Be sure to check out Week 3: Being Obedient – And Teaching Obedience.
Whether you like it or not, discipline is needed in life. “Discipline is the ability to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. Whether we’re talking about God’s discipline, a parent’s discipline, or self discipline, it really is a very good thing.” (61) Have you been disciplined by God recently? What about disciplining your kids? Are you lacking in the self discipline category?
Discipline – What is it?
Rules keep you safe and allow you to feel peace when everything around you is chaotic. The Lord disciplines those He loves. A corrected son brings delight to the soul. Discipline isn’t fun, but it is necessary.
God’s Discipline –
God disciplines you because He loves you. He wants you to be zealous for Him and repentant in heart. God wants to refine you and produce endurance. He wants to prove your faith so that you might bring about praise, glory, and honor for Jesus. I can think of a time when God protected my husband and I from buying a little house just after we were married. We wanted to buy the house, but someone else put a contract on it before we could. I was so sad! But if we had bought that house, then so many of God’s blessings would either have been very different or non-existent. I’m so grateful now that we stayed in our apartment!
Moms are notorious for being busy. But Reader, God wants you to quiet your soul with Him each day. Find that 20-30 minutes each day when you can give God your undivided attention. Isn’t He worth it? When raising kids it seems that schedules are always changing. Just this month I’ve had to begin meeting with God at a different time of the day than I used to. And I have two reasons for this. 1) My other meeting time was being forgotten, which wasn’t good. 2) I want my kids to see me meeting with God and making Him a priority.
Discipline in the Home –
Every family has its own view of child discipline. But one view all Christian families must have is this: Do It! God tells us to! You don’t want your kids turning into worthless adults like Eli’s sons were. I don’t want mine to either. “God has always taught His people through the natural or logical consequences of their actions.” (73) Be sure that your expectations have been clearly communicated to your children and then allow THEM to choose which way they should go. Just be ready to dish out the consequences if they choose to go against the expectations. What I struggle with is putting aside my emotions in the heat of the situation. I find that I have to make myself speak in a whisper which slows me and the child down so that I can get myself calm.
“Nurturing our children’s spiritual lives takes diligence, initiative, and time. There is no substitute for a parent’s role in their lives. Our kids need spiritual strength to face the evil in our culture. Consciously make teaching and training them in righteousness your highest priority.” (75)
Learning From One Another:
What was something that was new or significant to you from this week’s study?
For me, the saying, “No” to even little things was…well…huge. Christians are called to deny themselves…and that means saying, “No” to things that might not be best for me. What about you? Are you able to deny yourself and take up your cross?
The other thing that was significant to me was Daniel 1, where Daniel resolved in his heart to obey the Lord no matter what the consequences. He knew what he would do BEFORE he was in the situation and he stuck to his decision! How many times do I tell myself, This is what I’m going to do…only to change my mind while in the middle of the situation? UGH! I do this ALL the time when it comes to food. I’ll tell myself, OK. At the baby shower I will only eat vegetables and dip….but then I get there and I allow myself to eat a few chips, a small piece of cake, and punch. We have to make the effort to surrender everything to the Lord, even the little things. Everything we do must be in obedience to Him. That means I HAVE to say, NO to things at times.
Take the time to intentionally smile at the members of your family. Tell them you love them and how glad you are that God put you all together! We always need to be on the lookout for ways we can encourage our children. Be sure to “catch them” in the act of service and extending kindness to others. Be sure to reinforce these great behaviors.
(Please write your comment in the section below so others can add to the conversation and encourage as we learn from each other.)
What are some effective methods of discipline that you have used in your home? How do you maintain an appropriate attitude and stay strong while enforcing boundaries?
God’s Wisdom for a Mother’s Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth (all quotes come from this study)