discipline · Discipline · Godly Character Traits · Refreshment

It’s the Little Things That Help

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Ever heard that it’s the little things that count? It’s so true!

I look at people who spend an hour or more working out at the gym and I groan.  That’s just not my style of working out.  Instead, I choose to walk the country roads of my neighborhood.  I also do a 15 minute calisthenics routine in attempt to tone my muscles.  While I might not be making the fast strides that those folks at the gym are making,  those little times of working out do help

I don’t spring clean my house each week, but every day I do something.  I may dust or mop the floors, clean the windows or scour the kitchen sink.  Also each night before I go to bed, I make sure that things are tidy and put away.  I might not clean everything all at once, but those little jobs keep my house in order every day.

Each morning for years I have read the Proverb for the day (there are 31 chapters, one that can be read each day of the month).  It doesn’t take long, but since I’ve made this a habit for so long, I can finish many verses before reading it.  Those little times of pouring God’s Word into my heart haven ingrained those practical truths into my heart. 

Memorizing Scripture passages takes time and I can only memorize one verse at a time.  I might only get one or two verses a week in my memory, but eventually I get the whole passage memorized by doing little bits, one verse at a time.

I attend women’s conferences twice a year and they are a blessing, but in order to help my spiritual growth, I create my own little daily “conference” by listening to Revive Our Hearts and Love Worth Finding.  That little time of hearing God’s Word while I get ready in the morning has probably done even more for me than conferences!

It really is all the little things that make my life richer – especially in spiritual matters.  It’s a reminder to me that I have no excuses for not doing what is right!  It doesn’t require BIG amounts of time (though when I can take more time, I want to take advantage of that!).  It really only requires making habits of doing little things consistently to have a life that is fulfilling and fruitful.  

When I look and see a tiny little bit more of a toned arm or a clean kitchen, I see how rewarding those little things were. But even more rewarding are the little things that push me towards being like Christ.  They all matter.  They all make a difference!

Are you taking time to do the little things?  If you’re not in the habit, pick one and watch the difference it makes in your life!

Family life · home · Motherhood · Parenting

Family Friday – The Price of Sparing the Rod

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When you bring a sweet little baby into your home, your last thoughts are about the time when you’ll need to correct them.  I mean, they’re so adorable and innocent when they’re little!  But those discipline days come sooner than you imagined, and you find yourself either taking up the rod and lovingly obeying Scripture, or you talk, reason, bribe and threaten until you’re sure someone will die in the process!

I can vividly remember one day with one of my daughters in which I learned a lesson the long, hard way.  She had been a “stinker” all day.  I had warned her and tried to use my words to correct her behavior  (using words as rods is just cruel!).  Late in the day I realized that I failed to obey God’s directives to take up the “rod,” and discipline her in love.  I pulled her to my lap and told her that what she was doing was sin, and that because she’d continued to disobey after my warning, I was going to have to give her a spanking because I loved her and didn’t want her to continue in her sin.  She bent over my lap and I administered the two or three swats with my little paddle.  She cried.  I cried.  I held her in my arms and we prayed that the Lord would help her obey.

Tears were wiped away and she merrily skipped on her way to continue her play.  She was so HAPPY!  Her attitude was completely transformed, as was our day!  It was as though she had been waiting for me to deal with her biblically to prove the amount of love I had for her.  

A parent who loves their child will discipline them as God disciplines us.  Over and out.  I had selfishly kept back from the training she needed.  But now, here she was, singing, playing, and happy after the loving rebuke.  She knew I loved her, and I had learned the lesson to give the correction when it was needed so we could both enjoy the child/parent relationship as God intended!

Do you find yourself frustrated as the parent of a young child?  Have you obeyed God’s Word and lovingly administered discipline?  It’s God’s way, and if used lovingly and consistently, will produce the results of leading a child to recognize their sin, and their need to repent – both to God and their parents.  Stop the frustration, and obey so your child can do the same!

Don’t lose heart; train your children with love and your relationship will be refreshed in unbelievable ways!

I read this article this week that was excellent.  I pray it will encourage you as a parent!

Lovingly,

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Parenting

Deal With It!

Recently as I was going through my prayer journal and praying for friends, I prayed for a family with a pre-teen son.  These are kind of hard days at their house.  Attitudes aren’t always what they’d hope they would be (wouldn’t we LOVE it if our children were compliant every single day?!).  I prayed for the child.  I prayed more for his parents.  I asked the Lord to give them strength, encouragement and a continued love for this child and this time in his life, and for endurance for them when his attitude crops up, that they will know how to deal with it.

 

I’m pretty sure there is no family that doesn’t go through some turbulence at one time or another during the teen years.  It’s normal.  I remember feeling at times like all was lost – but it wasn’t, and we all survived.  Every parent needs to remind themselves that children go through stages, and while they need to deal with the problems as they pop up, if they stay on their knees and keep a right heart, it really will be okay.

Can I go back and repeat something in that last paragraph?  They need to deal with the problems as they pop up.  Parents can’t ignore an issue, just because it seems to be a normal thing kids go through.  We may say,

“Every toddler has temper tantrums.”  “Every home-schooler has issues not wanting to do their school work.”  “Every teenager rebels”, so I’ll just let it go.  We all did those things, didn’t we? “

BUT if you ignore it, you’re only asking for a child who will be self-willed, demanding of their own way all their life, and who will never submit to the will of their loving God who has great plans for their life!

All we need to do is look at Eli in the book of Samuel.  He let his sons go on doing their sinful acts, and the situation only escalated for him and his sons alike!  Can we say DEATH?  Yes, the Lord ended their lives, due to their sinfulness and rebellion.

The Scriptures admonish parents to teach, teach, teach.  You’ll feel like a broken record, but it’s your job.  This doesn’t mean nagging.  Nagging is talk with no action until anger is stirred.  Teaching your child is instructing them how to do something, even giving an explanation of how and why.  Give a time limit.  Then expect follow-through.  You check up on the child.  If it hasn’t been done, then discipline follows.  You explain again and repeat the process, expecting obedience.  Maybe something like this:

  • “Joey, it’s 7:30, and you need to get up and be at the breakfast table by 8:00.  Please come dressed and ready for school with your bed made and your room picked up.”
  • At 8:00 when breakfast is served and there is no Joey is at the table, you go to his room and find he has rolled over and gone back to sleep.  You (calmly) wake him up and stand there while you ask him to get up right then.  Remind him of the request, and then let him know that because he disobeyed, he will go to bed 30 minutes earlier tonight since it seems like he didn’t get enough sleep.  Also for the time it takes him to get dressed, make his bed and clean up his room, he will miss out on some activity later in the day.

You must expect obedience and then mete out discipline for the lack of it.  The same would go with a temper tantrum or “meltdown.”  It might be normal for a child, but it should not allowed.  Don’t make excuses for them.  Deal with it consistently.

No parent should lose heart if they are dealing with sinful attitudes and actions in their child’s life – even if it has to be done over and over.  The time to lose heart is when you’ve given in to their sinful behaviors.  Don’t be an Eli and turn your head away.  Be a parent who loves your child enough to teach them what is right according to God’s Word. Then keep reminding yourself that if you deal with it consistently, it will pass, so don’t give up!

Does this make sense to you?  Is there a question that pops up when you read this?  Feel free to leave a comment!

Cheering you on,

Parenting

“Wait! Don’t Discipline Her!”

He that justifieth the wicked,
and he that condemneth the just,
even they both are abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 17:15

Does it scald you to hear that a just person was persecuted for something they didn’t do? When you learn that an innocent person was punished for a crime they didn’t do are you tempted to go on a rampage? It’s not fair. We want justice.

But now, let me ask you moms…are you just as adamant about seeing to it that the wrong that your child does IS punished? It’s the other side of this proverb – “He that justifies the wicked is abomination to the Lord. “Wicked” is the description of our heart according to Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? When we overlook the wicked, sinful things our child does, God hates it.

You may think you’re innocent of this parental sin, but will you consider one more question –

What do you do when your spouse steps in to discipline the wrong your child has done?  Our protective, mothering heart wants to jump in and intervene for our child, does it not? We hate to see them get a spanking, or anything that might cause pain or hardship. It’s tempting to step in and make an excuse for them. We may suggest they be given another chance. In so doing, we are justifying the wicked! I might add that we’re also stepping into the realm of showing disrespect to our husband’s authority and demeaning his leadership in our home. At the moments when we want to stop the discipline from happening, we must think the truth – that the wickedness needs to be dealt with, or we’ll be sinning against the Lord.

I can remember times when one of our girls would push the limit and disobey, and would earn the discipline that was promised if they crossed that line. My husband would step in and send them to their room. They knew what was coming, and so did I. They went to their room, and I headed to mine – at the other end of the house. I had to remove myself from the situation in order to be able to handle it. I would go and pray for both my husband and my daughter as the discipline took place.

If you’re asking, “What if the husband is going to give unfair punishment?” I’d answer by saying, make a loving request. You can be like Daniel and ask a question PRIVATELY. Asking him a question about the discipline in front of your child is again destroying his leadership. Go into another room and talk quietly. Ask a question. “Do you think this deserves the punishment you’re giving?” “Could we pray before you spank her?” Ask sweetly, then accept whatever he decides.

Remember that the principle of disciplining the wickedness is in order to turn your child’s heart to God. This reminds them of their need for Christ. To avoid the dealing with their sin, is to keep them from seeing their own wicked heart and their need for cleansing. That in itself can help us understand why the Lord wants us to let our child bear the consequence of their sin.

Don’t become guilty yourself by justifying the wrong your child does. Instead, make sure it’s dealt with. The Lord loves that and He loves your child…even more than you do! The reward and blessing will follow!

Are you ever tempted to defend the wrong your child does? When is it hardest for you?

With love,