March 4, 2017

Lent 2017: Day Four

Week One: Actionable Aspirations

Reflection for the Week: God’s goodness is the source that propels leaders into courageous action.

My parents were quite progressive in their day. They were all about positive parenting and creativity. I remember being told we didn’t use coloring books at our house because Mom didn’t want us “limited by the lines.” We probably just couldn’t afford coloring books.

I have no memory of ever being spanked either. In our family if you did something wrong we had a “talk.” Getting smacked is quicker, I think. But, I will say Sue and I incorporated the same positive parenting styles with our boys. We used “time outs” and “logical consequences.” We believed that is how you raise healthy, loving children. Funny thing is, my mother got the switch as a child, and there was no more loving person on the face of the earth. Mom’s parents were also two of the most tender-hearted, faithful, loving people you could meet and she loved them unequivocally.

In my child development training in graduate school, I remember reading a study that compared the mental health and productivity of children raised in homes where there was corporeal punishment and those where there was none. They found no difference in the children as adults — no difference that is, if one other factor was present: “genuine love.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” This statement of Christ reminds us that we can only create out of our lives what has been created in our lives. We love as we have been loved. What greater joy is there than knowing you are loved by one you love? This is the key message of the gospel of John — the gift of God’s love in our lives. The call is to live in this truth so that we will live out this truth.

Prayer: Lord, may your love live in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.