Yesterday, Pastor Erin preached a great sermon about living in the sweet spot which balances grace and truth. He shared how some of us are wired to be more harsh, or “truth oriented” and others naturally are overly “grace oriented” so that we relax our standards.
It made me think of my favorite parenting books, “Parenting with Love and Logic” and “Parenting Teens with Love and Logic,” which you’ll see me refer to often in this blog. Love relates to “grace” and logic relates to “truth”. Love and logic are needed to counterbalance the other.
The books begin by identifying common parenting tendencies, which sound remarkably similar to what Erin commented on.
In the books, which were written by Jim Fay and Foster Cline, they mention that some parents tend to err on the side of “love” (or “grace”), referring to them as “Helicopter Parents.” These parents try to rescue their kids all the time, stepping in to make sure they remain happy and comfortable. They pamper their kids and try not to make waves with them. They also don’t allow them to get in situations where they may struggle or fail.
“Drill Sergeant Parents,” on the other extreme, simply bark orders to their kids as a way to make sure they tow the line. They err on the side of focusing on “truth” too much. They keep their kids under their thumb, hoping to keep them on the straight and narrow.
Having been a youth pastor for 16 years, I’ve seen firsthand the relational, emotional, and spiritual damage that comes from either style of dysfunctional parenting.
The Sweet Spot, of course, is exactly in the middle–what the book refers to as a “Love and Logic Parent.” It’s about finding the style of parenting that perfectly applies truth in the context of grace.
Pick up a copy from the church library or the bookstore and you’ll soon see why it’s my favorite parenting book! And in doing so, you’ll make my job easier during your kids’ high school years!