How Do You Know If Your Home Is Too Parent-Centered?
Not too long ago a shirt arrived in the mail. It was a t-shirt covered with pictures of pizzas.
A few days before that the mailman delivered a package with a skirt. The skirt had alien heads all over it!
Theses pieces of clothing belong to one of my daughters.
Now my daughter is the sweetest most compliant person I have ever known. She is quiet, never complains, creative, kind and loves the Lord.
But when it comes to her fashion style we are very VERY different.
It is something I have been struggling with and a topic that the Lord is gently challenging me on.
He is challenging my view of fashion
Who said that flowers or stripes are better than alien heads? Where is it written that cream and lace are better than hot pink? Isn’t it ok for one person to love a shirt with a giant unicorn on it while another person prefers something more plain? The Bible does not speak to these things but it does speak about modesty and so modesty will be upheld in our home.
The Scripture also warns me not to unnecessarily provoke my children, but to bring them up in the instruction of the Lord ( Eph. 6:1-4). I must be careful to lead them without oppressing them and to not bog them down with a bunch of self-made rules and regulations.
I need to let my daughter enjoy these years where she can experiment with crazy colors and odd patterns because before long she will join the working world and will probably have some kind of a dress code.
He is challenging my pride
I think God is revealing to me that I think too highly of man’s opinion. I don’t want people to laugh at me because of how I am dressed and I certainly don’t want people to snicker at my daughter as she walks around in her pizza shirt.
My daughter on the other hand really does not care what other people think. She will not let others put a damper on the things she enjoys. While I admire that about her I often wonder if we should care at least a little.
While I am still trying to figure out that fine line of common loveliness and unique individuality, I can make sure she knows that God is a God of order and not of chaos and so cleanliness and neatness are important and need to be cultivated no matter what our styles are.
He is challenging my self-centeredness
We hear a lot of talk about a home not being child-centered. But all too often, without us realizing it, our homes become-parent centered.
Parent-centeredness is often seen in the things we say “no” to.
Many times we deny a request because we don’t want to be inconvenienced or do the work. I cringe as I write this because I can think of many times when I have said “no” simply because I wanted to do what I want to do, not what my children want to do. I see my selfishness rear it’s ugly head when it comes to the fashion choices of my children. I want them to wear what I like and not what they like.
That is the bottom line: it’s all about me.
I still have a lot of questions regarding how much freedom to give my teenagers in their fashion choices. In the meantime, I need to remember that it’s just a pizza shirt – it’s not the end of the world and it is not an indication of one’s level of godliness.
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