the choice to change...

This week I sat down with my daughters (7, 5, 3) and had a little heart to heart. They haven't been behaving well and alot of it has to do with making bad choices with regards to their talking back, whinning, and outright defiance of authority.

I talked with them about a fundamental truth that I believe with all of my being. As we were talking it came out in this nifty little mantra: "I always have the choice to change." I know that it sounds elementary, but it's really powerful if you apply it. I wanted them to know that whatever their emotions or circumstances, they have the ability to change what they feel and how they behave. They don't "have" to yell, they don't "have" to argue, they don't "have" to rebel. They can change their response if they learn "self-control". (this may be old news to the Love and Logic zealots)

We chanted this phrase over and over again...this most certainly will be brought up in counseling when they get older. A classic case of "brainwashing". But it is just the sort of thing I want washing over their brain everyday of their waking life.

I know this puts me in the camp of the Arminians...those individuals that take seriously man's responsibility in the business of life. But I'm learning that I'm a proponent of anything that puts man in the place to choose his destiny rather than living the fatalistic and defeatist attitude of so many who say things like, "That's just the way I am." or "I can't do anything about it." These sorts of attitudinal responses just tork me off.

I'm sure that God's soveriegnty plays a big, and maybe even a bigger, part in my children's destiny. But I'll be a monkey's uncle if I'm going to sit back and wait for God to transform my daughters for me. It seems to me that alot of that is going to come from them getting into their thick skulls that only they can control their attitudes and thoughts and behaviors and only they can do something about choosing to change those reprobate tendencies into holy ones. Like the old adage says, "Pray as though everything depends on God, act as though everything depends on you." Though that has some flaws to it, I get what the author was gettin' at.

"I always have the choice to change." Therein lies the power of the human spirit to alter the world in which he/she lives.


DanielSon said…
Amen... thats all I got.
Ash said…
Very true. I'm glad you strive to teach your children that their actions will have consequences. I work with too many children who don't understand the concept...or the fact that they can act differently the next day, if they so choose.

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