Authoritative Parenting

I went to college right out of high school. I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development (after changing my major from nutrition after I was already deep into this field of study). I have always had a deep fascination with human physiology and cognition. I love nutrition and how it affects our performance and behavior. I went to school with the goal of becoming a Marriage Family and Child Counselor (MFCC). I didn't even make it through the first year of a rigorous graduate school program- not because I didn't want it, but because God took hold of my life, I gave up the reins, and never looked back...I chose His will over mine each day. He had gently told me in many different ways, a string of events and circumstances, that He didn't want me to stay. He gave me those gifts and interests, but private practice counselor wasn't His best for me.

God is really cool though. All those interests, all that education and investment of time and finance...He hasn't missed a beat. For He used it to equip me and cultivate an area of my life that could be used for His Glory. I still get to exhort, encourage and listen to the hearts of others. I get to help others change their eating habits and improve their health. I get to use my education every day in the field and in raising my children. It doesn't feel like "using an education" it just feels like my niche complete to love on others the Lord puts in my path. When I do the math, that spells victorious living, even though it doesn't look like how I thought it would look when I began the vision.

God is just a good, good Father. Those words have been rolling around in my mind for weeks now. Then I hear the Chris Tomlin song and we sing it in church...He is a good, good Father. That's just who He is. He's not trying to be good, He just is.

One thing we studied intensely in my undergraduate work were long term studies on human behavior when children are raised with authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles. An authoritarian parenting style is all about intense rules with minimal relationship. A classic commentary would be "Do it because I say so." An authoritative parenting style is still exercising authority and need to abide by the rules, but there is a deeper understanding of the presence of love. The rules are there for protection and discipline to be taught and authority is to be respected but it is communicated in such a way that the recipient is growing in love and respect and with dignity. Authoritarian parenting almost always leads to rebellion. Authoritative parenting built people and strengthened relationships at the same time.

Authoritative parenting is the way to go. This is how our Heavenly Father is with us. He guides us, He tells us the way and the paths to leave, but He does it so lovingly we feel helped. We may not like it at first, but if we truly trust Him we follow His lead because He has demonstrated to us that He is love and wants the absolute best for us. That's how it was when He sent His Holy Spirit strong on the scene of my life back when I was in school. I gave up more than I can go into right now, but He flooded my heart with his Peace, Hope and Love and I knew if I followed Him the big picture of my life would be better even if in the immediate it was a painful sacrifice.

God is not mad at you. He isn't sitting in Heaven waiting to through lightning bolts at you. He is a good, good Father. He is committed to you with tender devotion and concerned with only bringing you good all the days of your life. He sees what we cannot and many times He has gone before us and surveyed the scenes and protected us from many things we never knew He had done. He is your number one fan right now and forever more. Let him lead you now. He won't steer you wrong. Listen to His instructions. Heed His gentle counsel and advice. He's got you, even now. ~Nicole

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
2 Tim. 3:16-17