Rules – Relationship = Rebellion; A Parenting Principle

A core theme that we teach at Doing Family Right is this:

“Rules without Relationship = Rebellion.”

Dr. Dave Currie was the first person I heard it from, and he doesn’t hesitate to admit that he heard it first from someone else, but we have grabbed onto it and developed it from there. This statement usually causes some degree of bewilderment for many who initially hear it, but that quickly fades to understanding when we illustrate it.

Let me first ask, do you ever break the speed limit? Continue reading

The Fine Art of Child Juggling: 5 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Drop Any Kids

In our premarital counselling, there was a session on children; topics included how we would parent, how many kids we wanted and how many years it would take to have an “empty nest” as a result.

I wanted 12! Melissa suggested a compromise of 6, we settled on 4.

Why would I want so many kids? Well, I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen movies like Cheaper by the Dozen but they inspired me to have a large family. The idea was that they would look out for each other and never have to wonder if they were loved or supported.

After we had our 3rd child I realized that 12 wasn’t an option. Why? – it was because I long to spend time with each of my kids and I was already noticing that my life and time was stretched, so much so, that giving the necessary time to 12 kids would be virtually impossible. None of them would likely feel as if they had a connection or relationship with their Dad.

Hand holding three juggling ballsSo, our number went from 12, to 6, down to 4. With my resources, time and energy, that’s all I knew I could appropriately care for. For some that might be more, and others less.

Imagine juggling 12 balls, or 6 or even 4-not an easy task. Continue reading

Letting Go of the Reins (Part 2)

Part 2

What I am about to share with you is VERY real, personal and big for me! This has been quite a long journey but I recognize that there are others who have been going through something similar and have YET to be where I feel I am today. I am speaking about my oldest daughter. God has brought me to an amazing place where I believe I have surrendered her life into the His hands, to fully say, “Here God, she is yours! She has been yours all along, and I give you her life because really, that is all I can do. I acknowledge I can’t make her choose the choices that I think are best, I can’t make her fall in love with the guy I feel is the best, I can’t make her believe in herself or choose to follow and believe in You…I can’t make her do ANYTHING that I feel needs to be done! There is nothing I can say, nothing I can do, I simply can’t fix it or Do It!!” Boy, how well do you think that would go in our society today, to market a slogan that says, “I Can’t Do It!”?

In all of this, I feel like God is saying…”Melissa, the sooner YOU let go of the reigns, the sooner I can take over and finally DO something, because I CAN DO IT!” I need to move over and allow the One who is in Ultimate control do His job. Like the perfect parent, He doesn’t necessarily want to rip these reins out of my hands immediately…as He knows that would just make me rebellious, defensive, and would ultimately not understand or learn why He had to do that. So He gives me my space to learn, to see, to experience and on my own, recognize through some tough lessons, that this isn’t working! If He is teaching me this at this level, in my own personal life, isn’t it safe to assume He is trying to teach the same valuable lesson to others?

It will look different for each of us. We each have our own journey where He gives us freedom and our own will to choose which way we will go! In wrestling with that idea, recalling my own journey that has brought me here, and by reading the poster I showed you, I finally feel I have surrendered my reins to Him in this area of my life!

By laying the reins down in front of His alter, I know my God has done incredibly amazing things in my OWN crazy messed up life, and in many of those around me as I witness their testimonies of their releasing the reins as well. I am believing and claiming that with Him in control the same can and WILL happen, in my daughter’s life. I just need to give her that same freedom God gave me and watch God do His thing. In the meantime, I pray, I trust, I no longer worry (mostly) or stress, and I am free to be there for her, and to love her through it all. In return I am left with this unmistakable joy and peace, that all is well in my soul, so I am freely able to bless His Holy Name!

To finalize this thought, a friend of mine the other day quoted someone SHE knows and it goes something like this, “He/She (your prodigal child) is just not finished with their testimony yet!”

Wow! How freeing is it to know that we all have a story and God will redeem those stories, picking up our broken pieces and turning it into a Masterpiece! Have faith my friends and family…whatever you are going through, ask God to give you the strength and courage to let go of the need to be in control of that area…to let go of the reins as you recognize how you CAN’T do it, BUT GOD can!