After Sabbath Musings – 2/12/12
Okay so after almost ten years of parenting I have learned something monumental! Where to start? I am a parenting book addict, I buy and read all sorts of titles, if someone recommends it, I’ll read it. I’m a gleaner, I know that not everything will work, and not every family looks like mine, I know that some suggestions would ruin our shalom bayis. What I didn’t know is that I and my husband, that parents are the best expert on parenting their children. Why did it take me 10 years to discover this? More importantly what do I mean?
My husband I recently realized there were some character traits popping up in our children that we didn’t like, weeds that were threatening to over take our precious garden. What we decided to do works for our family, I’m not even going to go into detail, cause I want you to sit down with your husband, pray and lay out a plan for your family.
If you were going to plant a garden would you just hope the right vegetables would come up? No, you would plan it out, choose seeds, fertilizer, a location, etc. This is what we should do as well. I live in zone 6, my garden gets full sun till 2 or 3 in the afternoon. If I told you what to grow and you live in a different zone, with different soil and sunlight, your garden will fail. This is why we must turn to the Most High and join together with our spouse and plan out our garden.
What are your goals for your children? Be honest with yourself, what do you want your child to look like today and at 35? Have you planted the seeds for these goals, for example servanthood. Do your children see you and your spouse acting as servants? Or charity, do they know you give, do you encourage them to give? Gardening is not only about growing but also about pruning and weeding. What do you see in your children, when you look at them without your love filter? Do you see rebellion, selfishness, rudeness, or heaven forbid a disregard for the things of Torah? When you see these things, do you rant and rave or get down on your knees and tear them out? Prayer, discipline, study and encouragement are your tools for maintaining your garden.
But you already know this, you are the parent, G-d handed these precious children to you, because He knew you could raise up these shoots to be fruitful trees.