March 3, 2013

Children Obey Your Parents In the Lord For This Is Right

With all the formatting changes I've made to my blog recently I also desire to change some things concerning content.  I’ve had a lot of fun posting all sorts of things the kids and I are learning during our time together each day.  I have noticed though, that I have posted far more about activities we are doing instead of the spiritual discussions we have.  I want to make active efforts to change that and I have an idea.

I am starting a series called Moments with Mommies. I would love to start each week highlighting God’s grace in a mom who is striving for righteousness and desires to raise their children to love Jesus.  I want these posts really focus in on applying the gospel to parenting.  I want moms to talk about real life stuff, the every day, the nitty-gritty.  However, I do NOT want my blog to become a source of contention for anyone so I want to avoid posts and comments that center around individuals’ opinions on “mommy war” topics.  In an effort to get the ball rolling I want to share with you about how we have been trying to apply Ephesians 6:1 over the past few months.

My cheerful, courageous, cuddle bear is 18 months old and my daughter, who will be three in a couple of months, is beautiful, bright and very spirited.  She recently has begun the habit of yelling “NO” at me when she doesn’t like the instructions I’ve given her.  I’ve found that the odds of me raising my voice in response to her far exceed the times I choose to remain composed.  Sometimes I spank her immediately because I am angry about her disrespect towards me.

It’s then that I realize that the basis of my response comes from an idol of control in my own heart.  My angry response to my daughter communicates to her that her offense is primarily towards me.   When, in all actuality, her chief offense is disobeying a holy and righteous God who communicates clearly through scripture that children should honor their father and mother.  If I can think rightly about her sin and what is going on in her heart, then I can also remind her of the saving work of Jesus.  Once I am able to speak truth to her, I am also more likely to address her disrespectful attitude in a calm manner.  And, if I decide her actions are worthy of a spanking, I can administer it in love and with proper restraint.

By God’s grace, He has been helping us to memorize Ephesians 6:1 and recently I’ve tried incorporating it into our conversation when she disobeys.  Here is a series of questions we typically go through now that have proved helpful in directing her heart (and my own). 

“Honey, are you choosing to obey or disobey mommy right now?”  Disobey.
“What does Eph 6:1 say about this?” Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.
“When you disobey, does that make God happy or sad?”  Sad.
“Let's ask God to forgive you?”  God, I’m sorry for disobeying you.
“Hey hun, did you know that because of Jesus, God can forgive you?” ~Usually she gives a small smile here.
“When you disobey mommy, does it make mommy happy or sad?”  Sad.
“Can you ask me to forgive you?”  Mommy, will you forgive me?
“Yes! I forgive you and I love you!!!!!”  ~And usually I get a BIG hug here!

What about you?  Please share with us some scriptures you use to direct your child's heart to obedience in the heat of the moment.


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