Creating Little Monsters
Café Menu for Monday, September 2, 2013
Today’s Special is: The Difference Between Loving and Enabling
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Debbie Giese
Discipline your children and they will give you rest.
Proverbs 29:17 NRSV
My favorite job, hands down, is waitressing. I love going the extra mile and making people feel special, remembering the details particular to each customer. I feel good when other people feel good. Are you tracking with me so far?
Here’s the thing, though: I’ve applied that same over-achiever service mentality to raising my kids, and in the process, have created a sense of entitlement in our house. I’ve created little monsters, literally, and I’m not feeling so good about that.
At Merriam’s Online Dictionary, the “b” definition for monster is someone who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior. And sometimes, I have to tell you, the attitudes and behaviors in my house are less than acceptable.
Proverbs 27:17 encourages me that when I discipline my kids, they will give me rest. To clear up a misconception, discipline does not mean punishment; it means to train or disciple someone. We clearly need a retraining process, for both me and my precious little monsters.
I need to realize that selfless love does not equate to doing everything for someone. Sometimes it means allowing someone to struggle through a situation so they will grow from it. Sometimes it means saying no when everyone else’s parents are saying yes. Sometimes, selfless love means letting someone else get mad at you.
I often coach others that just because someone is mad at you doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. Examine each situation and hold it up to the light of scripture. If you have been kind, respectful, compassionate, and honored the Lord in your stance, you are probably not in the wrong. Don’t let the mama guilt get the best of you.
Remember, it is not selfless to enable someone to always get what they want when they want it. The world does not cater to us that way, and we need to discipline (teach) our kids how to live in a world that will not wait on them hand and foot, either
Before I “do” for someone else, I will examine my own heart and make sure my motives are pure.
Father God, guide all of us in our steps with those we care about. Help us to determine our motives in our actions. Give us eyes to the future and feet to stand firm today. Give us arms to love and hearts turned to You for wisdom.
© 2013 by Debbie Giese. All rights reserved.