Seeking the Perfect Balance in Parenting

Nobody ever said that parenting was easy. We continually seek after that “perfect balance” that will promote our goal of leading our children ever onward in a committed walk with Christ. It seems we must constantly strive to balance discipline with grace, desire with duty, spiritual with practical, …and so on.

Romans 2:4 says that “the kindness of God leads you to repentance,” and of course there’s the old adage that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar…all true. I try to be an encourager to my children in areas where they struggle and I believe in giving them grace as I see them growing in the Lord. On the other hand, there are times when they just need decisive correction in order to remedy a strong will, a particularly stubborn attitude, or a willful sin. It’s all about balance.

I was reminded of that once again this week, as my oldest son was struggling with having a good attitude about something he was asked to do (in fact, volunteered to do). Though for the sake of his privacy I don’t want to go into great detail about the situation, suffice it to say that he knew he was not exhibiting a godly attitude nor behaving in a way that honored God. I continually encouraged him with prayer, Scriptures and other exhortations, believing that this would help to work things out. After two-going-on-three days of this, I was rather weary and not seeing any improvement in the situation as I had hoped.

Finally, I gave him a rather stern talking-to about some of the specifics of the situation and made clear his need for repentance. Very shortly thereafter was the breakthrough that I had been hoping for.

In talking to my husband about the incident later, he made a comment that I probably should have done that sooner. He may be right. Though I may be painting with a rather broad stroke when I say this, I do believe that Moms tend to be more relational, more emotional, and less likely to enter into perceived “conflict.” On the other hand, Dads tend to speak to issues rather bluntly and may be more quick to discipline. These are two different methods which God made to balance one another in parenting. However, when one parent (primarily) is addressing issues in child-rearing, it’s important to consider what style or method will achieve the desired results, rather than just defaulting to what feels comfortable or what we “always” do. At least, that was my lesson for this week…

2 thoughts on “Seeking the Perfect Balance in Parenting

  1. I love that you used the verse in Romans to begin. I LOVE that verse!! I believe the goodness of anyone leads someone to a change of attitude. Goodness from my husband makes me check my attitude and want to please him in a godly way. Goodness from a friend makes me want to bless them, pray for them and be sure to catch any ought between us. Yes we should do all these things anyway, but goodness on the part of others sure makes it easier!

    I am not a model parent. I grew up with a heavy-handed Dad and a Mom who ruled the roost. Finding the balance everyday is hard for me and I need God every moment to teach me. I found this quote that really helps, "Lord, help me know when to be quiet, when to keep talking, when to discipline, and when to show grace." Just yesterday the Lord awakened me to a sneaky lie from my oldest boy, and I was so thankful to see repentance and reconciliation with him. Always learning!

    Appreciate your blog so much!

    Deena Royalty
    (we met at the Ohio home school convention last year…. just in case you recognize the name! 🙂

  2. Hi Deena! I love that quote…I will have to remember it. Thanks for sharing. And, we will hopefully see you again this year at CHEO! 🙂


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