Altar of the Feels

There’s no doubt that this feelings frenzy has affected our parenting

“The truth is that God gave kids parents because they don’t have enough sense to raise themselves. So, why in the world do we give their feelings so much power in our homes? Stop the insanity, y’all. You are the parent. You know what is best.”

 

If you have kids of most any age, chances are that today they felt all the feels. And, if you are a mama of said children of any age, then I’m betting that today you, too, felt all the feels.

I’m not really sure where that term came from, but it pretty much sums up society these days. We feel everything deeply, and feelings are considered the ultimate barometer for life. There’s no doubt that this feelings frenzy has affected our parenting.

We have been taught to pay special attention to our kids’ feelings and to validate them as much as we can. I’m not saying this is a terrible practice. I mean, it’s never bad to consider someone’s feelings. But can I say with all honesty that about 85% of a kid’s feelings about things are irrelevant? Kids feel 147 different ways before lunchtime. They get upset if their graham cracker is broken. They cry like their heart is broken because a dog licked their elbow. Worse than that, they will kick and scream like you’re murdering them because you’re trying to buckle them into a carseat or keep them from grabbing a hot burner or stop them from running into the street. If we pay attention to every feeling that a kid has, we will be paralyzed and completely ineffective as parents.

The truth is that God gave kids parents because they don’t have enough sense to raise themselves. So, why in the world do we give their feelings so much power in our homes? Stop the insanity, y’all. You are the parent. You know what is best. And, the best isn’t staying up until midnight (even if your preschooler is crushed that you are enforcing a bedtime). The best isn’t letting your kids yell at you (even if you are glad they know how to “express themselves”). The best isn’t letting children decide if they “feel” like going to church or not (even if they are heart-broken that they can’t stay home in their pjs).

I’m being tough on you. I know. But there’s something else that you must remember, dear reader. It isn’t just the kids who try to make too much of their feelings. We do the same thing.

We think so much about how we feel about things that we lose all sense of reality. The self-help masters and the self-esteem gurus have told us again and again that our feelings matter. That we should follow our heart, trust our gut, that we can’t help how we feel, that every feeling is valid. That’s nonsense. Most of our feelings are 100% invalid. Most are just ways that our hearts lie to us. Most are just ways that we are filled with selfishness and pride and rebellion and sin. Yes, feelings can be sinful. And very many feelings are.

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