Guess Who Came to Easter Dinner?

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Wednesday before Easter I was oblivious as to what we would do after church for dinner as I knew I wanted our Easter meal to be celebratory.  The big ham purchased was an overkill for just Jon, Cayley and I so we decided to invite those we knew were without family here in Austin to join us plus trust that God would do the rest. And He did.

Even on Sunday morning while at church I asked God to direct me to individuals or couples alone and without any plans adding five extra guest 🙂

Over 20 people gather for a truly enjoyable Easter dinner and lovely day.  It was fun to see how God connected each of us. Fun conversations were had.

“Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.” 
― Jesse Browner

Denomination did not matter as there were folks that attend various churches and others that were agonistic.  We were joined by dear friends, new friends, college students, single moms, expecting moms, and even a one-day acquaintance. A UT student was going door to door on Saturday collecting information for her thesis paper on Urban Community Planning and while talking I asked her if she had any Easter plans.  She replied she’d be spending the day studying alone as her family was in Dallas.  🙂 So I shared what we were doing and suggested she joined us and she did.  In the end new friendships were made.

Jesus said in Luke 14:12b–13, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

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Parenting Styles

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As parents our job is to do all things with love, especially when we parent our children. God wants us to bring up children who love Him, live for Him and make an eternal impact in their world.  (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

I believe good parenting is achieved by loving our children well. We need to be careful not to be either extremely legalistic or permissive. Scripture teaches that God has rules, structure and guidelines. But God’s discipline in parenting is balanced by his love, affirmation, and grace. This is considered to be the authoritative parenting style as coined by Sociologist Reuben Hill.

One of God’s primary attributes is love. I John 4:8-1 1, “…God is Love.”  Since God loved us, we also ought to love one, another especially our children.  Our job is to train our children to be what we want them to be. In our home we desired our children to have Godly character. Our job begins at each birth and continues on until our children reaches maturity.

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God’s model for parenting demonstrates a healthy balance of both discipline and love.

Focus on The Family used the research by Reuben Hill who conducted a study of thousands of teens and parents in Minnesota. Mr. Hill put all of his research on a grid with an x-axis, a y-axis, and four quadrants. The horizontal axis measured how much discipline or control parents exercised in their relationship with their child. The vertical axis measured love. Hill found that different parenting styles produced different responses among children.

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PERMISSIVE

High love, low discipline/control

These parents are usually indulgent and are more interested in being best buddies with their children.  Appropriate boundaries are not established. These parents rarely discipline their children. Life lessons are often learned later in life at a higher cost.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school. (1)

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Overprotective
  • Spoiled
  • Yielding to pressure
  • Manipulative
  • Desperate for harmony
  • Disrespectful
  • Rescuing
  • Irresponsible
  • Too helpful
  • helpless
  • Lack of boundaries
  • insecurity

Biblical example: 1 Samuel chapters 2 and 4 (Eli’s was a permissive parent as seen with his sons, Hophni and Phinehas.  Eli was fully aware of his sons sins as were the people but Eli never discipline them.

NEGLECTFUL 

Low love, low discipline

This is the worst of the parenting styles.  Parental involvement is very low as is communication, love, and responsiveness. There is very little attachment or affection between the child and parent due to neglect. This parenting styles is often seen in homes where both over achieving parents work and are driven by worldly success keeping them uninvolved. Parents with addictions or mental issues may also fall into this category.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers. (1)

1 Timothy 3:4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him.

When Parents are…
  • Children become…
  • Apathetic
  • Self sufficient
  • Ambivalent
  • Emotionally hardened
  • Uninvolved
  • Rebellious
  • Lacking follow-through
  • Underachievers
  • Lacking boundaries
  • Insecure

Biblical example: 2 Samuel chapters 13-15 and 1 Kings 1:5-6 (King David)

AUTHORITARIAN

Low love, high discipline

Children are expected to follow strict rules and failure to do so results in punishment. Often there is little or no reason behind given rules.  A common phrase of a parent to the child when asking why is, “Because I said so.” Communication is difficult and usually combative, especially as the child gets older which often leads to rebellion. This parenting style is seen in homes where there is an angry alcoholic parent who rages.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to be obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem. (1)

Colossians 3:21 (NLT) Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4 “Parents,’ do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Domineering
  • Rebellious
  • Not flexible
  • Fearful of failure
  • Performance-oriented (vs. people-oriented)
  • Under or overachievers
  • Critical
  • Overly sensitive to criticism
  • Black/white thinkers
  • bitter

Biblical example: Genesis 29:1 through 31:55 (Rachel’s father, Laban)

AUTHORITATIVE

High love, high discipline

Children are expected to follow establish rules and guidelines which are clearly understood. Parents are responsive to their children and tend to listen to questions. These parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful. (1)

Luke 2:40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Loving
  • Secure
  • Encouraging
  • Confident
  • Comforting
  • Compassionate
  • Sincere
  • Honest
  • Teaching
  • Wise

Biblical example: 2 Timothy 1:5-7 and 3:14-15 (Timothy’s mom and grandmother)

What parenting style did you most identify with? What parenting style does your spouse identify with?  As informed parents what parenting style will you use?

 

Photos from Raising Generations Today

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to God.

As I reflect on my experience last weekend at the Raising Generations Today Conference in Corning, NY, I am filled with joy and thanks. It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words so below is my story along with a few comments.

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Proverbs 11:25 “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”

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Caryn and I at the Detroit airport. We had over an hour together.

I began my trip with an unexpected opportunity to spend an hour with my eldest daughter at the Detroit airport.  I had not even considered the possibility of seeing her until the day before when I realized I was flying through Detroit. I left her a voice message saying, “I will have a two hour layover at the Detroit airport but I know you are probably busy and an hour (as I calculated the time of getting to her and back through security) is not much time for the hassle of trying to connect.” She called back saying, “Mom, are you kidding me! Even if we had only 15 minutes to see each other I will be there.”  🙂

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Stacy, Kelly, Me, Angie and Elisa

Above are just a few of the amazing women I was able to spend time with. It was delightful to hear the impact they each are having where God has placed them.  Thank you God for you have strategically placed each of us exactly where we are to be life givers. We each bring the good news of life, love, and salvation to our sphere of influence.

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
telling Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

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There was much attention given to conference details from a quiet prayer room, to a gathering room with comfy sofas to visit with one another.  There were lots of yummy desserts provided by the local Poppleton Bakery.  I was so thankful for a delicious spread of sweets. It was encouraging to sit around Friday evening chatting.

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Me, September and Michelle

 

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Me and Lisa

I am thankful for the many new friendships and connections made last weekend.  I eagerly anticipate God allowing many of us to meet again soon but until then continue to invest deeply into your family as you bring up the next generation.

Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth,
bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;
I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.

He planted a witness in Jacob,
set his Word firmly in Israel,
Then commanded our parents
to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
but keep his commands to the letter.  (Psalm 78:1-7 The Message)