Alpha mothers...

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My daughter, Michal Crum, forwarded this post on bad boy five-year-olds and it's excellent. How many times I have to give this little talk'; to mothers, usually—but also fathers who aren't pointing this out to their wives. Auntie Leila's post is an excellent reminder to mothers beginning their summers with lots of free time for the children day by day. Summer should be a joy for mothers because the whole point of bearing and raising children is for...

God to be glorified by them, and thus for their Christian mother to take pleasure in them more and more, day by day. Among many other things, this requires mothers to guard the authority of God He has delegated to them. That's what Auntie Leila is getting at when she speaks of being the "alpha" pack animal.

Many good points in here. For instance, when I used to get home for dinner and we had young children, I would pull Mary Lee out of the tangle of dinner prep in the kitchen with toddlers clamoring and phone ringing, into the living room where I'd pull her down next to me on the couch. Then we'd talk. It was so helpful to me and to her, although she would usually protest that the dinner would get burned and the children were hungry and my clerk of session had just been killed in a car accident and that's why the phone was ringing. I'd respond that the food would keep and the children needed to see us enjoying each other and I needed time with her right now; and of course it wasn't Don Jerred killed in a car accident but wonderful Janie Trahms wanting to talk about the children's choir.

Two caveats about Auntie Leila and her post: first, and very important, please do not give in to Auntie Leila's idolatry. She's a Roman Catholic and she can't help putting graven images on her piano. Don't look at them. This is the Second Commandment. Then too, notice how Auntie Leila's interlocutor says "swat" and Auntie says "spank." A swat is not a spanking. Swats are close to thoughtless responses and they rarely hurt, other than psychologically. So never waste any time or effort on them. If discipline is worth doing, it's worth doing. Swats aren't doing anything, other than symbolically expressing disapproval. And as I say to our fathers and mothers all the time, discipline should never ever ever be symbolic. It should hurt.

All that to say, if you're a young mother who is able to remain impermeable to Auntie Leila's Roman Catholicism, read her and gain wisdom.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!