After a recent Elder’s Retreat, one of the men asked the pastor how he slept. The pastor responded that he slept quiet well as the mattress had the perfect amount of firmness. The first elder with a propensity for word play responded, “Let us pray that is how we are as elders.”
Not only did I give my amen to that, I immediately thought about the application to parenting. As parents we want to have the perfect amount of firmness. Too little firmness and you get all bent out of alignment. Too much firmness and you become sore from the pressure points not allowing proper circulation.
With parenting, it is absolutely true that too little firmness will produce children that are not properly aligned with how they were created or how our Lord desires them to be. Left to their own devices they will indulge some areas and neglect others. Their gifts may or may not be the things developed, but their weaknesses will surely grow unchecked.
Too much firmness and you will stifle the spirit that burns within them. Any initiative a child may have will be squelched because they begin to do the economics themselves. While they might like to develop a gift, the consequences of making a mistake eventually crush that desire.
Just the right firmness will produce children that love their boundaries and understand the genuine care that is behind them. Ultimately, it produces happy people and a good night’s rest for everyone.