by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
The clump of quail had just landed on the other side of the fence and ran under a clump of brush a few hundred yards away. All I had to show for my afternoon of hunting so far was an empty game bag and a sore shoulder. My teenage pride was hurting. The “No Trespassing” sign stared at me from the fence which stood between me and my bounty, and seemed to be mocking me. Perhaps if there had been no sign, I would have simply continued hunting legally on my side of the fence. But the presence of the sign and forbidden adventure caused my heartbeat to increase, and an opportunity to repair my damaged pride seemed to be at hand. I climbed over the fence in defiance of the law and felt a surge of power as I literally took my life into my own hands.
By nature, we humans tend to rebel against any authority but our own. There exists this natural inclination to want to step beyond the boundaries that have been set for us. Often, the disregard for authority is built less on rebelliousness and more on the desire to be self-governing. Since creation, humans have generally not performed well when it comes to following instructions. Adam and Eve, the nation of Israel, and even King David chose to chart their own path in direct defiance of God’s perfect instructions.
During the month of May, Crosshill is focusing on “doing what is right, even when I don’t feel like it.” This definition for self-control is designed to develop self-governance in the lives of our children. Self-governance is making the right choices out of personal conviction, rather than external threat, shame, or manipulation. Self-governance is a quality that humans are generally born with. We want to be in control of our own lives, making our own choices. The reality is that humans are also born with a sinful nature which frequently perverts our decision-making.
When I made the decision to break the law and climb over that fence, I did not struggle with self-governance, but I did struggle with self-control. I had no problem making my own decision, but I had a problem in making the right decision. This is where active parenting comes in. We are called as parents to provide external governance so that the “right decisions” are made known to our children. Yet controlling our children is only a temporary tool, not a comprehensive plan. We cannot control our children forever, and the fruit we see as a result of our control can be encouraging but is fleeting.
True self-control is built upon both self-governance and a new identity. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our job as parents is to highlight the sin that lives inside of us and our children and its destructive power. We are to model and train our students to take control of their own lives by surrendering control to God and His will for our lives. When we understand we need to live within God’s fences, our lives become the best adventure of all.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent