What does the Bible mean (part 1 continued)

My friend, Joey Guido, and I are having a conversation about the Bible. This is a real life conversation between two men who approach theology and God from different perspectives (You can learn more about Joey in this blog introduction and then shoot over to his blog and check out some of his great resources). Our hope is that as we dialogue, we will show that it is possible for two thoughtful men who don’t always agree to have an intelligent, frank, and respectful conversation.

This is an ongoing conversation so you’ll want to read Part 1 and the Comments and then join the conversation here!

Joey says:

I have a few comments/questions in regard to your response:

I’m wondering why God would ask for innocent creatures to be sacrificed “so you can make atonement for your sins. It is the blood, representing life, that brings you atonement” (Leviticus 17:11). That doesn’t seem fair, let alone Godly. It’s like a killer going on trial for murder, being convicted, but then his DOG is killed while he’s allowed to go free.

What has he learned? Where’s the negative consequence for his actions? The poor dog! When an animal is sacrificed to atone for a person’s sins, that person is not taking responsibility for their actions. What do you think about sin being attoned for with death — especially the death of an innocent animal?

Paul says:

Hey Joey! Thanks for starting off with easy questions (cough, cough…).

The key here is that there is more involved than just killing an animal. Fundamentally the sacrifice has to do with the faith of the one sacrificing the animal. His/her faith that God would receive this sacrifice in a substitionary capacity was what saved the offender. The faith of the offender and his/her obedience to God’s sacrificial law was what “justified” (i.e. made the offender right before God) him/her. The offender learned NOTHING if there was not deep sorrow and repentance evidenced through sacrifice.  Here are a couple of verses that will bring better understanding to this point:

  • Proverbs 15:8  The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
  • Proverbs 21:27  The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable– how much more so when brought with evil intent!

OK, you asked what I thought about an innocent animal being sacrificed as a result of my sin. I think it sucks, but I’d sure rather an animal die than me when I sin! God has said that the punishment for sin is death (Genesis 2:17; Romans 3:23). In the Old Testament era He created a sacrificial system in which an animal (a very specific type and quality) could stand as a substitute for the sinner. In the New Testament era (which continues today) He sent His Son, Jesus, to be that sacrifice. The whole point is that when someone sins something or someone has to die. He created a substitionary system. Again, it sucks, but I sure appreciate it.

The reality is that every wrong must be punished or the justice of God is compromised. He has created a system in which we do not have to be punished and therefore both His justice and love are satisfied. His justice is satisfied through atonement and His love is satisfied in relationship (made possible by the atonement).

Make sense?

Joey says:

As far as God getting angry, I simply don’t buy it. He’s God, not some immature 5th grader with anger issues. Anger is a human emotion. There is so much smoting going on in the Old Testament, it reads more like a mobster movie than a spiritual guide book. Maybe I’m looking for the wrong things. I was expecting good life lessons like Jesus gives, not a smote fest.

Paul says:

Well, when we think of anger we usually think of some dude in a beater on COPS. Anger is a human emotion BUT remember this… we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and screwed up by the bad decision Adam and Eve made (Romans 5:15). Human anger is a distorted version of God’s anger. Anger is not always a bad thing. I’m sure you can think of times when anger is actually a good and justified response (e.g. the abuse of a child).

Scripture teaches that God is perfect (i.e. no sin & no flaws). His original creation was perfect like He is. Sin has messed that up! God is in the process of restoring us (through our faith in Christ and obedience to His teachings) and this world and is deeply angry with the sin that deters us! His desire is to restore us so we can enjoy Him and the life He makes possible for us both now and later!

As far as what you’re finding in your Scripture reading… it is like a mobster movie and it’s going to get worse the further you read! The beauty of all of these disturbing images and stories is that God is working in and through the most unlikely characters and events! He redeems broken people and uses them to create something beautiful! You can’t fully appreciate the beauty of the Bible and even history until you’ve waded through the ugliness.

For what it’s worth, I absolutely love the phrase you’ve coined, “Smote Fest”. Very nice Joey! Very nice!

Joey says:

OK, so God shows mercy on Cain, but then just three pages later we see Noah curse Canaan! (Genesis 9:25). When Noah’s son Ham “saw his father’s nakedness” (9:22), he wakes up from a drunken slumber and curses Ham’s son Canaan. In this case it’s not God doing the judging, but the message is right there in print — a 6,000 year (poor) legacy of punishing the innocent. Why does Cain get mercy and Ham go unpunished, while Canaan and those poor animals get screwed?

I get it when you say, “we are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.” But what about people who don’t believe in Jesus that are good people? Or people like me who believe that Jesus existed, but practice another religion? Is my lack of Christian faith punishable?

Paul says:

Why do the innocent get screwed? It’s the story of the formation of nations. Why are the students in Iran getting screwed? Their leaders are making choices that impact their nation. Leaders make decisions the results of which impact the people of that nation. So it is in this case. The good news is that though the nation may be cursed, the individuals in that nation may still find and be loved by God.

Now to the hardest question you’ve asked thus far…

what about people who don’t believe in Jesus that are good people? Or people like me who believe that Jesus existed, but practice another religion? Is my lack of Christian faith punishable?

I believe that there are a TON of people who don’t believe in Jesus that are incredibly good people.

I believe that there are a TON of people who believe that Jesus existed but practice another religion.

I also believe that Jesus was/is alive, and He said these words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). What do I do with these words Joey? What do you say to Jesus when He says these words?

Is your lack of Christian faith punishable? Answer the above question and let’s go from there.

Alright Joey… it’s your turn!

What does the Bible mean (part 1)

Alright guys, before we get started on this dialogue let me explain the format:

Alright, here we go! Joey’s first question:

Why in the heck did God put down Cain when he offered him his harvest of fruits & veggies? (see these verses if you need some background on this story)

On the surface, it looks like God is simply a meat lover, praising the “fat” animal offering of Abel. But I think it goes beyond that. I think it is a test of Cain’s merit, a “do the right thing,” moment. Of course he fails miserably. If there were back story on this fine tale, I’d suspect that Cain has a history of acting out in anger, and not taking criticism lightly. “Do the right thing and you will be accepted,” implies something deeper than an offering.

It’s just that in the story, there’s no set-up that offering fruit is bad. So it’s got to be about something else.

And what about the mark of Cain? Is God protecting Cain with the mark? Punishing him? Or setting an example for Cain’s countrymen to refrain from “the sin that is crouching at their doors?”

Cain goes on to have children and build a city. Which could be interpreted as God letting him slide for a most horrid crime.

Great questions Joey!

You demonstrated some great insight when you wrote, “On the surface, it looks like God is simply a meat lover, praising the “fat” animal offering of Abel. But I think it goes beyond that.” You’re right. It does go beyond that. God is not the “Cosmic Carnivore.” So why then does he seem indifferent to the “green” offering that Cain the farmer offered?

Later on in the Scriptures we read these words, “the life of any creature is in its blood. I have given you the blood so you can make atonement for your sins. It is the blood, representing life, that brings you atonement” (Leviticus 17:11).

Follow me on this…

After Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God they incurred God’s displeasure and the promised punishment (death  – see 2:15-17). People who study these things commonly believe that God’s anger was appeased by a sacrifice. Instead of carrying out His promise of death on Adam and Eve, He carried out His promise on an animal. This sacrifice was made on behalf of Adam and Eve and stood as their substitute in death. Where they deserved death, they received life (3:21f.) Where is that sacrifice? 3:21 says, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Again, it is commonly thought that this animal was the first sacrifice for sin and therefore set a sacrificial precedent = atonement comes through the shedding of blood. In other words, where there is sin, there must be death.

So God was not so much “anti-green” as He was insistent upon the right sacrifice = blood. Cain brought his own idea of redemption to God and it was rejected. Though a “right way” was made available to him, he rejected it in place of his own “redemption” which clearly was not sufficient.

Make sense?

Regarding Cain’s “mark”, it points to the mercy of God. Cain deserved to be crushed. But God had mercy on him. How could this be? St. Paul, later in the Scriptures, answers this question:

Romans 3:24-26  God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.  25 For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times [for instance, Cain]. 26 And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus.

The bottom line in all of this, Joey, is that Cain, you, me, and everyone else is far from perfect. We are not crushed because God is merciful, and He can be merciful because He took out all of His wrath on the ultimate sacrifice… Jesus Christ. Check out these verses:

Romans 3:22-25  22 We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.  23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.  25 For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.

Alright. It’s your turn. What do you think?

What does the Bible mean? (the intro)

neon-bibleSome time ago I met a really interesting guy through the blogosphere, Joey Guido. Joey and I have corresponded for a couple of years on a variety of subjects. Recently we’ve been twittering back and forth about the Bible. I asked him if he wanted to take this conversation public. He graciously said, “Yes.”

Before we get into the conversation I thought it would be cool to have Joey answer some questions. So with no further ado I give you Joey (check out his blog & follow him on Twitter)…

How did you and Paul connect?

I found Paul soon after I began writing my blog. I was looking for other daddy bloggers to connect with, and Paul had just posted an article about a date night with his daughter. At the time I didn’t know he was a religious man, I just admired him for his dedication to his family. I began commenting on his blog, and eventually we started longer dialogues via e-mail.

You are a blogger. What’s your blog about?

Dad stuff. The “guts” of being a modern-day dad. Exhaustion, discipline, goals, how we treat our kids and brain development to name a few topics. It gives me and other dads a place to be heard and to express what we’re experiencing.

I do my best to go beyond the basics and cover big picture aspects of a dads’ life – like how yelling at our kids can cause permanent brain damage.

Paul said you’re a very spiritual man. What did he mean by that?

Well first of all, I’d like to thank Paul for asking such easy questions (lol)! How to answer this…

I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school, but I was taught more about guilt and being a sinner than I was about spirit and love. I still remember being more interested in the girls at church than I was about what the priest had to say. It was all so regimented, ritualistic and stale at my church. It didn’t have any life in it.

I was pretty faithless for many years until I stumbled upon American Indian spirituality, which made a lot of sense to me. It spoke to my heart about family, loyalty, understanding and getting in touch with a higher power.

It’s knowing that there is something bigger than me that is supporting me in every way imaginable. Most importantly, spirituality is opening my heart. I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer, it’s so hard to put into words because it has become part of who I am, how I live — I don’t even notice it functioning.

I do believe there is one God (what I call Universe) and that we each define and speak to God in the way that works best for us. There is no right or wrong religion (as long as it’s peaceful and not harming anyone). This is God we’re talking about, and God is everything. There’s no reason why he can’t be Jesus AND Buddha. I don’t understand why people have to compete, and fight over who’s God is real. Why can’t we all be right and live peacefully?

When someone says, “I’m a Christian” what do you think?

That is both a simple and a loaded question. It totally depends on the context of the conversation and where we are. I know many people that are Christians and I respect them and their beliefs very much.

But when I think of Bible literalists, I get kind of uneasy. That’s when I find an oversimplification occurring with God and the Bible. Many people, not just Christians, fall into the trap of taking themselves out of the equation. They take away their interpretation and decision making and put everything into God’s words. Sure, “thou shalt not kill,” is a no-brainer, but The Bible was written thousands of years ago! Context and meaning has changed. We were given free will to make decisions for ourselves.

For instance, there are literally four lines in Proverbs about the rod as a form of disciplining children. Yet it has become an acceptable discipline used my millions of parents. Hitting, spanking, paddling – it’s just wrong.

One of my readers mentioned that a Shepherd never actually used the rod to hit his flock, but only to guide them and keep them from drifting off the path. This sounds like a much more human (not to mention productive) form of “discipline,” where our children are taught positive life lessons instead of fear. What if that’s what those lines in Proverbs meant?

Jesus was a man of peace and forgiveness. I don’t think he would strike a child, no matter what the child had done. So why should we?

Why are you asking Paul these questions about the Bible and why did you guys decide to go public with this discussion?

I find what I’m reading interesting and I am curious as to how much of it is “direct translation” from God, and how much of it has been manipulated by man for their own purposes. Remember, somebody had to write this stuff down, and they probably had issues.

I think the Bible, no matter what stance you may take on it, is a legendary book that deserves studying. So many people follow it, how could I not want to understand it and learn from it?

Speaking plainly, Paul is a professional and I respect him. When he speaks about God & Jesus, I feel that he is speaking in a way that creates a universal language – no matter what your religion. It doesn’t matter that I no longer practice Christianity. Paul’s words make sense and they don’t judge or offend. Talking about it publicly allows both of us to learn from others, as well as each other.

How much can you bench press?

Are we talking Nautilus or free weights? Have I had a restful sleep, or has it been interrupted by crying children? Either way, not much…

Paul speaking now…

Alrighty! Now you know Joey! He’s a good guy and even though he won’t hit a child, he can lay some smack down on theological trash talkers so let’s all be nice! I’m looking forward to these conversations and we invite you to jump in too!

The fun will continue until we answer all the questions, or Joey figures out we don’t have all the answers, or we just get tired of the series. We’ll see!

Question: How did you and Paul connect?

I found Paul soon after I began writing my blog. I was looking for other daddy bloggers to connect with, and Paul had just posted an article about a date night with his daughter. At the time I didn’t know he was a religious man, I just admired him for his dedication to his family. I began commenting on his blog, and eventually we started longer dialogues via e-mail.

Question: (You are a blogger.) What’s your blog about?

Dad stuff. The “guts” of being a modern-day dad. Exhaustion, discipline, goals, how we treat our kids and brain development to name a few topics. It gives me and other dads a place to be heard and to express what we’re experiencing.

I do my best to go beyond the basics and cover big picture aspects of a dads’ life – like how yelling at our kids can cause permanent brain damage.

Question: Paul said you’re a very spiritual man. What did he mean by that?
Well first of all, I’d like to thank Paul for asking such easy questions (lol)! How to answer this…

I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school, but I was taught more about guilt and being a sinner than I was about spirit and love. I still remember being more interested in the girls at church than I was about what the priest had to say. It was all so regimented, ritualistic and stale at my church. It didn’t have any life in it.

I was pretty faithless for many years until I stumbled upon American Indian spirituality, which made a lot of sense to me. It spoke to my heart about family, loyalty, understanding and getting in touch with a higher power.

It’s knowing that there is something bigger than me that is supporting me in every way imaginable. Most importantly, spirituality is opening my heart. I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer, it’s so hard to put into words because it has become part of who I am, how I live — I don’t even notice it functioning.

I do believe there is one God (what I call Universe) and that we each define and speak to God in the way that works best for us. There is no right or wrong religion (as long as it’s peaceful and not harming anyone). This is God we’re talking about, and God is everything. There’s no reason why he can’t be Jesus AND Buddha. I don’t understand why people have to compete, and fight over who’s God is real. Why can’t we all be right and live peacefully?

Question: When someone says, “I’m a Christian” what do you think?

That is both a simple and a loaded question. It totally depends on the context of the conversation and where we are. I know many people that are Christians and I respect them and their beliefs very much.

But when I think of Bible literalists, I get kind of uneasy. That’s when I find an oversimplification occurring with God and the Bible. Many people, not just Christians, fall into the trap of taking themselves out of the equation. They take away their interpretation and decision making and put everything into God’s words. Sure, “thou shalt not kill,” is a no-brainer, but The Bible was written thousands of years ago! Context and meaning has changed. We were given free will to make decisions for ourselves.

For instance, there are literally four lines in Proverbs about the rod as a form of disciplining children. Yet it has become an acceptable discipline used my millions of parents. Hitting, spanking, paddling – it’s just wrong.

One of my readers mentioned that a Shepard never actually used the rod to hit his flock, but only to guide them and keep them from drifting off the path. This sounds like a much more human (not to mention productive) form of “discipline,” where our children are taught positive life lessons instead of fear. What if that’s what those lines in Proverbs meant?

Jesus was a man of peace and forgiveness. I don’t think he would strike a child, no matter what the child had done. So why should we?

Question: Why are you asking Paul these questions about the Bible and why did you guys decide to go public with this discussion?

I find what I’m reading interesting and I am curious as to how much of it is “direct translation” from God, and how much of it has been manipulated my man for their own purposes. Remember, somebody had to write this stuff down, and they probably had issues.

I think the Bible, no matter what stance you may take on it, is a legendary book that deserves studying. So many people follow it, how could I not want to understand it and learn from it?

Speaking plainly, Paul is a professional and I respect him. When he speaks about God & Jesus, I feel that he is speaking in a way that creates a universal language – no matter what your religion. It doesn’t matter that I no longer practice Christianity. Paul’s words make sense and they don’t judge or offend. Talking about it publicly allows both of us to learn from others, as well as each other.

Question: How much can you bench press?

Are we talking Nautilus or free weights? Have I had a restful sleep, or has it been interrupted by crying children? Either way, not much…

Peace!

Parenting best practices (Part 5): the wrap-up

First of all let me say a big thanks to Dr. Scarborough and his bride, Barb, for being my guests on this blog and sharing many valuable insights into parenting.

Secondly let me thank you for participating in this dialogue. It’s been fun… particularly the discipline post! If you missed any of the articles, I’ll link to them at this conclusion of this post.

In the meantime, with a few final thoughts, Dr. and Mrs. Scarborough…

Laugh and have fun with your kids as often as possible. Above all else pray for guidance and discernment for yourself as well as for the needs and protection of your child. Hopefully you will end up with children who are also your best friends.
parent loving
Some helpful Scriptures on parenting:

  • Ephesians 6:1-4 (from The Message): Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.” Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.
  • Proverbs 22:6 (from The Message): Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost.

Alright guys, that’s it for this series!

If you missed any of the articles, here’s the links to each one:

Part 1: Getting Started

Part 2: Discipline

Part 3: Love and Acceptance

Part 4: Rules

Part 5 – you just read it!

Parenting best practices (Part 4): Rules

Alright guys, we’re winding this series up tomorrow so let us know what you’re thinking! Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have any “best practices” to share with everyone else reading this blog?

Alright, Heeeeeeerrrrrrreeeeessssss…. Duuuuuaaaannnneeee and Baaaarrrrbbbb!!!!! (Spoken in my best Bruce Buffer voice)

parents rulesParents have the right and responsibility to maintain a safe environment in their home and set a standard of decorum that the children will have to abide by as long as they are in that home. This is particularly important as the teen years go by. TV, the computer, and video games although great sources of entertainment and learning also have great potential for encouraging rebellious and destructive behavior. These things create new challenges for today’s parents. Extra diligence is needed to be aware of what influences are being followed.

As your child heads toward adulthood they are more and more responsible for their own decisions, actions and controlling the direction of their lives. When your child ends up leaving your home to be on their own depends upon a lot of variables. College, job opportunities and financial considerations all play a role. Sometimes they will come and go a few times before they are able to successfully make it on their own. Unfortunately sometimes they make the decision of when they leave your home because they refuse to live by the rules you have established and have to be asked to leave. That can be the best thing for them and your home. Leave the door wide open for communication to continue but don’t welcome them back to stay unless they live under the rules you establish.

Despite your best efforts there is no guarantee that the sailing will be smooth.

(Paul talking) Tomorrow we’re wrapping this series up with a couple of final thoughts from our guest bloggers, Duane and Barb!

Parenting best practices (Part 3): Love and acceptance

Dr. Duane Scarborough and his lovely bride, Barbara, have been sharing some of their parenting best practices with us this week. Check them out and the comments on them… especially my friend Joey’s comment on the post about discipline (click here to read his comment).

OK, now let’s get back to my Duane and Barbara as they talk creating an environment of love and acceptance.

parent-child loveLove and acceptance is essential. Like the rest of us, love and acceptance are a child’s greatest desire and they do almost anything to get it. If it is given clearly, often, and with easy access, the child is more likely to be compliant, try to please, and not have to act out to get attention. After all, any attention is better than no attention. Children don’t constantly need to be given things, but they do need you. The quality of the time spent with the child, i.e. being tuned into what the child is doing and saying may be more important than the quantity. However, it is hard to have quality time unless there has been enough quantity for you and your child to know and be comfortable with each other. The greater the quantity of quality time you have with your child the more valuable memories you will both have.

Affirm good behavior, decisions, actions, and the value of the child as a person. Let them know they are important to you and loved and nothing will change that. Appropriate touch and hugs are important to show acceptance and love. Don’t degrade or ridicule them or their other parent in front of others.

If there is a question about some activity or situation encourage them to talk to you about it. Listen to what they are saying and the motivation behind it. On the other hand don’t worship or idolize your child thinking they can do no wrong. Have realistic expectations of them. Likely getting everything they want immediately will cause them to not appreciate what they have or what it took to get it.

They don’t need a lot of things as much as they need your affection, affirmation, attention, and acknowledgment.

(Paul talking here) Tomorrow the Scarboroughs will talk about developing rules in the home and on Friday they’ll wrap it up with some final thoughts.

What are you thinking about these posts? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Parenting best practices (Part 2): Discipline

Today my friends Duane and Barb Scarborough are going to discuss effective discipline in the home.

And with no further ado… Duane and Barbara

RAUCOUS APPLAUSE…

parent disciplining childIt is vitally important for parents to be on the same page and put up a united front when it comes to discipline. The object of discipline is to help your child know what behavior is unacceptable. There is a standard of right and wrong. The Bible should be the basis for the major principles. To a certain degree what is considered acceptable behavior will vary by household depending on the standards of parents. There needs to be agreement between the parents on what those acceptable standards are for their home and how discipline will be carried out. When one parent disciplines a child the other should back them up and not contradict them. On rare occasions if the other parent has information that should change the course of discipline then the parents should discuss it and come to agreement. This can take place in the child’s hearing if it is done as an honest respectful discussion between the two without fighting and arguing. At times you may need to apologize to your child for actions you took or decisions you made because you didn’t properly understand a situation. They will respect your honestly with them and trust you more in the future to have their best interests at heart.

Discipline should be sufficient to get the child’s attention and create a change of mind, and the intention of the child about the action or attitude that brought on the discipline. The type of punishment or discipline it takes to accomplish that change of mind will be different for different children.

Don’t discipline when you are in a state of rage or desperation (out of control) or the resulting discipline may be too harsh and cause resentment and bitterness. Try to discipline before the situation escalates so far that you lose control of your emotions. When properly trained, kids know when they have been naughty and have a sense of what is fair though they may not admit it not at the time.

We tried to make sure we only disciplined acts of willful disobedience and not mistakes, accidents, ignorance, or purely because an action caused us embarrassment. After the discipline we also had our kids explain to us what they had done wrong and tell us they were sorry. That way we knew that they knew the reason for the punishment. This was followed by a hug and an “I love you” from mom or dad.

Control is essential. Parents should be in control of themselves as well as their kids. Establish your control and authority early in the child’s life. You don’t have to be harsh or cruel but firm and consistent. The objective is to have to discipline as little as possible. Kids don’t like to be nagged and won’t respond any better to it than we do. As much as possible try to let your child know what is acceptable behavior in a situation before they experience it.

Control and consistency have positive benefits:

  • They let the child know what behavior is expected and appropriate
  • The child knows what the risks are should they choose to disobey.
  • Parents are not as likely to become exasperated at child’s behavior or failure to listen and act out of anger toward the child in a way they will regret. This is important because it could have two possible affects: 1) There is a possibility of harming the child, 2) It makes the child realize they can frazzle the parents enough so they will lose control-this gives the control to the child and may encourage them to seek attention in this way.
  • The child will know what to expect and not live in fear of the unknown. How will mom and dad respond this time? This could cause the child to be stressed and guarded and not as likely to be comfortable enough to share problems, concerns, and hurts later in life.
  • They allow all parties to relax and enjoy being together.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about creating an environment of love and acceptance in your home.

(Paul talking) Hey guys, what are you thinking about this stuff? Do you have any parenting best practices to share in the area of discipline?