November 20, 2015 – Shoving or Shepherding?

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The Shepherd, by Julien Dupre (1851-1910)

“You are modeling childhood to your kids; you are also modeling parenthood to your kids.” –Cary Schmidt

     When it comes to parenting the entire experience can be likened unto a shepherd leading his sheep. The shepherd has a distinct relationship with each one of his sheep. He leads them down paths he has previously charted. He protects, provides, and prepares for them. Knowing each by name he tenderly guides them along the way.

Instead of shoving the sheep he shepherds the sheep. There is a big difference in shoving and shepherding. For many parents it is easier to shove your kids in a particular direction without you having to be an example. When you shepherd your children you are out front leading them. When you are shoving your children you are behind them pushing them to do something without given them a pattern to follow. When we shove our kids we say, “Do this!” But when we shepherd our kids, we say, “This is how and why you do this!”

In his book Passionate Parenting, Cary Schmidt says, “Parent, you and I are just a link in the chain of authority. We are under authority, and modeling obedience is the best way to teach it and receive it. Standing on the solid ground of submission is the best place from which to teach submission.” Instead of shoving your kids to become something you are not, shepherd your kids by modeling obedience unto the Good Shepherd!

Daily Reading: Acts 18-20

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