When parenting became a verb…

So, I’m sitting here thinking about what to blog about. Most days I have one thought or another about which I think, I’ll blog about that, but when I sit down to this screen those ideas seem to desert me. Fortunately I found some bit of thinking that I did a few months ago and thought, ‘I know I’ll blog that’. So there we go.  By the way, this preamble of self conscious thought is a little connected to what follows… I promise.

I’ve been thinking lots about the stuff I do in this world, the drum group I go to, the residents association we want to be part of, the allotment we tentatively started growing things in this summer and wondering why I want to place labels on them showing their significance in my world.  It’s almost as if I can’t enjoy something just for what it is but have to analyse it and my involvement in it…

What is it that makes us so self aware in our living of this life? Why do I want to attribute worth and value to an activity? Am I justifying my involvement in it?  Who am I justifying this to? Can we escape that to a pure experience of something for it’s own sake?

I want to see the value of what some activity can bring to my life. I want to see what I can learn from each experience. I want to see the benefit of doing something before I launch into it. Is this a product of our culture/the world we live in?  Is there anyway to escape self conscious living and simply live?   Parenting has become a verb in our world. My parents simply were our parents, they didn’t seem to overthink every different theory of what to do with us, my Mum didn’t kill herself worrying about the responsibility of having kids, she simply had us and brought us up. Seems like it’s different these days (love a sentence where I get to say, ‘these days’, I am so old…) what is helpful about the emphasis on ‘parenting’ and what is outofcontrolcrazyilyoveranalytical about that?

Obviously if there is a way to escape the world of self conscious living then this blog would vanish in a puff of smoke and I would unselfconsciously live a quiet life of good character, loving God and my neighbour and not worrying about the impact of my life on others, not worrying about the value of everything I get involved with being a bit more at peace with this moment right now. Is that the life to aim for? Is it possible anymore? Is there a way forward through the mire of assessing everything we do for it’s worth and value to a world of thoughtful unselfconscious living?

Anyone got any thoughts on this? I’d love to hear them…

This entry was posted in Life on the journey. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to When parenting became a verb…

  1. Mark Arnold says:

    I tried to comment but web connection failed at the critical moment. So the most important thing I was trying to say was that I think we need to be self conscious enough to understand where we find it hardest to receive what God wants to give us. Where is it that we most stumble in believing that God is good?

    With respect to parenting I think this means that we do need some level of self conscious awareness of the failings in us so that we know what our natural default position is when we don’t think about it. For example: I need to know that my natural tendency is to seek the quiet life and resist involvement – so that I can keep on repenting and seeking to believe that God is good enough for me to risk mess.

    If we are thinking about parenting with a view to loving our child better and seeing them grow up to become individuals with their own characters, and we are seeking the best way to guide and help them in that development, and especially in helping them in their understanding of who God is and what it means to live as his child then thinking about how to do that better is good, and will mean reflection on our own sinful patterns of relating (I’m sure there’s a paragraph in Larry Crabb somewhere that says what I am thinking about this better).

    If we just want to get the most controlled life, with well behaved, good, “nice” children – then we can use lots of parenting theories, and ironically may be very “self conscious” without ever being conscious of our real selves… We need true self awareness – not self protection.

  2. Kath says:

    Same happened to my comment on your comment. Gist was- Like it- and is self awareness there to lead us into a life of dependance on God and admitting the areas we need help rather than self conciousness leading to self protection, self reliance and uber control over our world.

    I still find it hard to believe that God wants to help in all the areas in which I find it hard to believe that he is good rather than tell me off for not believing in his goodness …

    Further question: How does this work with the whole CS Lewis definition of humility and it being about a lack of self conciousness in situations. Is that possible?

  3. Mark says:

    I think the CS Lewis definition of humility is to do with being able to look at a particular achievement, and to be able to view it as if it had been done by someone else rather than oneself… So if it was good to be able to enjoy it without that leading to pride in ourselves… And I think he was saying that was the end point of where God is leading us – so only fully seen in heaven (but hopefully more and more now)… But I might be thinking of a different definition – I’m thinking of one of the screwtape letters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s