I grew up in a culture where submission, obedience and dying to self were the greatest virtues it seemed. And virtues they are, but they not the only ones.
That culture appealed to me since I was a SHY and FEARFUL CHILD. So living this way did not require courage of me. Instead, I could hide my fears behind the guise of 'HUMILITY'.
As a young parent, I remember one, experienced mother telling me that:
The way she raised her children was to RESTRAIN THEM in her arms and to NOT LET GO until THEIR WILL WAS BROKEN and they surrendered. They kicked and screamed but she did let go, no matter how long it took!
At the time, I saw this as a cool parenting technique. SUBMISSION! HUMILITY! That was probably because it fit the WEAK and POWERLESS narrative that I was hiding behind.
I know that this philosophy impacted how I parented, but I changed along the way, but maybe not soon enough. Thank you, God, for your mercy and for revelation!
So, do we raise lions or lambs??
It can be said that:
There is NO VIRTUE in turning the other cheek if THE ONLY REASON you do so is because YOU HAVE NO STRENGTH to do otherwise.
One paraphrase of the verse, "Blessed are the meek" (Matt 5:5) is:
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE SWORDS AND KNOW HOW TO USE THEM, BUT WHO CHOOSE TO KEEP THEM SHEATHED.
It has been said: True MEEKNESS is strength under control.
We do no favors to our children by teaching them to be weak and powerless. Or by teaching them that they do not have a voice.
We must teach our children that they are powerful and that: "With great power comes great responsibility."
We will do better raising lions than raising lambs. That is because sheep can only follow. They wander aimlessly without a leader because they have neither strength nor courage to lead themselves.
POWERLESS PEOPLE do not own their virtues or their relationship with God. They simply follow.
Yes, I know about the Good Shepherd and following Him and about submission. That's another discussion. . But, my thoughts here are towards those, who have struggled, like me.
Powerlessness is not a virtue.
We must teach our children to live and to love from virtue, not from fear!
We must teach our children that they have a voice and that they matter!
We must teach our children the power of responsibility and that their actions always have consequence that they alone are responsible for.
But this cannot be taught if they never have freedom to make choices.
What about humility and service to God and their fellowman??
I will simply say, most virtues are better caught than taught.
They learn humility from us.
They learn submission to authority through us.
Lead by example FIRST through your lifestyle and then add words.