Sunday, March 02, 2003

OK, life with an added child just got too hard, and I had to stop blogging for a while. I'm back now, I hope permanently. The nights that Mike's home, he's going to do bathtime and give me an hour to write! Heaven!

So I've got so much going on I could scream. And I have two books bouncing around in my head--which one do I write first? I want to write a whole-foods cookbook. "Thirty weeks to a healthier diet" or something like that. And I want to write a parenting book. I had a good title last night in bed, but I've lost it now. I really need to write things down as soon as I think of them!

So in this parenting book, I guess it'll have to take a Scriptural theme, since Christianity is where my life revolves. And I just got into another discussion at Bible Study with the women about spanking. Yikes. So I guess there'll have to be a chapter about why not to spank. Why it's not effective; short-term, long-term. Why we need to teach our kids how to submit to parental control rather than try to control our kids. It says in Ephesians that we're to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, and that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. It says in Romans that Christians are supposed to submit to secular government authority. There are other passages (Timothy? Titus?) about submission to spiritual authorities. These are instances where the leaders don't take authority--it is freely given. I had to learn to submit to my husband--he was not permitted to try to make me submit or grasp for control. Spanking kids is an attempt to control what they do. How much more beautiful and right it is to teach them the blessings that come from submitting to parental authority--willingly. Not to mention that spanking doesn't work. Children learn nothing from spanking except that if I make someone who is bigger than I am angry, he will hit me to make me comply with his wishes.

I also so want to get across the whole message of Grace versus law. God's old program was law, and it was just a preview, if you will, of his grace. We are in the new program now. Grace means "unmerited favor." None of us deserve grace, yet he's given this gift to all of us. It means we aren't punished for our sins. God doesn't punish us--he simply loves us. He does let us experience the consequences of our sinful behavior, and tries to teach us through those consequences. I firmly believe that as God deals with us, so should we deal with our children. We should not punish our children for misbehavior, but instead help them to deal with the consequences in ways that teach them. Our children will not understand God's grace for them if we don't model it to them, as imperfectly as we do as sinful humans but still a model.

So what if I continue to work on this parenting book? How is it organized?
1. How God deals with us: grace, not the law
2. How to deal with our kids: preserve the bond and model grace
3. Misconception: The Bible tells us to spank
4. Misconception: Spanking is effective
5. Misconception: Spanking does not harm our children
6. What to do instead of spanking: practical parenting tools for all ages of kids
7. Conclusion

So if I work on a section at a time, maybe the jumbled up thoughts in my head with get organized and become a book? I've never done this before, and maybe it's arrogant to assume I'm capable. But I feel I have so much to say!

OK, now it's out there for the world to see. I'm going to write this book. Hold me accountable, OK?