One of the tools I use as a parent is discipline when my monkeys need it. But it’s not the only thing. I also use a lot of encouragement and praise.
Sometimes it seems like the only thing I ever see or hear in sermons or Christian books is exhortations to recognize your own sinfulness and repent, repent, repent. Not that I’m disagreeing! Oh no, I am not. I probably tend toward overdoing it (can you actually do that?)
But what about the encouragement? I know God gives us all our abilities to love our neighbor and love ourselves, but I just rarely see much discussion about when you do something well. Is God happy? Or is it just okay, you’ve been less bad today, but gee whiz look at what else you have to work on!
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ “
I don’t think I’d get very far with my kids if I never told them I was happy when they did right, and it was just their duty to behave. I’m having a hard time phrasing that without sounding flippant or disrespectful, but I do not mean it that way. I’m just trying to understand.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
This verse also comes to mind. Perhaps this is one way of showing that?