We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Dear Dad, Part 2

In our last Lamplighter Moment, I shared some advice for a father whose daughter was making some poor choices. Today, I’d like to address another question–how can this same father make sense of his daughter’s frustrating mood swings and give her the guidance she needs to rise above her moods? Here’s my response to this father:

During the teenage years, your child’s mood swings are normal! The infusion of new hormones is generating more impulses than General Electric! At the same time, your daughter needs to learn that these mood swings are a God-given opportunity for her to become self-disciplined. When she is able to discipline herself and master her moods, then you should treat her as an adult. Give her a vision for understanding the difficulties of this life as God’s curriculum for her character development.

You mentioned that her behavior is making you angry. There are two parenting principles in the New Testament.

• #1: Don’t provoke your children (Ephesians 6:4).
• #2: Don’t provoke your children (Colossians 3:21).

It sounds like you are provoking your daughter. Show her that you are on her side; remember to exercise mercy. This doesn’t mean that you don’t discipline, but discipline without anger or harshness. Keep in mind that the boundaries you set for yourself will be the boundaries she will most likely follow. If you get angry and have a short fuse, then her mood swings will most likely remain untamed.

We as dads are often blind to our own actions and the root motivations of our hearts. Your daughter needs her father’s love and unconditional acceptance. A father holds the heart of his daughter in his hands…be gentle.

“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).
“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10).
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD has compassion upon them that fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

Recommended Material:
Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp

Published in: on June 9, 2012 at 10:49 am  Comments (9)  

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