An Observed Formula
As a former teacher and mom of adult children, I have made a number of observations. I cannot say that they are correct, nor can I claim any scientific evidence. But it is was I have observed…my formula so to speak.
Behavior-Respect=Lack of Discipline
Behavior is defined as “the manner of conducting oneself” (Merriam-Webster) Respect is defined “a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.” and “a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way” (Merriam-Webster). Discipline is defined as “control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior” or “a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders”.(Merriam-Webster)
How interesting. Could it be that simple?
The manner of conducting oneself, without the feeling of value leads to lack of behaving in a way that shows a willingness to obey rules?
Yep. I think it is.
If we don’t teach our children how to have respect for themselves and others, they will have no reason to follow any rules. What does it really matter to them? I am mindful of Mark 12:30-31, when Jesus was responding to a question by one of the “teachers of the law” when he asked what the greatest commandments was, and Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”
Hopefully we teach our children to love their neighbors, but do we teach them to love their neighbor as they do themselves? Now I am not talking about the way some might do…the child can do no wrong, I am talking about respect and love. Teaching your child their value…..that God has a plan for them. How their lives are so important and they count for something. How Jesus loves them “without condition”.
I have seen both sides of that pendulum. Children who are given no respect at home, practically raising themselves, and don’t understand what it means to love others and put their needs first. They are kids for heaven’s sake, and yet the needs of those raising them comes first. I have seen it folks, firsthand and it is sad. How can a child dealing with those issues be full of respect for others and be disciplined at the same time?
Most of the issues I dealt with at school involved a lack of respect for themselves, friends and those in authority. I get it. But dealing with those behaviors while trying to educate is not always a happy mix. (But that is another blog!)
At any rate, I feel as though I am rambling, and I most likely am…but it breaks my heart. Our children, the children that are growing up around us…are they taught or given unconditional love? Can we as teachers, parents, friends…give it? Does it mean allowing a child to do what he wants when he wants it? Is our society disrespectful in general? What can we do?
I don’t have all the answers and will never pretend to have them. But the one thing I know for sure is that we must love. We must teach our children the true meaning of unconditional love. Then we must surrender to the Lord Jesus and allow Him to love others through us. How you teach that is up to you and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I spent much of my day teaching and demanding respect. But my students knew that I loved them. They knew that they were important to me. They knew that the discipline (to train, to teach, to educate..Strongs) was because of the love I had for them, due to the unconditional love shown me through Christ. The children were not the reason I stopped teaching..although having my proverbial “hands tied” did contribute … (But that too is another blog)
So what is the answer? Jesus. Knowing who He really is…having an intimate relationship with Him and not making it about “rules and regulations” Without the love, rules and regulations will just lead to rebellion. (But that is another blog too!!)
I hope that I have given you some things to ponder. I would love to hear your thoughts on my observed formula! And it appears as though I have three more blogs to write….education and dealing with discipline issues….teachers leaving the field…rules and regulations without relationship…..hmmmmmm…..
Blessings dear ones~
IN CHRIST ALONE