Saturday, May 24, 2014

Learning From Your Mistakes

Many of you know by now that I have a 3 year old. One of the things that I have had to learn as a parent is how to discipline my son when he misbehaves. You see, it is a slippery slope with a toddler- on one hand, you don't want them taking advantage of you thinking they are too young to be disciplined, but on the other hand, you have that little voice in the back of your head saying, "Give him a break. He's just three. He doesn't know any better." I find myself saying that a lot, however sometimes I have to admit that I have had to discipline Sawyer when absolutely needed. I know a lot of people like to resort to the "spanking" to discipline their child. While I have heard both sides in regards to whether or not I should instill spankings in how I discipline Sawyer, I would like to publicly share my opinion on the matter.

When I was a child, my parents resorted to spankings as a part of their disciplinary acts. Frankly, I don't blame them either. Having four kids, it must've been hard to keep us all in line at times I'm sure.  Spankings were pretty much the only thing that stuck with us as kids. The thing about spankings is that they caused me to fear my parents. I remember every single time I did something I had that "oh sh*t" feeling in the pit of my stomach because I knew I was about to be spanked. It didn't always necessarily cause me to learn my lesson, but rather made me fear my mom and dad for whenever I made mistakes. The reason that I don't like spanking my son, or even raising my voice at my son in general, is because I don't want Sawyer to grow up being afraid to make mistakes. I know that he is going to make tons of mistakes growing up and hopefully God will instill wisdom and a lot of patience in Tyler and me to be able to deal with it, and discipline him accordingly. I want Sawyer to be able to come to me and tell me that he messed up or did something he shouldn't have done and be able to see me as a source of grace that the Lord wants me to give him. Now don't read this entry and start thinking that I think my parents raised me wrong, because that is not what I am trying to convey at all. The thing about my parents, my Dad in particular, is that every single time one of them spanked me or my siblings, they came and said they loved us. They made sure that after we had been punished for whatever it was that we did, that we knew that they still loved us. This is something that I have always admired about my parents, and will carry on into my own parenting.

I discussed this topic because I think it is important for people to know that it is okay to make mistakes in this life. I actually think it is important to make mistakes. How in the world would we grow as individuals, otherwise? I can say for myself that I would be no where near where I am today if I hadn't made the mistakes that I've made as a human being. The thing about making mistakes in this world isn't the actual mistake. It is what happens after the mistake is made that determines how you grow. Do you learn from your mistake and make changes to better yourself as an individual for the cause of Christ? I think that is the point I am trying to get across to people. God let his son die on the cross so that we could make mistakes and still have eternal life with him one day. How amazing is that? This entry isn't an encouragement to go out and try to make mistakes on purpose, but rather a sigh of relief to some of you, myself included, who live in fear of making mistakes. This can be applied to living a healthy lifestyle as well. As long as you are doing your very best each and every day to nourish your body for God's will, then that is all anyone can ask. So what if you make a mistake along the way. Lord knows I have. I am still learning in this journey, and God willing, will continue to learn from my mistakes in bettering myself for God's purpose. It is my prayer that you take away two things from this entry: 1. Don't live in fear of making mistakes, because they are going to happen regardless. So it is better to do your best, and if a mistake should happen, then learn from it and move on. 2. Remember that when you make mistakes, God still loves you unconditionally. Just like how my parents reminded me and my siblings that we were loved by them when we messed up, remind yourself that God will always love you, no matter what.

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