Monday, August 24, 2009

Date Night Delima

It isn't uncommon to hear the phrase, "Mommy, I will obey right away with a happy heart," from our munchkins . . . well, everyone except Mr. Smiley. (But who knows, maybe he is saying it amongst all of his precious babble because he hears it enough from his parents and siblings.)

But you know, I'm convicted about something and . . .

I don't want to obey all the way.
I don't want to obey right away.
And I certainly don't have a happy heart.

The Hottie Hubby and I were reading our parenting book yesterday afternoon. The book is supposed to be about parenting, not applicable to my personal life. It isn't supposed to infringe upon my date night activities with the Hottie Hubby. A parenting book is to be only about parenting.


The chapter was entitled, "Teaching them Biblical Truth." (If you are wondering, the book is called Parenting is a Ministry by Pastor Craig Caster.) Sounds like a very harmless and application oriented chapter to be used for my children not me, the parent.

Using Deuteronomy 6: 4-9,
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
Caster shares how to discipline your child by looking for opportunities to talk (not lecture), tips on dealing with privacy issues, the power of prayer in your child's life, instilling God's Word in our family and personal life, and how to have a family Bible study.

Don't these sound like nice topics?

Well, I left out one. There was a topic that caused me to get a bit squeamish. It infringes on my idea of fun. It ruffles my feathers and inhibits me from acting sluggardly on a date night or a hard day. And it most certainly convicted me on an issue that has been a mild avalanche that had recently turned near fatal to my brain.

Caster instructs us to monitor our child's interests (i.e. music, TV, books, etc.)

Sounds harmless. I can easily steer and direct my child towards clean TV shows, wholesome books, edifying music, and glorifying conversation. Being a pharisee, I mean, policeman, I mean, mom comes easily.

But I am terrible about monitoring myself.

Well, Self, here is a phrase to convict you: hypocrisy breeds rebellion. Thanks, Craig Caster.

If I won't let my child eat an extra piece of cake, yet I have another one in front of him, what feelings will spring up in his heart? Gratitude? Love?

If I tell him not to yell at his brother while I am yelling at him for yelling, do you think he will respond rationally to me?

Why should he listen to P.O.D. or KJ 52 (heavy metal Christian bands in case you are wondering) when he is a teenager, when I listen to lyrics that promote sex outside of marriage, lustful attitudes, gluttony, or whatever sin is sung about.

If I don't model the same high standard that I am demanding from my child, when they are older they certainly won't aspire to the prescribed plumb line I have set. If I don't keep my word, why should they? Hypocrisy in me breeds rebellion in my child.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that ONLY Christian material is to be allowed into my home and life. I am sure many of you know my affinity for U2 (we are going to their concert in a few weeks), Curious George, Clifford, and various rather granola literature. However, I am realizing the need to be a little bit more picky about the media that entertains my brain.

And so, though convicted and choosing to travel the higher road, I am struggling to have a happy heart about limiting my media influences.

You see, the Hottie Hubby and I have been super busy.

Yes, we are busy by choice. We have prayed about what we are to be involved in this season.

When the day is done, the weekend has come, and we want to have a date, we end up going to Redbox or downloading something from Netflix, specifically the NBC sitcom, The Office. We are tired, yet we want to do something date-like--relax and enter the mindless zone. We love each other, but at times we want a break. We want to sit. We don't want to talk. We just want to hold hands and snuggle. So, on comes the TV.

I admit. I think it is a funny show, The Office, that is. BUT would I allow Mr. Smackdown to watch it now? No. When he is 8? No. Would I even want him to watch it as a teenager? No.

The Hottie Hubby and I realize that we are tired. But we can get a little bit more creative with our dates instead of zoning in front of the TV. I want to model a godly, loving, fun and spontaneous marriage to my sons. So, I choose to not watch The Office any more so that I am keeping the same standard I have for my children.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
I don't want to be a hypocrite.

My will is set and I know that my emotions will follow . . . . eventually.

So . . . I need new date night ideas, specifically for stay-at-home-dates, since they occur more frequently than a night out-on-the-town dates. I actually have some ideas, but you hear me blab all of the time.

Time for you to link up and speak up.

I am challenging you to write a blog post about what you and your husband do for date nights. Spread the word. Let's encourage each other, AND strengthen our marriages. Please keep your posts "clean," even though we know that your date might lead to things of a more romantic nature.

(Let's be honest--how do you think we ended up with three kids?)

Write a post and leave your link on Mr. MckLinky!