May 11, 2011

Book Discussion - Why Christian Kids Rebel - Week 2

Dr. Tim Kimmel is the founder of  Family Matters  and the author of this great book, Why Christian Kids Rebel.  Last Thursday we discussed Chapters 1 and 2.  We'll move forward this week with Chapters 3 & 4.  I hope you are reading along and gaining some great perspective.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.

Chapter 3 - The Prodigal Primer
I'm sure as soon as you read the chapter title that you knew what story would be discussed!  Even though we are all familiar with the story, it is always worth reading again so that the author can bring a fresh perspective to it.

I really enjoyed reading about the four styles of parenting.  I thought they were spot on and I could identify friends in every category!  Did you identify your style?

  1. Clueless -"these are folks who parent more by accident than by intention".
  2. EMT - these parents make a full time job out of rescuing their children from whatever situation they may have gotten themselves into.  They try to shield their children from each and everything that may harm them in the natural progression of life.
  3. Special Forces - Intimidation is used in the household of special forces parents.  They do a lot of yelling to insure everyone knows who the boss is in the family.
  4. Grace-based - Every parent should strive to attain grace based leadership within their home.  This allows a deeper relationship between parents and children.  Discipline is used as a tool to teach and correct, not as punishment.
I was encouraged to find this quote on page 63:  "Rebellion at its core is a determination to do the selfish thing or the reckless thing."  Unfortunately, sometimes these two traits are both present, which creates a really combustible combination for your family. Thankfully, Dr. Kimmel gives us some guidelines for dealing with our rebellious kids:

  1. Avoid feeling guilty-if you've made mistakes in parenting, own up to them and ask forgiveness
  2. Pray pray pray pray pray and pray - kinda self-explanatory huh?
  3. Don't be afraid to let sin takes its course - sometimes the best lessons are learned through the natural consequences of actions (even though it is hard to stand by and watch)
  4. Be careful what you say - remember your words cannot be erased once they are said!
  5. Once they repent, offer forgiveness and restore their status. As Jesus welcomes all sinners into the grace of God, so we should offer that same grace to our children.
 Chapter 4 - A Lesson from the Italian Stallion

Strange to find references to Sylvester Stallone in a book such as this, but I kept reading with interest!  It is a long comparison, so I won't rehash it again here, but I felt the conclusion was right on:  "When our kids don't see genuine passion in us or in our spiritual activities, that lack of passion invalidates everything they are being taught about the true heart of a champion for Christ."  WHOA.  Does that make you stop in your tracks and think?  Our kids don't want to see heartless serving or a "christian to do list" being check off.  They want to see the real deal.  They want to see our authentic relationship with the Living God.

There was some power packed information in these two chapters.  What did you think?  Did any of it make you stop and re-evaluate anything your family is doing?  It sure made me think.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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