Over the years Jon and I have tried to have a plan for teaching and discipline for our kids. Recently with moving we noticed some patterns in our kid’s lives that were not being addressed. After having an “after-the-kids-are-asleep-parenting-date-talk” we came up with some ideas that I thought I’d share with any of you who may be in the same boat as us….rethinking some of what is being done that needs tweaking and some of what isn’t being done that needs to be added in parenting our kids biblically. (by God’s GRACE!)
The first thing Jon had us do is pray and read Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (familiar but a good reminder! Always remembering that God’s word is living and active, read verses you’ve seen a million times before because they can still speak to you!)
English Standard Version (ESV)
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Recognizing dependence on God and reminding ourselves of our goal we were ready to dive into our discussion.
Jon asked me to write down the header: 4 main issues that need be addressed. (4 is not a magic number…just a starting place!) And for every family this list will be somewhat different because as we all know, despite the common denominator of a sinful heart, children express this heart in many varying ways and at different ages.
1. Disrespect- talking back (role-reversal, I know better than you mom or dad)
2. lack of self-control (I almost laugh at this, but honestly kid’s need to learn some self-control—this is a good one for leading up to talking about the gospel with your kids because without Jesus they can’t do it!)
3. Insisting on own way (this fits with talking back a little, but goes further into when the child knows you’ve said no but tries to manipulate the situation, cries to get their way, or simply will give you a stubborn reply)
4. Excuses, Deception, changes story- (lying is the underlying deal with this one!)
Next Jon asked me to write down this header: General guidelines for consequences. I will not specify here the all types of discipline we use, but hopefully you will get the gist 🙂 –Proverbs 13:24
1.lying gets __________. This one has strong consequences!
2.willful disrespect first gets a discussion on what was said, how it was wrong and what the bible says. If it happens again (within a particular circumstance) there’s automatic discipline. The third time gets discipline and a consequence that has to do specifically with the mouth.
3.Hitting or hurting others on purpose gets automatic discipline and removal for a specified time period. Acting out during the time of solitariness equals another consequence and the time starts over.
After coming up with these two lists we wanted to take some time to look at some RED FLAGS in how we parent, so that we could better implement teaching and consequences. Here’s a small list of just a few:
1.Allowing too many “warnings”- we need to work on follow through (having the plan above should help with this because the kids will have spelled out for them exactly what’s expected and what the consequences are) We don’t want our children to be easily provoked by OUR inconsistency!
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and
Instruction of the Lord.
2. Scolding- not sure where I got off thinking I could correct my kids with frustration or just plain old bad tone! Here’s my definition of scolding- correcting based on parent’s personal anger, frustration or annoyance which displays itself in a bad tone of voice and possible careless use of words and correction.
3. Not pulling out the bible and talking about the gospel and taking advantage of every opportunity. No matter how much we already do this, there’s ALWAYS room for improvement and doing it more! One thing I want to work on is physically bringing out the bible and showing my kids (whether they can read or not) EXACTLY what the bible says about their sin, consequences and the cross! The authority doesn’t come from me, but God. It’s a good visual reminder for them. (AND ME!)
4. No reactionary discipline! If I discipline without thinking first I probably don’t have the right purpose in mind for why I am disciplining.
Here are some questions that help me see if this could be true:
Am I angry?
Are they interrupting something I’m doing or keeping me from something I want to do?
Are they embarrassing me?
Are they doing something for the 50th time that day and I’ve had it up to here!?
None of these are excuses for me to parent foolishly…they are a good spiritual temperature gauge of something going on in my own heart! Not to say what the kid did wasn’t necessarily wrong, but getting my heart right first before discipline IS HUGE!
The next thing Jon wants us to do is sit down and come up with 1-2 bible verses that are particularly applicable for each issue that we can share with the kids and help them memorize. Here’s are some we’ve used in the past:
Proverbs 12:22- Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
Proverbs 1:8-Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching
James 1:20- for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Eph 6:1- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Col 3:23-24- Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance, as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Ephesians 4:32- And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Galatians 5:22-23- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Romans 5:8- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing
Ephesians 2:8-9- For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast
Philippians 4:6-7- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:23- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Proverbs 3:5-6- Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Ephesians 4:29- Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Proverbs 26:14- a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggardon his bed.
Proverbs 22:15 –Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
In conclusion I want to share some of the wise insights my husband shared with me at the end of our conversation….
1. We will be less tempted to give into wrong emotions if our parenting is consistent and biblical.
2. When we sit down with our kids at our family meeting one of the first things we should do is apologize to them and ask for forgiveness for the times we have not been consistent and have disciplined wrongly/sinfully.
3. We should remind ourselves that we do NOT discipline because of: annoyance, anger or disappointment… But, because we love and want to obey the Lord and because we love our children and want to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Here’s your opportunity to hold us accountable and maybe even reanalyze your parenting like we are.
Treasuring my home,
Here are some great books on Parenting:
1. Shepherding a Child’s Heart By:Tedd Tripp
2. Don’t Make Me Count to Three (specifically for Moms) By: Ginger Plowman
3. Age of Opportunity- specifically for teen years (we read this when we were youth leaders) By: Paul David Tripp
4. Instructing a Child’s Heart (haven’t read yet but heard it’s great!) By: Tedd Tripp
5. Gospel-Powered Parenting (on my to-buy list) By: William P. Farley
Great books and bibles to read with your young kids, teens and adult children:
1. The Princess and the Kiss By: Jennie Bishop (for girls ages 5+ – purity)
2. The Squire and the Scroll By: Jennie Bishop (for boys ages 5+ – purity)
3. Girl Talk By: Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre (teen daughters)
4. Lies Young Women Believe By: Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh (teen daughters)
5. God’s Wisdom for Little Girls By: Elizabeth George (ages 3-8 my daughter loves this book) (principles from Pr 31)
6. God’s Wisdom for Little Boys By: Jim and Elizabeth George (ages 3-8) (principles from Proverbs)
7. Worldliness Edited By: CJ Mahaney (middle and high school guys and girls- Jon did this with youth group small group and it was great)
8. Girls Gone Wise By: Mary Kassian (teen-college age)