God did not create us to fit in a box. You and your sweet ones, with all of your individual quirks and bents, will express your own unique family culture. Live well within the limitations of your personality and theirs and you will find more joy.” –Sally Clarkson, page 26
After reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart (which is a wonderful book by the way. One of my favorites for sure!) I searched online for a script of what to say before administering a spanking to my 1 year-old. I had no idea how a spanking bridged the gap between disobedience and recognizing a need for Jesus. I didn’t want to mess up. I wanted a formula.
Formulas can create condemnation and guilt. If we don’t get the promised obedience or sleeping-through-the-night or trying-all-the-food-on-the-plate or intelligence or whatever we’re looking for in a “tried and true” method, we feel like it’s our fault. We feel inadequate. Truth is, all of our children are different. Each of us is “Fearfully and wonderfully made” and that does not mean that we all will respond exactly the same to a standard tried and true method.
I believe that formulas are great, but if they don’t work for your out-of-the-box child, don’t fall into condemnation. Your child is unique and will require you to come alongside him in determining the best way to reach his heart.
I loved loved loved Sally’s perspective in this chapter. She warns against people pleasing but points us to pursue God’s calling on our family. She encourages us Mommas to plan what kind of family we want to be. To embrace who God created us to be. To listen to His voice and, thus, find freedom, joy, and fulfillment.
“We can only please God if we listen to His call on our lives. Each of us has a different personality, different strengths and limitations, and different passions and stewardships. God gives us great freedom to exercise wisdom and authority in order to rule over our lives and make them productive for our own families.” – page 33