48 posts

Schoolwork – Getting it Done

Trust in the LORD with all your heart        and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him,        and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5&6 The following request came in from one of our readers. I'd like to see you address the topic of motivation in schoolwork sometime on your blog. How do we use the Scriptures to instill in our kids a motivation to do their best in their studies? What form should discipline take for children who do not apply themselves the way they should? This is a topic that nearly every parent, and certainly every child, is familiar with.  "It's time to do your schoolwork." The response is usually not […]

Facebook & Your Time

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. ESV Colossians 4:5   Due to an excellent observation in a comment from Jenny, this post will address another issue regarding Facebook. Your comments and thoughts are valuable. There have been a number of good suggestions for posts in the last couple of weeks and, Lord willing, we will get to them all. Jenny raised an important consideration in her comment. She raised the concept of “me time.” As Christians our lives are to be centered on bringing honor to the name of God in all that we do. (I Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17, etc.) Our culture inundates us with the idea that our first need is to […]

Follow up on Adornment and Toddlers

Stacy, thank you for your comment. You are certainly not alone in asking this question. First, if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read carefully chapter 15 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart. This chapter explains fundamental biblical truth regarding the use of the rod, including the issue you raise. While spanking is essential, it is only one component of a biblical methodology of parenting. Spanking must be practiced in the context of you and your husband daily praying for God’s blessing on your children, and praying for God’s help to be faithful in both preventative and remedial discipline. Also, Deuteronomy 6 makes it clear that God is to be a part of the conversation of everyday life in your family. Talk about the issues you expect to face each day. Pray with your children in advance about areas where their behavior indicates struggles of the heart.
In addition to reading chapter 15 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, you might want to look also at Chapters 2 and 4 of Everyday Talk. Those two chapters form the background for the post on which you commented. Pleasant words and discipline are an essential combination.
More specifically, let me draw your attention to a comment in chapter 15. On page 144, after noting an up-and-down behavior cycle in his children, Tedd makes the observation: “One day it dawned on us! We produced the cycles.” Your child is not living in a vacuum. His responses are connected to your responses. While he is accountable before God for his sins, it is also true that his world is dominated by his parents. What makes this negative for children on occasion is that parents often live in survival mode—they survive one incident of difficult behavior and just wait and hope that they can survive the next one. Sound familiar??? This kind of relational climate in the home does not lend itself to productive biblical discipline. It is not the setting that Deuteronomy 6 envisions.
The glory and honor of God must be at the center of your home, and you must have a vital experience of relying on God’s help in both good time and difficult times. You recognized this when you were “crying out to the Lord for wisdom.” But it is just as important to take delight in God’s presence when a meal goes well, for example, as when there is disobedience. The Scriptures are designed to give you confidence and joy as you follow God’s ways of living (including discipline). If you are discouraged, down, overwhelmed, or uncertain when you begin the discipline process, particularly when spanking is required, don’t expect good results. The practice of biblical discipline is a blessing and privilege. It weeds out rebellion and discontent, and cultivates the peaceful fruit of righteousness. It is not something to dread. Proverbs 22:15 is a wonderful verse to memorize with your children in this light.
Toddlers have a great capacity to intimidate parents. Soon a parent hesitates to speak a word of correction because she fears it will lead to discipline that does not appear to accomplish anything. All too often, the result from this scenario is an angry, defiant, weepy child and a distraught, bewildered parent who is balancing on a thin line of discouragement and anger. Good times? Not for anyone! So when the precious toddler challenges your authority the next time, you think twice before going down the black hole of discipline again. Parents, this is not what God intends! You must be persuaded that what you are doing is what God wants. If it seems not to be working, don’t doubt God’s methods. Consider whether you are applying God’s principles effectively, and if you are, be patient and persevere. Your spirit must be one of loving confrontation born out of love for God and your child.
Stacey, let me know your response. Thanks for bringing this up. May God use this interchange to help many parents faced with this same situation.

Good Question

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 Comment from Rob: I appreciate your ministry. Thanks for calling on Dads to be Dads. I have a question regarding discipline. I come from a family that has severely strained relationships on all fronts. Mom vs. Dad, kids vs. parents, everyone vs. everyone. When I came to Christ my relationships improved, but the strain is still there and my wife and I are working on that. This strain is what makes the following situation difficult. We have a 19 month old son and when we visit my parents, he needs to be corrected. Correcting him is no problem for my […]

Adornment and Toddlers

When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring. Proverbs 16:15 Thanks to Omar for sending in the following question: What advice do you have in helping a two year old to view discipline as “an adornment” and not merely as correcting bad behavior? This refers to a post from last January. One purpose of the blog is to provide an archive of topics and issues that will be a practical resource for families. Your comments and questions are always welcome. Omar, this is a good question. First, your own countenance matters. You must believe that your child is being adorned by your words and discipline. Proverbs 16:15 teaches that the countenance […]

It’s Not Natural

For wisdom will enter your heart,   and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Proverbs 2:10 The wise in heart are called discerning,   and pleasant words promote instruction. Proverbs 16:21 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3 This is the final post in this series about pleasant words and communicating the Gospel. I am also responding to comments left by Shannon and Ann. Thank you both for sending them. In the last post I focused on the futility of attempting to reason with […]

How I Hated Discipline

How I Hated Discipline 11 At the end of your life you will groan,        when your flesh and body are spent. 12 You will say, "How I hated discipline!        How my heart spurned correction! 13 I would not obey my teachers        or listen to my instructors. 14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin        in the midst of the whole assembly." Two recent posts made a connection between the problems of midlife and the problems parents face in childrearing. It is encouraging to see that God so wonderfully provides for the issues of midlife in his Word. And also, it is essential to see that what […]

Midlife: A Portrait #2

Powerful Personal Interpretations and Your Children In this brief series of posts we are taking advantage of the excellent work done by Paul Tripp in his book Lost in the Middle. One thing that Paul and Tedd Tripp have made abundantly clear in their writings is that it is the heart that drives us as people. This is true for people of all ages. Whether it is in mid life, in the toddler years, in youth or in old age, humans are heart driven people. People seek the treasures that their hearts long for. Christ clearly teaches about this relationship between treasures and heart in Matthew 6:19-21: 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust […]