Saturday, May 2, 2009

reNEW Your Mind: A Lesson on Child Discipline Based on God's Love

I believe I have the answer to EVERY problem in the world. No, I'm not exaggerating. I actually debated this with my husband once. Executing the solutions is another story. But, that's why we have each other to encourage and remind (and Lord knows I need a lot of reminding!). A little reminder and a whole lot of Grace and I get another chance to get it right. So, let me tell you about a Child Discipline solution I discover just through conversation with my aunt. As my Aunt and I are catching up, she starts expressing her concerns about her 4-year-old Grandson's behavior. We're talking serious things like language, acting out sexually, temperaments, and disrespect. She was angry and yelling at him while on the phone with me and all I could think was how awfully sad this situation was (especially for the boy). I reminded her that his behavior is a direct reflection of how he is being treated. He is learning from his environment... especially at such a young age. She tried to justify her action by telling me some of the discipline they've tried and how he should know better and how frustrated they were with him. And that's when it hit me. I said that must be how God feels when we disobey his direction. It must pain him to watch what he loves most needlessly suffer. We've got evidence in the old testament where he would get frustrated with his children's actions and threaten to destroy his creation all together (probably how my aunt was feeling). Just as God protects you, protect your child. Just as you've been instructed on how to live, instruct your child. Just as Christ set an example for you, set one for your child. Just as God warns you of what will happen if you don't follow his guidance, as a parent you should do as well. When you get yourself in trouble as a result of disobedience, God graciously forgives you and uses his power to help undo your situation.So, when your child messes up, show him or her where he went wrong (if he's not already learning the lesson through the results of his actions) and how to avoid it in the future. Give him or her an alternate choice, just as God does for you. And most important, Just as God forgives you when you mess up, forgive your child (and yourself). God is patient with you and he is kind to you. Be that way towards your child. My patience does wear thin sometimes but that's just a reminder that I need to re-focus. She said she never thought about it that way. I hope she will in the future and I hope she works on how she disciplines her grandson as well as set an example and provide a safe environment... and that you and I do the same.

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