Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bending Wills not Spirits by Martin Wiles

Only those with exceptional strength can bend metal, but even the weakest person can when it’s done correctly.

I’ve watched people bend metal with their bare hands, but with the proper tools I can imitate their results. Like most materials, metal softens when heated. As the temperature increases, the atoms and molecules vibrate faster causing the material to expand. Atoms and molecules in turn hop from site to site in the solid making the material more flexible.

Children enter the world with wills as stubborn as unheated metal. God gives parents the awesome-and often challenging, responsibility of bending those wills to fit his. Fathers…bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord (Ephesians 6:4 NLT).

Bending metal by heating may be easy, but shaping it into forms is another story. Rearing my children required painstaking ingenuity as well. Children arrive with a bent toward being bad because we’re all sinful from birth. Discipline by its nature entails heat applied so that children will turn in the desired direction. But the challenge is disciplining properly without exasperating by the disciplinary measures we use. Discipline should carry a teaching element and not simply be a momentary reaction that immediately stops an unwanted action.

In spite of a parent’s best efforts to lay a spiritual foundation, most children will try their wings before they’re ready or wander in directions better avoided. I did, and mine did too. But I don’t indict myself. What they do as adults is beyond my control. I pray for them and love them unconditionally, but I don’t blame myself for their periods of wandering. I simply continue bending by teaching and modeling.

Are you fulfilling your God-given obligations to your children? Give them the proper foundation, and if they wander allow God to lead them back on course.

Prayer: Loving God, encourage us to model our parenting techniques after You, our perfect parent.

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