Thursday, September 11, 2008


I was listening to the Dr. Ray Guarendi podcast this morning and he received a very interesting call. The caller asked something that I have often wondered about myself. She wanted to know if her kids were going to grow up and rebel because of her strict discipline and "forced" morality in their early years. I've been told that my children only obey because they fear me. I admit that I haven't been perfect. I'm not the most patient person I know, although I have tried to improve on that over the past four years. As Dr. Ray said, when they grow up and leave the house "Will they puke up religion because you crammed it down their throat?" The world tells us that if we don't bargain and compromise and make deals with our kids, and let them choose whether to go to church or to pray, then they will resent us later on.

Well, according to Dr. Ray, that is complete BS. The reason is LOVE. You can be firm and loving at the same time. You can tell a child that your decision has been made, that you made it in her best interest, and that you will talk about it more when she is older. The definition of love is, after all, wanting what is best for another. In time, if you discipline with love, and teach them about religion in the context of God's great love for us, they will remain on the right path. They may push back, they may experiment. But they will see that your love, and God's love, are far greater than the world's love.

That's what I'm hangin' my hat on, anyway.


nicole said...

I'll take my chances that my efforts at discipline, however "strict" they may seem to some, will produce the kind of people we all want to be around. I'll risk ending up with a rebellious teenager/young adult knowing that we did our best to raise them as God would see fit. It is silly to parent out of fear. I like Dr. Guarendi.

Bob said...

and, you are right.