Monday, November 17, 2008

Being OK with Brokenness

The Lord has allowed my brokenness to surface in a way that has made me feel cornered and angry. Large swaths of my soul are barren, shown in my lack of energy, hope and creativity in day to day life. It is a major task, for example, to work through a deep book. I have to take it in almost pathetically small chunks.

I need to read more Brennan Manning, Peter Scazerro and Terry Wardle. They always help me bring my brokenness to God. My default response is to try and hide it from myself and others, even God. Which is why I hardly talk to him anymore (it seems).

Parenting Classes Online

Here is the link to all our classes (week 6 should be available soon)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Parenting Class

We just wrapped up a 6 week parenting class at our church, and I will hopefully post the notes here soon. It was a lot of hard work, trying to nail down a vision of parenting that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Many of our friends over-emphasize "the rod," as the primary means of relating to their children (misusing the book of Proverbs in the process). Our parenting is, in part, a response to what we consider as unhealthy idolatry around us. It is an Old Covenant way of parenting (actually, a misunderstanding of the Old Covenant) that exalts the rod as doing what only the God of the gospel can do: bring about righteousness and joy in our children's hearts.

For example, proponents advocate demanding obedience "All the way, right away and with a happy heart," with the rod as the means of bringing this about. Tedd Tripp even goes so far as to say that he continued to spank until his kids demonstrated joy (in his book, "Shepherding a Child's Heart"). I think this borders on abuse, personally. Only the work of Jesus can do that in our children (and in us!). The Kingdom that God ushers in is all about "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). To imply that these kingdom realities can be brought about by the use of the rod seems oversimplistic at best and dangerous at worst.