"Fathers, do not exasperate [
provoke/arouse to wrath]
your children; instead, bring them up
in the training and instruction of the Lord." Eph.6:4
Parenting is nurturing. It is about a steady loving hand that guides and supports.
Sometime ago, I found a lesson about raising children revealed in the process of planting a few young trees in my yard. Needing to properly plant the young trees, I purchased a package of Cinch-Ties; handy rubber straps used to connect a small tree to a large stake next to the tree.
I was intrigued with the advertising on the package of Cinch-Ties. First of all the description of the product: "Cinch-Tie - Strong Support for Young Trees." Strong support . . . I like that notion.
I read on. The "philosophy" under the description read:
"Young trees need support,
, in order to grow large trucks and wide canopies.
Some wind movement
is needed to stimulate caliper and strong root growth. This is why it is important that the tight nursery tape and restraining stick be removed when the tree is ready to plant."
I understand that most metaphors break down in some regard, but the Cinch-Tie left me wondering. Is there a balance in support and restraint in raising children into young adults who eventually gain the capacity to stand on their own? When we find the weak-point in a child how does support look vs. restraint? While support relates well to nurturing, restraint does not necessarily relate to exasperation.
What happens when there was little or no support in the early years and one then tries to straighten the tree when is is nearly full grown? Talk about restraint!
What happens when there is extreme restraint and the tree has no experience of standing on its own? Cinch-tie says it won't be strong without the needed root-maturity due to "some wind movement." The difference between support and restraint seems to be the amount of flexibility needed to keep the young tree growing straight and yet, firmly rooted.
Well, just a few thoughts on exasperation, nurturing, restraint and support in parenting.