How many of us have experienced this scenario?
We spend weeks training our 2, 3 or 4 year old to obey in a certain area. We discipline when they disobey and we encourage when they do obey. There is a break through and they seem to Get It that obedience every time is MUCH MORE WORTH IT than disobeying, even occasionally. We stay on top of things believing that we’ve arrived and things are great. We’ve conquered this child training thing. At least for a while.
Then life gets in our way. Little Sally isn’t as quick to obey as she used to be. We may not notice as we fold clothes or play on Facebook. We don’t pick up on the little hints in her facial expressions that alert us to the devious thoughts in her child’s mind. We don’t pay attention to the fact that we are now having to tell her to do or not do something several times before she VERY GRUDGINGLY obeys, and then only half-heartedly. We become oblivious to this until one day we find yourselves angry, possibly yelling, when she doesn’t obey after we’ve told her 5 times!
It is time to pick ourselves up and remember the goal and focus in our child training. We need to evaluate our lives and where our priorities have gotten off course.
- Have we been spending too much time playing games on Facebook to notice the sin creeping into our children’s hearts?
- Have we gotten so enrapt in the fun of our Kindles that we miss the rebellion rising in our little one’s minds?
- Have we poured more time into the Blogosphere than allows us to stay on top of attitude problems in our children?
- Have we, in our desire to be more organized, spent all of our focus on keeping the house tidy and in order while neglecting the subtle changes in our children’s countenance toward us?
We need to take stock of OUR lives and confess where we’ve gotten off track and return to the place where we once were.
But there is one more thing. We need to apologize to our children for OUR unfaithfulness in training and disciplining them according to how God has called us! We need to ask their forgiveness for not bringing the discipline when they have disobeyed and tell them that we are looking to obey God more faithfully as we will be asking them to obey us.
Then, with communication and planning alongside our husbands, we settle our hearts before God and “rise again” to walk in obedience to the Word in raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
This will be a pattern that we will walk for the rest of our child rearing years. None of us ever stay fully on top of where we are supposed to be or what we are supposed to be doing. We might be derailed by illness or ministry, by unfaithfulness or sin on our parts. But we do NOT have to sink into despair that we’ve blown it forever. That is a lie from the enemy. God is in the business of redemption. He redeems our failures and weaknesses as well as our sin when we confess and repent! So let’s “rise again” to raise our children for the glory of the Lord!
When was the last time YOU took stock of your children’s heart of obedience? Do YOU need to refocus your priorities and make training your children in godly character a major focus once again?