Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Discipling Children

My Heritage, My Children

“Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

The season I am currently in in my life is raising children. This is no easy task with 4 under the age of 8, 3 of which are under the age of 4. There is no single day that I go to bed thinking, “Wow, I actually got that right”. Instead, I do what most parents do as they lay in bed, drifting off to that longed for sleepy wonder—I ask, “How did I fail so miserably today, Lord”?

Failure may be a strong word. I am in no means a failure with my children. But, I am a failure as a human. We all are. Every day I wake with the intention of following Christ to the very best of my ability and every day I realize with a lump in my throat that my very best simply isn’t the best at all.

Only His way is best, only His way yields good results. I must simply train my children in the way they should go and lay them in His hands; for they are truly His children.

I have a hard time putting this into practice sometimes. Take for example the day that the 2 year wrote on every single wall in the house; and of course not with pencil but with marker. Or how about the other day when I found my missing package of gum behind the dresser in the boy’s room, with chewed up gum and wrappers all over the floor; only to find out the 7 year old had stolen the gum and chewed every piece and spit it behind the dresser. Really? Who does that?

I’ll tell you who, we do; sinners. I have an even harder time remembering that they are simply human, just as I am. They make mistakes, and they need proper instruction. So, how do we properly instruct our children in the way they should go? Do I half-heartedly say, “Oh, kids will be kids, no big deal”? Or, “how cute is that, she was drawing a mural on the wall”? Um, no, that is the earthly way.

I shall have no part in this earthly world. I shall take myself out of this world and place myself where Christ calls me; as a godly mother rearing my children in admonition to Him. How do I do this, 2 ways: consistent biblical instruction and discipline. They go hand in hand. Nothing we do can come from what we ‘feel” is best or what we “saw on TV” or even what someone “told” us is the way to do it.

God gives us a handbook on life, it’s called the Bible. The bible explicitly tells us what we can and cannot do, what we should abstain from and gives us the tools to raise our children, properly.

So what do I do when my children misbehave or disobey in a deliberate act, well that’s simple; I discipline. Does that discipline always mean a spanking? Absolutely not! But, there are times that call for this kind of action. I look around at the world we live in now, the one in which the government says we cannot spank our children and all I see is evil continuing to spread. I see a world that is so out of control; teenagers pregnant, youth in prisons, parents giving up their responsibility to the “daycare”.

My children, I hope, will love and honor us. I hope, they will see that the way we raised them was contrary to their friends, to what the world may say is right. But, in God’s us, in His law, His word is right, always.

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

This is what I hope to do. Instill truth in them. Instill love from the only holy and powerful God. I hope to stand before Him one day and hear him say, “well done true and faithful servant” and I hope that my children hear this as well.


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