Parenting Is Like Jazz

William P. Smith | July 29, 2017

Have you ever looked at your child and been completely bewildered about what to do next?

They won’t stop crying. They refuse to eat their carrots. They keep getting out of bed. They pick friends who are bad for them. They take money out of your purse. They won’t apologize.

You’ve been over and over this ground with them, but here you are again. You stand there, looking at them, barely holding on to your temper, wondering, What do I do now? What do I say? What don’t I say? What discipline do I impose? Will anything make a difference? To date nothing seems to have worked. You’re out of ideas, and you really would do anything, if only you knew what.

You’re not alone. I regularly get asked, “What’s the right thing to do with my child who is ruining his life by ________?” It doesn’t seem to matter how old the child is—several months to several decades—parents still ask. There’s something inside of us that wants certainty, some clear path forward with our children, maybe a flowchart with multiple branches detailing the many if-thens of what we should do based on what they’re doing.

But the Bible doesn’t give you anything like…

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