By: Dr. Jamie Gavin
Blessed are those that make Dad mad
“Blessed are those who make Dad Mad!” Isn't that like what Jesus alluded to when He said, "blessed are you when people persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely"?
“Madness” is another term for insanity, while the term “mad” also is commonly refering to the emotion of anger. Angry well-intentioned and upright people, like my father, often have displayed erratic and untoward behavior. It is often considered that “If they weren't angered, they would not have behaved that way.” We are thus taught to look at emotions as the cause of behavior, and to consider that changing emotions will change behavior. So we try to avoid or change “unwanted emotions that make bad behavior.”
Since I was 7, I have focused my abilities to be able to behave in a certain way so I can cause others to behave in the way I want. I consistently endeavored to keep Dad from getting mad. This is Carnal Parenting 101. The first tenet of Carnal Parenting is that I am responsible for the emotions that lead to the behavior of others. A parallel tenet of behaviorism is that the environment causes behavior.
Born and raised for scholarship in Carnal Parenting, I continued to work on it when I joined church (age 20). No longer chronologically a child, I have had to become a child to learn from Christ to allow others their emotional responses. I have had to learn that circumstances and emotions shouldn't dictate my response.
In an awesome display, while requiring strict reverence, the preincarnate Christ thundered the 10 Commandments. This done in the presence of the Hebrews (just emancipated from slavery) and the former Egyptians who joined them. Like children who have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, everyone responded to the Commandments with the strong behavioral affirmation, “All these things we will do!” It was freedom from slavery resolution time, and their resolutions were as firm as most new year resolutions today.
It was an opposite response Jesus received from the 12 disciples when, at the last supper, he noted that one of them would betray him. The disciples echoed, “Is it I?” How had the disciples learned that of which the newly forming Jewish nation was ignorant?
Have you heard the saying, 'train children properly, and after many days they won't depart from it.' Spiritual Parenting is completely at odds with Carnal Parenting. Yet, there is similarity. Carnal Parenting looks to do all the right things and get the right response. Spiritual Parenting looks to just be in the right, acknowledging we are all emotionally messed up. Carnal parenting is by hypocrisy ('do as I say and not as I do'). Spiritual parenting is by example, by love (something I cannot control, no matter how hard I try).
Jesus walked on water in the midst of a storm. Peter asked to walk with Him. Jesus bid him. Peter walked with Jesus. Peter thought, “Now I am special!” Arrogantly, he looked toward his companions and began to sink. Dismayed and terrified, he called Jesus for help. Taken by Jesus' hand, he entered the boat. Peter didn't get it. I didn't get it. God help me! I take credit for the miracles of Christ that surround me, and sink into despondency and despair just as quickly. Until Jesus was crucified, the disciples continually argued as to who had the best parenting skills. Behaviorism and carnal parenting are only shaken at the cross.
I want to patent or copyright 'walking on water,' get credit for it, and then distribute it to others, so I can be the best. I want to learn a spiritual technique that will put me ahead of the game in teaching others. Intending to follow Jesus, I am often carnal-minded.
When their books and notions of best parenting behavior are slighted, those who look only to themselves will generally become mad at those who look to God for healing. So a principle corollary of Spiritual Parenting is 'blessed are those who make Dad mad....'