Most parenting philosophies emphasize one of two realities regarding your child.
The first reality is that there is incredible potential and wonderful gifts hidden in their hearts. God created and endowed your child with many wonderful abilities and inclinations. If you think about the amazing things that humans have accomplished over the centuries it is obvious that there is incredible potential in us all.
The second reality is that the nature of sin is present in your child even at birth! Theologians call this “original sin”. It’s the nature of self-centeredness and independence from God that is naturally passed from generation to generation in the human race. Just pause and consider all the evil that people have perpetrated against one another over the centuries and you’ll have to admit there is certainly a depravity present in our race as well.
Good parenting must acknowledge and intentionally deal with both of these realities. The first side is positive and involves affirming the spark God has put in every child, and helping discern what their gifts and callings in life are. The other side is more negative and involves honestly confronting the deep rebellious bent in our children.
Sadly, most parents tend to one extreme or the other. They are either too permissive or too authoritarian. Sometimes our parenting style is an over reaction to the extremes of the way we were parented.
Here’s a chart I put together that summarizes these two realities. I will share more principles about these realities in subsequent posts.