Finding Freedom in Parenting

by | Mar 19, 2013 | Women

My dog Blueberry has cost me a lot of money in the last few months. We’ve been in dog obedience school. And, boy, do I mean we. We’re now on our second dog trainer. Our first dog trainer was very disciplined. He could flatten his hand in a downward motion, and his dog would lay down one hundred yards away. Blueberry . . . not so much. She and I both have a hard time remembering which command goes with which hand motion and what it’s all supposed to mean.

I tell her, “Down,” and she tries to shake. I tell her to sit, and she puts her front paws on my shoulders to try to hug me. It’s all very confusing. But there’s one command that has been particularly mysterious to both of us, especially as I’ve written this chapter.

“Free.”

The first trainer told me that after Blueberry has been “in a down” or “in a sit” for a given period of time, I’m supposed to say, “Free.” When I first said it, Blueberry just looked at me. She tilted her head in a “what in the world does that mean” kind of way. I didn’t know either. We both just shrugged.

Now she’s getting the hang of it. I think she’s partly getting the hang of it because of our new trainer. She is more of a positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement type of trainer. She took away the “obedience” collar Blueberry wore and replaced it with treats.

One trip from Nashville to Kentucky in the car necessitates an entire bag of treats. I think, though, it’s helped Blueberry feel more loved. And more secure. And it’s given her more confidence in what free truly means. When I say, “Free,” Blueberry now knows that she can run and play, or find her ball, or give me a hug, or whatever she wants to do. She is free because she’s loved and secure and no longer afraid of punishment.

I think I’m a lot like Blueberry. When I first started thinking about freedom in parenting, I was perplexed. Free? What does that mean in terms of parenting? I mentioned in a speech recently that instead of focusing on being the parent God’s called you to be, you can focus on being the parent God frees you to be. It sounds good. But I really wasn’t even sure what I meant at the time.

After studying this idea of freedom, I think I know a lot more now. And that’s basically that I’m free. Like Blueberry, I’m free to love and laugh and dance and teach and counsel and write, because I’m loved. I’m also free to discipline. You are too, as a parent. But so often we live with the confusion that Blueberry and I did. We turn our heads, shrug our shoulders, and stay in the sit position for entirely too long.

Let me give another example, and one that involves a human child rather than a furry one. You need a little background first, though. I attend an Anglican church. It’s one of the more progressive Anglican churches where they intersperse hymns with worship choruses. Church members are very engaged in the service, although there isn’t a ton of outward expression. Suffice it to say most people are not waving flags and dancing in the aisles. Most. So on this particular day, I was sitting in my pew toward the back of the church. It was the last song of the service, which usually is a rousing, anthemic song, such as “In Christ Alone” or “Mighty to Save.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

As we were coming into the month of June, the halfway point of the year, the Lord began to speak to me that we are at a tipping point. How we position and posture ourselves in this month will set the tone for the next six months. A tipping point is a series of small...

Prophecy: The Spirit of Delusion on America Will Come Crashing Down

Prophecy: The Spirit of Delusion on America Will Come Crashing Down

A lot has transpired in the last few weeks in America. With the reversal of Roe vs. Wade and the decisions on abortion reverting back to the states, many have mistaken abortion as a Constitutional right. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a sign that God is breaking...

RECENT ARTICLES

Charismatic Christian Spreads Spirit-Filled Hope, Boldness and Truth to the U.S. House of Representatives

One of the most high-profile, outspoken, freedom-fighting and influential conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives is a Spirit-filled, Charismatic Christian. Colorado Rep. Lauren...
Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

A predator ensnares his prey with a trap meant to weaken and disarm the life so easily enticed by the bait set before it. Once the predator catches his prey, his goal is to steal, kill and destroy. Do you know this is exactly what the enemy is trying to do to you...

3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

“I got a word from the Lord, but I don’t understand it.” “I’m feeling called in this direction, but I’m waiting for full understanding before I act on it.” These and statements like them are common during that all-too-familiar waiting time between a word being given...

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]