Sunday, August 4, 2019

Cut to the Very Center

Today in fast and testimony meeting I was thinking about my parenting in the past several weeks. I have been in lecture mode, and I was reflecting on ways I could teach my children (specifically my teenagers) without lectures. It is one of my life goals to raise my children, especially my teens, to be self-reflective, self-motivated, and hard working. I try to lead by example, but sometime I am afraid that my lectures are obscuring my example, and they become discouraged or disinterested in growth.

Then I was thinking about how as parents we spend a lot of time helping our children with course correction, and how they may not always appreciate that at this time in their lives. I know that I probably didn't appreciate the helpful criticism of my parents when I was a teen.

But now that I am in the position of parent I actually crave helpful criticism. It would be so helpful to have people in my life speak out and point out those areas in which I can improve. In the first book of Nephi chapter 16, Nephi admits that he has been lecturing his siblings, and that "the guilty take the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center." Every day I feel the need to be cut to my very center. I am not a finished product - far from it - and I need all the cutting down I can get.

I am in a stage of life where the people who speak truth to me are typically speaking truth in general terms and to a large group of people, and not specifically directed at me. It is up to me to reflect on my own life and personality and allow words of truth to cut me "to the very center". This takes a lot of humility, and an enormous ability to rely on and hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Both are areas of life that I struggle with and work on every day.

Perhaps as I work to teach my children about self reflection, self motivation, and hard work, I can use examples from my own life, and allow them to consider if the truth is cutting them to the very center, causing them the discomfort of growth. Then we can learn together, and I can focus on my own personal growth more than lecturing my teenagers.

What do you use as a source of truth to help refine you and cut you to the very center? If you have teens (or if you were a teen) what strategies helped you teach (or learn) self-reflection, self-motivation and hard work?

1 comment:

  1. Depending on the age and developmental stage of a child, sometimes lecturing serves no purpose but to make us think we are trying to be good parents. Sometimes "No" is a complete sentence. While it can be important to discuss the "why's" of doing something different, this can usually be accomplished in one or two sentences. When we ask our children to do something and they ask "why", they do not really want an answer. They want us to change our minds. Otherwise, when we said "yes" to a request, they would also ask "why". Never happens. So lectures should be short and dependent on the age/developmental stage of the child. Love to see our children parenting. And they are all doing a great job. In spite of their struggles. Real and perceived.


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