Spiritual Parenting – Don’t Control behavior?

One of the key principles of Spiritual Parenting is the the shift from focusing on our child’s behavior to working with Holy Spirit.  Michelle Anthony, the author of the book and a whole curriculum, challenges our traditional focus on managing our children’s behavior.  Frankly we often want to control our children’s behavior for our own benefit – to avoid embarrassment in front of others and to feel like we’re making a difference.

You think we would know better – that we can’t really control other people – we can hardly control ourselves.  One of the paradoxes of the christian faith (and the human condition) is that when we try to attack things head on we often make them worse.  It’s when we surrender to God, draw closer to him, and cooperate with the Holy Spirit in changing us.

So for our children – what do we do?  Obviously we need to pray for them and seek God’s wisdom (something many of us – including me – forget to do far more often).  The author’s premise is that instead of focusing on behavior we create an environment in our families that allows the Holy Spirit to change them.  It’s not that we ignore their behavior – but we work with God to change them from the inside – like he’s changing us.

This is deeply challenging for me – as it’s that same struggle of control vs. trust.  It goes against my instincts of wanting to control them instead of trusting God to do it.  This continues to echo in my heart and mind as I work my way through the book and the class.


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