Parenting, transformation and the three 'R's'

January 21, 2017

“Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path.” (Proverbs 22:6) Many aspects of parenting run parallel to practices used to nurture new Christians. Both tasks involve transformation, a process with steps I sometimes refer to as “Reborn,” “Respect,” and “Re-love.” “Reborn” means living a new life, “respect” is learning through wisdom, “re-love” is the unconditional love derived out of comprehension. “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Christians emerge from baptism reborn, infants, so to speak. As such, they must walk before they learn to run. However, the enthusiasm of this (re)birth makes us want to skip walking and begin running. And when we run before we’re ready, the opportunity to fall is heightened. Falling without a foundation makes recovery more difficult because of the tendency to sink back into old habits. Recalling my early Christian years, I was enthusiastically motivated to share my faith, but I didn’t realize the necessity of learning to walk before running, and I fell head-first. My recovery was a 20-year endeavor. Lessons learned: pace myself, stay motivated, and remember...

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