to bear down . . . but they all had responsibility too. Each train-wrecked relationship was partially their doing. Each argument was of their own making.
The same goes for me.
And the same goes for you.
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