A Balancing Act


“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6


I have learned a lot in the 4 years that I have been a parent.  In college terms, I should be nearing a graduation mark, but sometimes I feel like the more I learn the less I know!  One thing I have learned that has remained true…parenting is a balancing act.  Let’s glance at a few areas where the scales can get tipped:


“Spouse vs. Parent”


Holly and I are forthright with our kids that our marriage is the most important relationship in our family.  As often as we can afford it, we go out on dates together.  We love being parents, but we got married because we love each other, and maintaining intimacy requires work and time! This can be a balancing act because a 4 year old and a nearly 2 year old don’t always get this concept! 


“Discipline vs. Punishment”


This one is tricky, sometimes due to semantics.  We strive to discipline our kids, as Proverbs 22 suggests, so that they will learn to make the right choices as adults. Sometimes it is beneficial for our kids to see our frustration in their disobedience.  But the balancing act for us comes when we rely simply on emotions and tip towards punishing our kids for “being bad” instead of correcting them for “choosing bad.”  It’s a balancing act.


“Teach vs. Shelter”


Holly and I love our kids very much.  Therefore, when we discuss how to handle introducing them to the world around them, we walk a balancing act.  We all know the junk that the world is just waiting to throw at them as they grow up.  From TV and movies to the way other kids will treat them, we already wrestle with our decisions to teach Colt and Emmy about these things or try to shelter them from ever experiencing something negative or painful! I still don’t have a great answer…but I do know that it’s a balancing act.


Here’s why all of this really matters: the stakes are RIDICULOUSLY high!  As Proverbs 22 shows us, what we do NOW as parents sets them up for the way they will choose to LIVE as adults!  This is not a part-time job…it’s an all-inclusive career that will shape the way our kids see the world and God.


What about you?
What balancing acts do you face as a parent?
How do you struggle with keeping the scales from tipping?