I have come upon an exciting discovery. I don’t know if I’m crazy (actually I probably am but let’s not get sidetracked…:) but in a prayer session two weeks ago…I felt like God gave me the answer to what? EVERYTHING people…everything!
In one word, the answer is: LOVE. In two words, the answer is: Unconditional love
I wish I had the time and the eloquence to articulate exactly what I am talking about but you should know that I am certainly not the first person to discover this truth (check out Jesus in the Bible or Victor Frankl in the classic book, “The meaning of life”…) …but I sorta think God made it so that this truth must be discovered by each of us individually…there is no point in someone trying to explain it to another….for those of us who get brief moments of amazing revelation on this point, I believe it is our duty to demonstrate the truth with our own actions and words and attitudes….there is no preaching this…relationship and example are needed.
But hey it is my blog and I wanted to talk about it. So in direct contradiction to what I state directly above, here goes. Basically the two pressing questions that I needed answered was: How can I grow/progress/change/develop positively in life? How can I help my child/children to do the same?
I have been stuck because carrots and sticks (e.g. rewards and punishments) have long stopped working in my life and instinctively knew the same would only modify the behaviour of my child but not help their heart to develop.
I realized that that is why God did away with punishment in the body of Jesus Christ – so that we may be free to choose Him. Now some would argue that hell is punishment but actually the worst thing about hell is simply being away from the presence and love of God….and so you are just receiving what you chose (e.g. choosing not to be with God)
As I have stated in a previous blog post, when I just focus on my relationship and connection with God (e.g. praying, reading His words to hear his thoughts, etc.) my soul hunger is filled in such a way that I no longer need to ‘act out’ in ways that is destructive to me (e.g. overeating). It is not about controlling my behaviour but instead seeking connection….and that is exactly how God intended it…He never meant for us to earn our way to him. He gives us the relationship and love freely and limitlessly…all we ever had to do was to accept it….and watch the fruition of that love.
Now for the even more controversial part; I am trying to raise my child in an environment (as much as possible) where there are not rewards or punishments but instead unconditional love which promotes relationship with me such that she is moved internally to obey and follow me. (haha, easier said then done)….After all if obedience is not willingly given from the heart is it true obedience? It is just done out of desire to avoid punishment or to seek reward (like praise). So again, it is relationship and connection to me (and ultimately God) which prompts her to love and good deeds….that DOES NOT mean I never say no to her…it just means that when I say no I never try to manipulate her by withdrawing love or threaten with punishment.
There is a reason God asks us to call Him Father and calls us His children….because the relationship is supposed to parallel our relationship with our children. Sadly in our world, the freedom God has provided us has been ransomed and maligned as has the beautiful relationship we are supposed to have with our children.
There is so much more research and details that informs my position but so difficult to spit out because it is so complex. I would love to write a book about it one day. Suffice it to say I am undone and inspired.