Musings from Mrs. D: On Coral Reefs (Part 3)
I’ve been sharing my heart about hidden reefs that can wreck a child’s life, the last one is the “Absence of TRAINING Reef”
The first time we went snorkeling we were totally ignorant. It looked easy enough. We rented the equipment and off we went. I have vivid recollections of feeling sure I was about to die because I really did not know how to breathe correctly. Once I figured that out, I was off all over the reef. (Obviously Mr. D is way more intelligent than I because he just got it, did it, and showed me how.) I was astounded at what I saw, but also clueless about avoiding hitting the tops and sides of the coral. Not only did I probably do some damage to that reef, but I assure you it did some damage to me. We came out of the water and I wondered why I was bleeding! The only thing I did right that first time was to carry a first aid kit…which I certainly needed to fix all my coral cuts. On my next several dives, I held Mr. D’s hand the entire time, and he led me through some unbelievable coral passages without bumping into one.
Parents, lead your children. Guide your children. Scripture says “Foolishness is bound up in the hearts of a child.” Expect them to gravitate towards foolish behaviors and choices, but don’t tolerate them.
BE THE PARENTS. “NO” is not a dirty word. It is a loving word. God says NO to us, but He doesn’t leave us in limbo. He directs us to a narrow path that ultimately leads to victory and glory.
Over the many decades we have been teaching, we have noticed a pattern. Parents have strategic boundaries and clear training in place for the first child (most of the time). Things are a little more relaxed with #2 and by the time #3,4, or more come along, the word “NO” is used far more frequently, but NOT by the parents. The child is telling you and the other siblings what she will and will not do. You may laugh. You may even say, “not us,” but, when was the last time you actually did a hard thing and levied a consequence on your child or teen because he or she baulked at the training and started down the path the leads to the “Absence of Training Reef.” Scripture is pretty clear about the consequences ahead for an unruly child, who, by the way becomes an unruly teen and then an unruly adult….that’s how we arrived at the “Entitlement Generation”.
Parents…Coral is beautiful, but it is a stinging nettle, and the world is full of nematocysts just waiting to shoot into your precious children. I pray that you will be intentional in avoiding hidden reefs that lie in wait to scar or sink your children. Be proactive! True education is preparing your children for life. Teach them how to avoid hidden reefs.