Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Discipline is a Good Pain

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

Discipline is hard. It takes consistency, perseverance, and time! But, I'm taking heart because these verses say that the reward will come later. I may not even see the results right now (which I admit is a little disheartening), but He says they will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Discipline is a pain to our kids, but it's a pain to us as parents, too. It gives meaning to the cliche' "No pain, no gain." Our willingness to jump in and train our children is one of the biggest acts of love we can give them. Though they might not like it right now, eventually, they will see that our training and correction came from a heart of love.

If you're in the same world I'm in at the moment, take heart. Discipline isn't pleasant at the moment, but it will provide great rewards in the end. Just as the Lord disciplines those He loves, (Prov. 3:12) we take the time, love and care to discipline those we love with consistency and perseverance.

In our training, please protect our words and actions. I pray that the things we do and say will not be twisted by our children, but that you will allow the discipline to penetrate their hearts so that they will understand how much You love them. Give us the energy and courage to discipline consistently. Thank you for never tiring of training us. In Jesus Name...

Blessings as you train the next generation!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When I Give Up...He Doesn't: Why I Love Jesus Part 3

PhotobucketI love Jesus because when I’m overwhelmed with my faults, He quietly cheers me toward a better way instead of giving up on me.

It has been one of those weeks (actually several weeks) that I’ve noticed everything I’ve done wrong. Like that pile of tipped hurdles, the failures have been obvious in my mind. Some of my missed hurdles...

* I am so inconsistent! And all the books say that one of the most important things in parenting is to be consistent.
* I regularly pounce on things that don’t really matter, missing the positive and magnifying the negative in my husband and kids.
* When I do correct things that matter, I often attack them which pushes them away instead of gently showing them the way they should go. (“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”Prov. 15:1)
* I trudge through my “mom duties” waiting for a pat on the back rather than cooking, cleaning, and loving with thankfulness. It’s amazing that I even have a family. I want to serve them with a grateful heart.

And today, a not only knocked the hurdle over, but I crashed and burned. I began to understand that I am notorious for trying to cover my mistakes. After a conversation with my daughter about her refusal to accept responsibility for her part of an issue, I soon realized that I was naming my own sin as I pointed out what I thought was monopolized by my daughter.

I want my children to apologize, to speak respectfully when they are confronted, to learn from their mistakes, but I have been so busy covering my tracks that I am quick to lash out with harsh words, often slow to apologize, and slow to accept my responsibility. That’s quite the opposite of James 1:19: “…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” I have much to learn. I can feel hopeless.

Where’s the Hope?
I have a tendency to give up on me, but He keeps quietly pursuing me. The hope in all this for you and me is that at our worst, He is still for us. Jer. 31:3 says: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.” He hasn’t forced Himself on me, but has rather consistently drawn me closer to Himself by helping me see how much I need Him (i.e. all those hurdles). He is able to love us through the race and grow us to new heights in our relationship with Him and with others.

When I am crippled by my own sin, confession leads the way to healing and growing. I started the apologies this morning for tracks I had tried to cover. Already, as I began to share my struggle and ask forgiveness, I have felt the rockslide of guilt begin to lighten.

If you’re struggling with your own inadequacies, ask God to show you where you are stubbornly wanting your own way; confess those areas; then look to Him who is not only able to help, but wants to help. He is, in fact, at this very moment, quietly cheering you on to a better walk each day.

Something to do with the kids:

1. Talk about some things that are causing you to struggle. Ask your kids what seems difficult things they are facing. Talk about how these verses can help you overcome the hurdles in your life.
Jeremiah 31:3
Colossians 3:17
James 3:17
James 4:8
James 4:10

2. Take one of the verses above and make it "yours."

Running the race...


Way to go Brittlea on a great hurdling season!! I loved watching you! - Mom