Monday, 10 September 2012

Ten disciplines... part 3

The last couple of disciplines....

7. You shall discipline your children…

There is nothing worse than children who are badly behaved. There are no winners when you let your child get away with doing what they want and disobeying you. It may be easier for you to sit back and keep them happy by supplying their every want and letting them do whatever takes their fancy, but in the long run it will not only be detrimental to you as you’ll have far bigger authority issues to deal with later on, but it will also be detrimental for them. They need to learn that right and wrong exists and that there will always be consequences for their actions. There are lots of different ways that you can discipline your children, but the one thing that must be present is love. Discipline that is carried out in love can be used to help us to build up our boys and girls to be men and women of God. If we make sure that God is first in our lives and we are doing everything from this point, then we will be using the Holy Spirit as a guide and will be moving in discipline from a love point of view. Children need boundaries and we need to give them to them.

This isn’t something I am an expert at. I struggle as much as everyone else, especially as I have 4 boys and my eldest, who is almost 11, is so like me that it’s scary!! All of the things that I get annoyed at or that I shout at him for, are things I can identify in my life that are problem areas, so as I deal with him, I am having to deal with myself as well. But the main thing that makes me want to discipline my children in a God-glorifying way is that by showing them right and wrong, the consequences of their action and God’s love for them helps us to lead them to Christ and show them the gospel in their everyday life.

“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”

Proverbs 13:24

8. You shall be your children’s #1 encourager…

We all need encouragement. And believe me when I say that your children need it as much, if not more, than you do. If you think back at times in your life when you were worrying about something and somebody came along with a little word of encouragement, you can see how much it means to you. I’m sure that you can think of at least one person in your life, whether it was a parent, a teacher or a friend, who was always there when you needed a little pick-up and just had the right words to help you.

How wonderful would it be if our children could look back in 10 or 20 years and say “My Mum was always there for me and always encouraged me…” I want to be the encouragement my children need, to be there for them to talk to, to be there to give them advice and Scripture and to be there to prayer for and with them. There is nothing more wonderful than to see my son’s face when he has been worried about something and we’ve had a chat, and prayed Scripture together. The look of peace that comes over him helps me to understand exactly why I love being a mum!

“Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.”

Proverbs 12:25

9. You shall nurture your marriage…

One of the best things that we can do for our children is to make sure that our marriage is strong. Not only does it give them a sense of security, knowing that there family life isn’t about to fall apart, like so many in their class, but it also gives them a great example of what to look for when they enter that season of their own lives . So many people now don’t have a family behind them and so many are being brought up by single parents. If that is your situation then don’t despair – God has promised to be a Father to the fatherless and He will help you to do the best job that you can do. But if you are part of a couple, then I urge you to make sure you put time and effort into your marriage, strengthening your family and your children as you seek to glorify God. If you want help with this we have a special marriage group where we work through challenges, like the Love Dare or 31 Days of Praying for your Husband, and just encourage each other in our marriage journey. If you want to join in let me know!

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

Colossians 3:23

10. You shall make each day fun…

Yet again we are reminded how very special each day with our children is. Each day here on earth is a gift from God, even though we know how amazing heaven is going to be!! But for us now, as humans who love the fellowship and fun that we have with family and friends, each day here is a gift which we need to make the most of. With children we can have plenty of days that we just wish would end – I know because I had one yesterday!! – but it is so important to stop , take a good look at what the problem is and give it and the day to God. It is amazing how 5 minutes of peace and prayers can make your day take a different turn and can brighten up even the darkest hour. Let’s make our days fun and give our children memories that will last a lifetime!!

“This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

Hope you enjoyed this section of the series – I have certainly been challenged!! Tomorrow I’ll post some links to a few wonderful blogs and sites that have some great articles on raising children and some great encouragement for mums.

Keep shining… J

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