Friday, May 7, 2010

Consequences, Part 1: "Families Where Grace Is In Place"

Families Where Grace Is In Place by Jeff VanVonderen

Excellent Book!! Agreed with almost everything in it, which is incredible, because I usually enjoy only about 10% of most "Christian" books. I am going to post some excerpts from the book on consequences.

"Control, Influence, and Empowerment"
"There is a tremendous difference in what results when you attempt to control your children's behavior, and when you empower them to control their own. The first path leads to disempowerment. The second leads to empowerment. The first to external compliance; the second to wise decision-making. The first to living out of fear; the second to living out of fullness."

"Compliance vs. Obedience"
"Compliance with external pressure means a child has been squeezed into a mold; it is being conformed from the outside/in. Obedience is about learning to live consistent on the outside with what God is doing on the inside."

"The Purpose of Consequences"
"Do not give consequences in order to threaten children into acting the way you want them to. I have noticed that people who grow up in families or churches with 'punishing mindsets' have difficulty experiencing forgiveness as a gift. They seem to have a need to earn forgiveness by paying for or making up for what they did. Jesus Christ has already taken the punishment for all of our wrong behavior."

"Do not give consequences in order to threaten children into acting the way you want them to. People who do this are trying to control their children's behavior by simply teaching them to act in ways that avoid pain. At best, this promotes compliance and people-pleasing, not wise decision-making..."

"Do give your children consequences in order to teach about behavior...You can spend your energy trying to keep track of, control, and fix your children through bribes, threats, and sermons. Or you can spend your energy discovering and implementing consequences from which your children can learn about the wisdom of their choices and their ability to make good ones. Children can learn as much from disobeying and receiving wise consequences as they can from obeying."

"Do allow your children to experience the natural consequences of their behavior."

"You Must Follow Through"

"Learn to Ask Yourself the Inside Questions"
"...Which need are they trying to meet with this behavior?..."

More thoughts on consequences to come....

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