Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I wish I was more consistent

Have you ever thought or said these words that you just wished that you were more consistent?
I know that I have. "I wish I was more consistent":
  • Blogging each week/day
  • Journal daily
  • Writing
  • Teaching
  • Learning
  • Studying more of the word
  • etc., etc., etc.

As parents I know we worry about being consistent with our kids as we try to teach them, discipline them, and provide for them. But we sometimes MESS UP ROYALLY! Do not despair.

I came across this devo from Tyndale Publishers (the did the New Living Translation) and thought other parents might want to take a look at these words of wisdom and not be too hard on yourself saying, "I wish I was more consistent."

Parental Consistency

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.

Proverbs 3:1

Most of us as parents struggle with the issue of consistency. This struggle shows up particularly in the area of discipline. But our perceived lack of consistency also cripples us in positive areas. From time to time, as we are evaluating how we’re doing as parents, we can be overwhelmed by our failure to be as steadfastly fair, loving, impartial, wise, firm, and fun as parents as we intended.

As parents of three grown kids, my wife and I have not been immune to these agonies. We often say, “If we only knew then what we know now . . .” Fortunately, listening to our children describe their childhood, we’ve had a chance to hear other opinions about our performance. Turns out we did worse in some ways and better in some ways than we thought. And now that these kids of ours are becoming parents themselves, we’ve noticed a marked softening of perspectives on the task of parenting.

Here’s the deal about consistency that amazes us. We confuse consistency with perfection. When we as parents try to be steadfastly fair, loving, impartial, wise, firm, and fun with our kids, every failure tends to be remembered by us as evidence of missing the mark. But it’s amazing to hear how our kids remember things. Our children talk about patterns and events in their early years with breathtaking summaries of consistency.“Mom, you always had a batch of homemade play dough ready for us to enjoy.” “Dad, you always took short-cuts on our vacation trips that always turned into crazy long cuts.” “Mom, every week you found something to do at school with our teachers so we knew you were around.” We know what they are talking about, but we know that “always” and “every” are not exactly right. We weren’t that perfect.As those perhaps farther down the road we would say to young parents, “By all means aim for consistency.

Discipline consistently. Train consistently. And realize that you will fail from time to time. In retrospect, your kids will remember your deliberate attempts at consistency as consistency, much to your surprise!”

1 comment:

Ben said...

Steve, thanks for bringing this devotional material to our attention. It gives me great hope in my parenting!