If your main goal as a parent  is your kid’s obedience, you’re settling for something less than and you’re setting yourself up to have anger stirred up regularly. Instead of obedience being the objective, there’s a long-term target that will go a long way toward winning as a parent, and also perhaps make the days easier.

Start Talking

  • Was obedience easy for you as a child?
  • What is something you did as a child to get in trouble? As you think back on it, how did your childhood mind justify your behavior?
  • What would you say was the aim of your parents parenting in your home?

Read This

  • Read James 4:1-3.
    • What stands out to you?
    • How have you found it to be true that the source of our arguments is that we or they  are not getting what we want?
    • As a parent, when you get angry, what do you find you are wanting most?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 13:5–7 out loud.
    • What stands out to you?
    • Talk about this in your own words: “Love is not self seeking”
    • Talk about this in your own words “Love isn’t easily angered
    • What does it look like to keep no record of wrongs, or as Andy said “Forgive and pretend to forget”
    • Love always protects”. In this season of parenting, what does it look like for you to protect your kids?

What Now?

  • Discuss thise quote from Andy: “Our kids don’t actually make us angry. They just stir up what’s already in us.” How does this make you feel?
  • Are you easily angered? Do you internalize it or externalize it? Within the context of family, when you’re angry, what is it, generally speaking, that you want that you aren’t getting?
  • Are you a record keeper, relationally speaking? Do you keep score and on occasion remind folks of the score? If so, what fuels that in you?
  • As you think about your family, what is your North Star? What do you ultimately hope for them? (ex. Obeisance, achievement, etc.)
  • If you’re a parent with kids still in your home, what can you do differently to parent toward healthy adult relationships with your children?

Think on this: Our behavior as Jesus followers should be informed by the command to love as he loved us. Particularly as parents, when you’re not sure what to say or do, pause and ask what love requires of you. After all, the most significant thing you do may not be something you do—it may be someone you raise. Lastly, let’s let scripture transform our hearts as we seek to love the way God has loved us. Consider committing  these prompts from 1 Corinthians 13 to memory:

  • Be Patient. Go at their pace not yours.
  • Be Kind. Loan them your strength (Don’t constantly remind them of their weaknesses)
  • Celebrate their successes. Minimize their failures.
  • Create a culture of mutual honor. Own my piece of the conflict pie.
  • Protect. Trust. Hope. Persevere

Additional Resources

Memorize this: Hebrews 12:11. Ask God to help you prioritize relationships with those in your home!
Memorize  Philippians 2:3. Ask God to help you see the connection in humility and patience.
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