This post week’s post I pray will give some insight to everyone, especially to those of us who have children. When it comes to training up a child, there are some things that have to be nonnegotiable. I’ve been learning this the hard way, and I guess am still learning. It’s often difficult for me to tell my children, No. Moms and dads love to please their children and you grandparents can take this to another level! August the eighteenth is my oldest daughter’s birthday and she’ll be ten years old. Emma Grace is daddy’s bundle of joy; God bless her soul. And as her father, I have to instill certain principles into her life preparing her to become a successful young lady. I want Emma Grace and her sister, Ella, to possess the godly character that Jesus has entrusted me to develop in them.
Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
This is one of my favorites Bible verses and I’ll tell you why. I often joke with with parents who come to me for counseling regarding their children that training up a child in the way that they should go is like the Campbell Soup commercial, It’s in there! When we start our children off the right way by teaching them Godly principles. The Bible says that even though they may depart from it, they can return to their teaching because like Campbell Soup, It’s in there. In other words, they have a well in which to draw from and don’t you want to make sure your child’s well is full with the Word of God?
Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
This is another one of my favorite verses but it can be a little touchy for most parents until I walk them through the meaning and purpose of this scripture. I liken the “rod of correction” to those teachable moments we need to take when we find our children being disobedient or getting off track. A parent needs to take the time to teach, instruct and develop the core values between right and wrong. Children need to know that there are consequences for inappropriate behavior. The “do as I say not as I do” approach doesn’t work. Our children catch far more from us than what we teach them. When parents don’t model the behavior they desire from their children and refuse to exact consequences when needed, they become a living contradiction in their child’s eyes. There have been times that I have given my daughters a tap on their hands or bottoms, and trust me the few times that the consequences required this discipline, me being upset with them impacted them more then the tap they received.
I’ve seen a lot of parents put off discipline and teachable moments only because they couldn’t be interrupted from what they were doing … like washing clothes, preparing a meal or watching television. You know, the important stuff that has to get done! My grandmother raised me and she taught me how to cook, wash clothes, sew, iron, shine shoes and to coordinate what I wore. She said, son if you get married it won’t be because you don’t know how to do for yourself. I would hear these two sayings come from grandma’s mouth twice everyday;MONEY DON’T GROW ON TREES, BOY and GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY, meaning do what’s right. Guess what two things I grew up realizing, MONEY DON’T GROW ON TREES, BOY and GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY.
The rod of correction is not putting off what’s needed and it’s more then physical discipline. It is taking the needed time to train you children for life. When parents put off disciplining (correcting) their children time and time again, before too long frustration will set in and your anger may get the best of you. If you try to admonish your children then, you’ll discover things go south real quick. That’s when the rod of correction becomes hurtful and not helpful. But more importantly, your inconsistency will promote rebellious behaviors and shut down communication. Keeping the communication lines open between you and your children is essential to training them up in the way that they should go.
Keeping the the communication lines open with our children helps in so many ways. It promotes the development of a teachable spirit. When we allow our children to express their feelings and emotions freely, it gives them a healthy sense of belonging and fulfills their desire to feel significant and have fun. They learn that they’re valued and to trust their parents. Our children learn that they don’t have to shut down or go inward in an attempt to be noticed or discover who they are. When that happens they seek the comfort and support outside the family unit, and it is usually not from a positive influence. I discovered that my daughters, at an early age, became embarrassed when I scold them in front of other others. Before I knew it, their behavior would become aggressive and so would mine. You know the one up principle. Believe it or not, I thought that I could shame my children into compliance. Not true, and what you enter into is what we call in police work – high risk and low gain. Meaning, shaming doesn’t really work so the gain is low and shaming is detrimental to the child so the risk is high. I was trained never to enter into a high risk low gain situation in law enforcement and I think it should be heeded in parenting too.
It’s so important for parent to connect and be in tune emotionally with their children. How often do you take the time to talk to your children? Do you allow them to interrupt you when needed or are you so busy around them that they go unnoticed? Are you allowing them to slip under your radar’s watchful eye? Before you and I can successfully apply the principle, it’s nonnegotiable, we must make sure we are training our children in the way that they should go. It is the foundation needed to be able to set Godly standards principles in your home and have the strength to stick by them … more on this next week.