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We are Raising Wise Adults, not Foolish Children

Jeff:
We’re going to talk about the concept, or the fact that you have to remind yourself that we are raising wise adults, not coddling foolish children. I know this is deeply, deeply important. And you have to have this in the back of your mind as you’re parenting. Because if you don’t have the long play in mind, if you don’t have the future in mind, it will change how you parent right now. It absolutely will change how you parent when they ask for something that you don’t want them to have, when they cry, when they whine. It will completely change how you live in that situation, based on the future, and that’s even true by the way of anything, right? Our future hope how we live as a Christian is based on the future hope we think we will see in the future hope, or the future vision always will inform the present. And that’s deeply, deeply important. But Jeremy, what would you say about this? Or what’s your thoughts behind this?

Jeremy:
Yeah, we talk a lot about how important it is to be both a high demand, a high support parent. And so a lot of times when you find yourself sort of having a difficult time with the high demand side, maybe you’re really good at supporting your kids, showing that you love them, enjoying their childhood. But when they really need you to be a little bit more like, “No, you’re going to stick with this.” You know, you’ve made a commitment, you’re going to follow through with this. I need you to step up. You find yourself really giving in, in those times. One of the tools that you need to really begin to employ, and there’s really a key to this. And that is you need to begin to imagine your kids in the future, probably in like, I always think of the mid thirties, right?

So, if one of my kids is really struggling, I was just talking to Sydney the other day about this. I just said, “Hey Sydney, the reason why I’m saying, I need you to stick with this is because I care more about what the 34 year old Sydney thinks, than what the 15 year old Sydney thinks.” Right? And this goes all the way down to when your kids are really little. I am trying. My vision is for that adult, wise, woman, to look back on the way that I fathered her, and to really understand why I’m doing what I’m doing now. I don’t expect you as a five year old, or 10 year old, or even a 15 year old to get it. Right? I don’t expect you to. I expect you to respect what I’m doing, to understand that I love you, but there are a lot of times when I’m going to hold the line in an area where you want me to budge, I’m not going to budge, because I care about the 34 year old Sydney. That’s why I’m doing it.

And so a lot of this comes down to how high resolution is your vision for that future child of yours. And some of my friends have really, and we’ve done this as well, written out narratives of our kids when they’re older. Just to try to bring more resolution to that future picture, because we’re finding it difficult to not just grieve around the loss of their childhood, wanting them to just experience all the fun and wonder of childhood, which is of course very important. But when those moments come where you need to be the parent and not the friend, when you need to hold the line and not give in, it really is going to come down to what’s your vision. Do you really want to see them, see that adult child, that wise adult child come into being. And are you primarily aiming at that person, as opposed to just coddling the current child in their current state. But Jeff, what do you think about that?

Jeff:
Yeah, no, I agree. And I think it plays out, like you said, all the way until they’re into adulthood, or even the really early years right now. Which usually tends to be, I would say we see it the most in really highly, emotionally driven situations of like, “Hey, no, I believe that you,” because there’s the sad part about, I think the West is we’re so hedonistic, we’re so driven by impulse and desire. And I mean, that’s actually one of our light gospels for lack of a better term, is that desire is actually the ultimate thing. It’s the ultimate truth.

Jeremy:
Yeah.

Jeff:
And you have to be shaped towards alternative future for you to not believe that. And God seems to be painting an alternative vision of that. That’s not always the case, and that’s not always the truth. And so, yeah. I would say it shows up real big time in the younger kid stage with just like emotional impulse, with desire. And if that’s not curved, if that’s not shaped, if that’s not formed into self control, into wisdom, then it usually doesn’t end well. And so.

Jeremy:
Yeah.

Jeff:
That’s what I would say, guys. It’s yeah. There’s a level at which your active parenting can turn your child into a wise adult, or there’s one where it kind of just stays neutral and that’s what makes them foolish, right? Like if you just let them, stuff just keeps going, then they just stay like that, but we’re not meant to stay like that. So they stay at a certain capacity, while actually growing in their age, and then that disconnect becomes more heightened if that makes sense. And I think that’s really, really seen with a lot of men in their twenties, and thirties, and stuff like that.

Jeremy:
Yeah.

Jeff:
That’s still seemed like certain things weren’t mitigated, or controlled, or kind of processed against in a lot of levels. And so that’s really, really important and it starts young. And I would say it actually, the job is easier if you start right away. Right? If you kind of set that tone, set that foundation of, “This is actually the goal of parenting, is to form you.” Right?

Jeremy:
Yeah.

Jeff:
Is to form you into a particular image. Right? Of your full self that Jesus has for you. And that’s the truth of all of us in sanctification. And I think that’s the last reminder I’ll leave with you is, first of all understand that’s God’s goal for you as an adult, right?

Jeremy:
Yeah.

Jeff:
Is to constantly be formed into the image of him, and then by God’s grace, by the power of the spirit, you lovingly, compassionately, gently, can also be part of that process alongside God for your children…

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