Simplified. As I have stated on a few occasions, simple does not mean easy.
Matthew 7:12 is a one-liner from the Sermon on the Mount: “In everything you do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
The Golden Rule is repeated, even more simply, in Luke 6:13.
“Do to others has you would have them do to you.”
Sounds a little too simple, perhaps, but this command is really the foundation of attachment parenting.
The practice of attachment parenting is, in the larger picture of the Christian life, a response to the call of Christ in how we respond to all of the human race. To our neighbours and our brothers and sisters, heathens, sinners and saints alike.
But we have a very particular responsibility to exercise respect for the dignity of the human person with the children that we have been given. I do not want to be hit, to be yelled at, ignored, shamed or ridiculed. I do not want to be set apart from others when I am naughty. And sometimes I am. Sometimes I yell, sometimes I say stupid things, sometimes I hurt others.
Sometimes, perhaps worst of all, I have done these things out of malice and even premeditation. And when I have, when I fail, when I sin….I would hope that it would be my Christian brothers and sisters, my family and my spouse that would love my through my sin, chastise me gently, explain, hold, care and forgive me.
And I am better able, then, to give that back to them. I am strengthened through their love, tenderness and forgiveness. If I do to them as I would have them do to me, I would love and be tender, explain and forgive. And so it must be that they are strengthened and formed as Christian lovers, friends, mentors, neighbours and, my friends, as Christian parents.
Pope John Paul II wrote a book, some time before he became Pope, called Love and Responsibility. It is really a book on the inherent dignity of human sexuality, but it addresses this subject by addressing the universality of the dignity of the human person. While there are certainly less pithy works out there that one could read on attachment parenting, it is comprehensive on the subject of dignity and respect for the individual.
It was a profound and life changing book for me.
And this, from Humanae Vitae (for the uninitiated, an encyclical letter from Pope Paul VI in response to birth control being widely available in the sixties).
29. Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ; but this must always be joined with tolerance and charity, as Christ Himself showed in His conversations and dealings with men. For when He came, not to judge, but to save the world, (John 3:17) was He not bitterly severe toward sin, but patient and abounding in mercy toward sinners?
The golden rule. Do to others as you would have them do to you. So simple, so challenging. So worth it.