Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

boy and girl

I read a story on parenting a few years ago.  It was eye opening to say the least.

A mom and a dad wanted to start a family.  They wanted to raise their child in a better way than they had experienced.  The parents wanted to raise their child to have better choices free from social norms that they considered harmful in our world.  This all sounded fine and dandy until I read their plan.

You see, they believe that society imposes certain gender norms on people.  And these norms make us who we are.  Biology has nothing to do with it.  Boys are wrapped in blue blankets and girls are wrapped in pink blankets at the hospital.  We are all hapless victims of circumstance and society after that.  Boys play with toy guns and girls play with dolls.  This forms us.  Boys take wood shop in school while girls take home economics.  This determines who you are.  All of these social constructs are then forced down on the individual child and that is what makes us a guy or a gal.  We become products of our environment and mirror the social norms around us.

The couple has a child and launch out on their parenting plan.  From this point on, the story reads more like a strange sociology experiment.  They give their child a gender neutral name.  They dress their child in neutral clothes, so that it could decide if it wanted to be a boy or girl.  They give their child a neutral haircut or hair style, so that it can have the freedom to choose its own gender.  You see the parents are just waiting for the child to tell the parents how it wants to be raised, known, and identified.  Will the child play with boys or girls on the playground at school?  They will stay out of the way until the individual child makes a decision.

This libertine parenting method struck me as very odd.  Why would these parents purposefully keep truth from their own child?  If there is no truth from mom and dad, what kind of life will this kid endure?  What other choices are they leaving up to their child?  Why wouldn’t they try to help, protect, and actually raise their kid?

A laissez-faire approach to life can only get you so far without dramatic consequences.  I am personally grateful that my parents taught me that fire is hot, some snakes are poisonous, and to come in from the rain.  That sounds ridiculous, but so is laissez-faire parenting.  Perhaps it is best to share the truth with those that we love.  Living in the example of Jesus, wouldn’t that be a better way?

Part of that truth is that we are made in the image of God.  Psalm 139:14 declares, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . .”  Each life is a wonderful masterpiece made by our Creator, the Living God.  God does not make garbage.  While people may question who they are or why they are here, they always bear the fingerprint of the Master.

God made us male and female.  Pointing to Genesis 1:27 is not bigotry, but science.  Our DNA is unique from our parents.  Gender is determined immediately upon fertilization or when life begins. The 23rd pair of chromosomes will establish the sex of a baby.  Biology, not feelings or childhood toys, determines our gender.

We are all called to honor God with our body.  This means living in purity.  This is accomplished by upholding fidelity in marriage and upholding chastity outside of marriage.  We need to be aware of potential temptations and be transparent with those who hold us accountable.  This is also where parents need to speak truth to their children.  A laissez-faire parenting plan in this arena is reckless and harmful.  Teach your kids what is right, don’t ignore the truth.  Scripture calls us to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” and to be “transformed by the renewing of your minds” Romans 12:1-2.  Heaven help us all to live by this standard.

As the bathroom wars of 2016 go on, let us remember to speak the truth to those we love.  Let us also remember that parenting is a ministry of the heart that deserves our very best and sharing what we know is never the wrong answer.


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Tell me if you have seen this before.  People of faith acting like they have no faith.  It can happen at work, on the basketball court, or (gasp) even at church.

Here is where we must double down and show that our faith in Christ is alive.  We must approach the individual in love, correct the erring brother or sister, and disciple that person toward a stronger walk with the Lord.  It is tough work for anyone to mentor or disciple fellow believers.  It can be dirty, difficult, and burdensome.  But there is a great reward in seeing others strengthen their faith.

Some folks will give you a self-help book or tract on anger management.  Perhaps we should point to what has worked well in our past instead of proclaiming a new and better way.  We already have a reference manual on conflict, the Bible.  We should continue to use the Bible as the foundation of our faith, especially in matters of behavior.  It can certainly speak to the need for correction, love, and forgiveness.

The Apostle Paul wrote to several churches that needed guidance in solving conflict and maintaining their Christian walk. Those letters comprise a large part of the New Testament. Jesus even addresses how to approach a sinning brother in Matthew 18:15-17. Another powerful passage is in Luke 17. Here we see the need for brothers and sisters to speak the truth in love and if the erring person repents, we must forgive. The offense and number are irrelevant. We are called to love one another. But keep in mind that any kind of disciplinary procedure should always have restoration of the sinning person as the ultimate goal.

I believe that a Biblical approach in resolving conflict is the best way forward for churches. It creates a transparent environment where people are open with each other, seeks righteous behavior in our world, and conveys Christ.

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Where are the heroes?

The sports community took some big hits this week and last.  It has disappointed many in America and across the world.

Last week the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that no candidates received enough votes for entry into Cooperstown.  This year’s ballot included 37 candidates, 24 in the lineup were first time nominees.  Several of these athletes were tied to performance-enhancing drugs, greatly diminishing their chances of ever entering the Hall of Fame.  This class includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, all of whom posted Hall of Fame-worthy numbers during their careers but were clouded by PED suspicion. Clemens earned 37.6 percent of the vote, Bonds got 36.2 percent and Sosa got 12.5 percent.

Recently, Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong admitted to using PEDs.  Last year, he lost all seven of his Tour titles due to a 1,000 page report from the US Anti-Doping Agency.  The massive report exposed his extensive drug use and multiple methods of trying to circumvent sports cycling rules.  The agency deposed 11 former teammates and accused Armstrong of masterminding a complex and brazen drug program that included steroids, blood boosters, and a range of other performance-enhancers.

While athletes and sports stars are frequently viewed as heroes, these events should remind us what heroism truly looks like.  A hero is a person of distinguished courage, bravery, ability, and noble qualities.  The heroes have not left our nation, we just forget what they look like and how they behave.

Courage is shown through the service of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines everyday.  They demonstrate the meaning of sacrifice through their actions and dedicated service.  Bravery is shown through the actions of police officers in every community.  They run into buildings that crowds exit when trouble rears its ugly head.  Ability is shown by countless firemen.  They react to emergencies and execute teamwork in order to save lives and property.  Honesty, integrity, generosity, and kindness can be seen through the daily actions of mothers and fathers across our nation.

Our country is full of heroes, we just fail to recognize who they truly are.

As this week will focus on stars from Hollywood and the sports page.  Teach your children to recognize a hero.  Let them know what qualities are important in life.  Show them that common folks in your community can be some of the greatest examples of doing the right thing.

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