Summer is a great time for me to read books. I have read several education books, one novel, and a number of titles that have just interested me for months, if not years. One of those is a book by Danny Silk, Loving Your Kids on Purpose.
I cannot begin to describe the conflicts this writing stirs in me. Our four daughters are grown up and are very nice people, so I know we didn't fail as parents, but this book so makes me want a do-over. I knew when we were raising them that I was very conflicted about our discipline style, and truthfully, I wasn't very good at being consistent because I just wanted to love my girls, shaping them gently. The problem, of course, is that they had days where they just wanted to learn outside the gentle box. Memories of losing my temper, spanking to not "spare the rod and spoil the child," trying to be the person with the power, are playing over and over like an unwanted advertising campaign in my head. God knows that over the years I prayed almost daily that He would erase our mistakes and keep the girls' memories full of love and security, that they would fear God, not man, and love their neighbor (including their sisters!) as themselves, that they would hide His word in their hearts so they would not sin against Him. My biggest problem was ME. Ugh! That is a nasty billboard displaying all the uglies.
So, now I have a chance at a "do-over of sorts." That is with my children and their children. Three of them have a copy of Danny's book. All of them will have a shot at Love and Logic® --the basis of Danny's Loving on Purpose book. It is, after all, what we wanted to teach them in the first place--that God loves them unconditionally, no matter what they do. We all still need to discipline ourselves because in doing so we learn to become more Christ-like and love the Lord our God with all our hearts. We all still need to love our neighbor as ourselves because in doing so we show the love of God, His Son, and Holy Spirit in the home, the Church, the marketplace.
Still praying every day that God will erase all the mistakes we made and will fill them with His love and His character.