Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Raising Responsive Children

God is so faithful, and gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.  I actually started the above bible study over a year ago.  I was attending a weekly meeting at church on Thursdays, and doing the homework during the week.  I only got through the first few weeks, and then I had Micah, and lengthy studies became non-existent for awhile. 

I did Esther, by Beth Moore last spring, and also couldn't finish it (this time, just for lack of discipline), but completed it over the summer and was extremely blessed.  You can see how God spoke to me during a hard time here, while completing the study. 

Anyways, after completing Esther, I took some time off bible studies and read through some books of the bible.  2 Corinthians, Titus, Jude, some Psalms to name a few.  I just love God's word, but I could feel myself getting out of the act of disciplined daily reading, so I picked this book up to complete (I hate unfinished projects!!).  Wow how He has blessed me in it!  I remember thinking it started a little slow last fall, because I want to learn about disciplining my children, and it began with chapters (not just a day or two) on the Ultimate Parent (God), the Model Son, the Marriage, Getting to know you, the Homefront, etc.  I learned a lot, but didn't actually get the bulk of what I needed, but I also didn't keep going.  Now, I've finished the homefront, No Greater Joy, and am now working through the Art of Godly Discipline, and I have been beyond blessed.  And He's not just speaking to me on disciplining my children, but also on being disciplined myself.  In how I use my words and my tongue, how I am supposed to only uplift, be gentle, restrained and honest.  Those of you who know me in real life know I have struggled with this.  It has gotten better with age, but it is still a daily battle.  Here are some verses I chewed on a lot today to hopefully uplift you:

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath; but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 6:4 (NLT) Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.  Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

It went onto teach how a rebuke based on God's Word is so effective (Hebrews 4:12-13), and talks of teaching scripture as a pre-emptive tool.  We have been dealing lately a lot with specifically blatant disobedience (I tell C not to do something, and then she says OK and does it anyway). I know part of it is age, and part of it is she is still in training as this book puts it.  "They're not going to 'get it' the first, second, or third times.  They will test.  They will forget.  As adults, we're the ones who must be consistent with repetitive training." 

I can't wait to do tomorrow's study, disciplining with strength and dignity (as the Proverbs 31 woman does). 

God, please continue your good work in me.  Help me to know what my children's specific and individual needs are and how to meet them through practicing your Word.  "Teach me to rebuke with discernment, kindness, and respect, to verbally correct them with strength and dignity.  Put a guard on the door of my lips, Lord, so that I honor You with its right and righteous use."

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