Parenting 101: You Can’t Bad-Attitude Someone into a Good Attitude « Approaching Damascus

Hey Everyone,
I found this over at my wife’s Facebook page and thought it was quite good! I really like the title and the way the author has put it all together. Hope you enjoy it also! 🙂

Parenting 101: You Can’t Bad-Attitude Someone into a Good Attitude

January 13, 2012 by Rick Holland

The implications and influence of our attitudes towards others cannot be overstated. Our tone is usually louder than our message. And tone is more quickly interpreted than words. I’m finding out the hard way that this is the linchpin of parenting.

Having teenage sons in our home creates an interesting environment. Messes happen, chores are neglected, arguments develop, things are lost, procrastination reigns. No, it’s not all negative, but it can get frustrating. But my frustration is not so much that my boys will be boys, but with my response and shepherding of them. Here is the all too easy pattern into which I can fall.

Something happens with one or more of my sons that needs correction; they sin. This sin comes to my attention and I feel the reflex of anger in my heart. Then comes a list of questions racing each other in my mind towards my tongue. “What were you thinking?” “What do you think you’re doing?” “Are you kidding me?” “How dare you?” “You were only thinking about yourself, weren’t you?” The list could go on…

Yes, my sons need constant correction. But so does their Dad. But how should that correction be framed? How important is the attitude behind the correction?

If you are a parent who longs to see your children walk with God or a someone who wants to influence your friends and family, there is a helpful pattern for us to follow in Romans 2:4. Paul writes:

 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The second chapter of Romans begins with a confrontation regarding being more ready to judge others, including God, before oneself. In verse 4 Paul asks if judgmental spirit has cloaked our understanding of and experience with the gospel. God has demonstrated kindness, tolerance, and patience toward us. And here in the second part of the verse we meet a remarkable principle.

It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. Notice that it is God’s attitude, His disposition, which motivates us to change. God motivates us with kindness.

Think of the implications of imitating this attribute of God as we parent our children and try to influence others. Another way to say it is, “You can’t bad-attitude someone into a good attitude.”

When is that last time someone confronted you in anger and your immediate response was something like, “Oh thank you, I am so motivated now to do better and try harder.” Correction packaged in a bad attitude is not motivating, stimulating, or helpful.

If it’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance, we would do well to encourage repentance in others the same way. But that will only happen when our thinking is flooded with thoughts of God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience toward us in the gospel.

If you are looking for a verse to memorize that will have immediate application in your relationships, my suggestion is Romans 2:4. Once again…

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

via Parenting 101: You Can’t Bad-Attitude Someone into a Good Attitude « Approaching Damascus.

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