Monday, 23 June 2014

Teachable Moments

A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool (Proverbs 17:10, ESV).

For some time I have referred to teachable moments as times in the life of a child when we as parents can use every day occurrences to teach our children the lessons of life.  On rare occasions yelling at a child is the preferred method of communication, i.e. when you are fifty yards away and they are about to run into the street.  I’m not opposed to spanking but only when mom and dad are completely calm, the child understands what they did wrong, and past practices have proven that the threat of a spanking is an adequate deterrent to stopping unwelcome behaviors.  In my opinion teaching is a better way to deal with not only misbehavior but those times and when a valuable life lesson can be imparted.  Kneel down to their eye level and explain in language they will understand what you want them to learn whether it has to do with cleaning their room or not hitting their brother.

My main point in writing this blog has nothing to do with parenting per se, it has to do with how teachable we are as husbands and wives?  No one knows our spouse better than we do.  We see them at their best and their worst. God can use us to help each other to grow.  It begins with requesting our husband/wife to give us feedback as to how we can be more like the Son.  This is not an open invitation to give one another huge list of things you don’t like about one another.

What is said is to be said in love.  It is not to sound like nagging, a complaint or a criticism.  For instance we should be exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit, one of which is patience.  There are certain situations and people that bring out my impatience.  I want my wife to call those times to my attention.  She might overhear me use a less than polite tone of voice with another person, again it would help me to have her perspective.  In fact I may owe the person an apology.

This feedback should not take the form of a Bible dart.  “The Bible says you should never___ thhht (sound of a dart)  Also question your own motive for giving feedback, if it brings you joy most likely your heart is not right.

This will work as long as I don’t get defensive, or feel the need to counter with some critique of my own.  Through this process I should see growth.