When we are disciplining and discipling (I guess it's a verb?) our children, our motive is to train them in the ways of the Lord. Well, what better way to train them than to use the ultimate training manual, right? God's Word.
God has been convicting me lately because I've been hesitant to use Bible verses when it comes to discipline. The thought that goes through my mind is "I don't want them resenting God's Word because I'm constantly using scripture to back up my method of parenting." I don't know how that even comes across to you, but now that the statement has gone from my head to being typed on the computer, it sounds pretty ludicrous to me. This was just a tactic that Satan was using to place fear in my mind and heart so that I would cower to him and not step up to my God-given responsibility. God wants me to base everything upon Him. Duh!
Deuteronomy 6:6,7 reads, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."
A part of training our children will involve punishment for wrong behavior. However, it is more than that. It is coming along side our children with respect and opening God's Word to teach and train. When we present God's Word with love to our children and humbly try to live pleasingly to the Lord, God will bless that. We aren't beating it over their heads and demanding that they submit. We are presenting the gospel and righteousness to our children in love and submission to the Father.
Here's an instance that occurred in our home lately. We have a child who has a tendency to be short tempered. This child is aggressive when overcome with anger. God again spoke to me about using scripture to help this child. I made an opportunity to sit down and discuss this child's behavior. We talked about how Christ would react in certain situations. Then I encouraged this child to ask God for help and said that we could find a verse together to memorize that would remind us of how to not be angry. This child was smiling (yes, smiling) and quickly asked to lead in the prayer before we looked up our new verse. It took five minutes or less to have this conversation. Now, whenever the undesired behavior is demonstrated, I say, "Psalm 37:8." Then, we recite the verse together. So far, this child will immediately have a change of attitude, apologize for her wrong doing, and yes smile.
Amazing! Isn't scripture wonderful? It takes the burden off of us as the parents for our children's outcome. We should never underestimate the power of God through His Word and the Holy Spirit. I would like to encourage you today to start when your children are young and instill God's Word in them. You can never start too early!
Stay tuned for an upcoming post on other ways that we teach God's Word in our home....