by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Bad Attitude
Editor’s note: So Michael never goes to the ‘just beat them with plumbing line’ place he usually goes. But on the original page this article is cut into sections with ads for his books and programs that advise exactly that. He seems to be saying *gasp* don’t sweat the small stuff! This is the final section.
If “the joy of the Lord is our strength” surely the joy of the parents is the strength of a child. If fellowship with God provokes His children to holiness, what will be the result of a child’s fellowship with his parents? The best training is done under the supervision of a smile. There is a time for discipline, rebuke, spanking, and even controlled anger, but such should be temporary signposts on a path of communion that you walk with your children. If they see your delight and appreciation, they will have the courage to try to maintain that sweetness.
Parent, relax. Lay back. Slow down. Enjoy the trip. If you can’t train your children to meet your high standards, lower the standards until they can reach them. We are not talking about the law of God. We are talking about muddy feet, carrying out the garbage, picking up dirty clothes, doing school work, etc.. Put the bar low enough so that with the effort they are willing to give, they can clear the hurtle and finish each day a winner. Raise the bar a little at a time so they can improve, but will always be a winner. If you set the standard, not beyond their abilities, but beyond their willing efforts, you will cause them to cease trying. They will be like the kid in public school who is already behind two years. He cares so much, to keep from being further hurt, he pretends not to care at all. He is just killing time until he gets old enough to quit.
Find a place to confess your sins, and then go smile at your children.
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