Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. ~James 1:19-20
Do you ever lose sight of the person that your child is in the process of training them? Day in, day out, do this, don't do that... it's challenging to rule your spirit when instructing a child. Yet, it is within the fruit of the spirit that we are to influence our children to righteousness.
Dr. Carroll Smith posted on Habits over at the Childlight blog this week and I couldn't help but wonder if I hadn't fallen prey to legalism in my many attempts to train obedience.
...it seems to me, that habits which are not governed by the Spirit become legalism and are destructive and not life sustaining or life giving. As they are governed by the Fruit of the Spirit, they cause us to grow in a virtuous life.
...Virtue for the sake of virtue or the sake of glory or only for human flourishing does not fit within a framework of what it means to bear the image of God. Human flourishing happens within a relational framework. This framework includes relationships and habits that are built around the warmth of community and relationship not the isolation and coldness of legalism.
Being patient, loving, gentle doesn't mean not giving consequences or not disciplining your child. We must train them absolutely. It's your spirit that's at issue. Is it angry, controlling, legalistic?
...the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.We must tread ever so carefully, we are training and educating *persons*.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. ~Ephesians 4:1-3