Using God’s Word to Correct in Your Family

Using God's Word to Correct in Your Family

Reboot.
Or maybe boot camp.
Something of a control-alt-delete sequence is how this parenting class has felt for me.

My husband and his friend have been leading a parenting class at our church.
As couples, we led a similar class about 5 years ago and it’s not that I’d forgotten everything or that any of the material has been actually new.
But it has been a good reminder–
Of what our deepest goals are for our children.

We pray for true heart change and not just outward external obedience.
We want them to know and love the Lord and live for Him.
We desire close relationships and connection with each on of them.
And we need God’s Word to permeate every aspect of our interaction with them.

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is, in the heat of the moment,
when I’m digging half-melted-Disney-princess-plastic-dolls-shoes out of the heater vent for the second time…
To forget that my words, my response, needs to flow from God’s words of grace and it also needs to be rooted in His call to obedience.

His “children obey your parents in the Lord…that it may go well with you” (Eph. 6:1-3) is the foundation for my response, not irritation at the inconvenience.

So, I’ve been thinking about ways to get back to the basics of letting the Bible be the foundation for the discipline and training of our children.

Here are some ways you can start using God’s Word to correct in your family.

1) We need to go back and teach or re-teach biblical foundations.

The everyday talk of biblical concepts comes fairly naturally to both my husband and me, but especially with our youngest, we need to go back to some of the basics of parent/child relationships.

At a time before correction is needed, we need to sit down and explain God’s desire for children to obey their parents.  We need to pull out our Bibles and read through some key verses about correction and training.
A couple of good ones to start with are: Eph. 6: 1-3, Col. 3:20, and Hebrews 12.

We need to redefine obedience.  In our family, our definition is obeying– quickly, completely, and with a good attitude.

2) As a family, we need to memorize verses that will be helpful.

If there is a particular area where we, or our children are struggling, we need to find and memorize Bible verses that apply.
Instead of merely telling our children to “get along” or “stop fighting” we need to let God’s Word speak into our relationships.
Lately we’ve been struggling with self-discipline, so you can find this verse in various places around our house.

2 Tim Collage2

3) We need to use actual verses in correction and training–

Instead of telling our 4-year-old to “stop whining” we need to be prepared to take our children to Phil. 2:14 where God says to “do all things without grumbling or disputing” or to walk our child through the Exodus story where God reprimanded the Israelites for grumbling against the Lord (Exodus 16).

One of the best resources I’ve found to help me quickly find verses is the Child Training Bible.
Over the years, it has also helped me to create my own little symbols that I put next to verses that relate to a particular subject or topic.

Here’s an example from Proverbs where I’ve used “PC” to note any verse that relates to a parent-child relationship and ”HW” to note those that relate to marriage or husband-wife relationships.  The odd scribble-ish-mess-symbol is my attempt at a “fire” which is what I put next to verses that have to do with the tongue or words.
This has just been a helpful way for me to prepare ahead of time so that I can quickly locate a verse when I need to share it with a child (or with myself).

bible verses
4) We need to weave God’s words and truth into everyday life.

Whether it’s watching a movie, checking the weather, reading a book, listening to music, taking a walk, or driving to swim team practice– we need to “talk freely and naturally about God” with our children.

My husband and I both really appreciate John Younts’ book, Everyday Talk, for its emphasis on using “ordinary conversations to show (our) kids the goodness and wisdom of God”.

We need to pray each morning that we will look for and notice opportunities to mesh God’s words in the Bible with moment by moment life.
Even something as simple as cutting open a pear that looks beautiful on the outside, but is rotten within can bear witness to God’s Truth.

pears

5) We need to pray God’s Word for our children.

There are so many resources available to help us pray for our children.  My friend Brooke has a new book specifically about Praying for Boys and this past post from The Better Mom has free printable prayer cards.
I love Jodie Berndt’s book, Praying the Scriptures for Your Children. In the forward to Berndt’s book, Fern Nichols writes:

“I believe the greatest influence a mom can have in the life of her child is through prayer. As she stands in the gap for her beloved child, the Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth hears and answers her prayers…When we pray the promises of God for our children, our faith increases because we are praying back the very words of God.”

It can also be as simple as just picking a passage from God’s Word to start praying this very day.  A great one to start with is Eph. 1: 15-19:

“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might…”

We know that the Bible is living and active, able to determine motives, correct, and change hearts.
I want to move back towards using God’s Words vs. my own words when it comes to correcting and training our kiddos.

I’d love to hear some of your favorite resources or ways that you have used God’s word in parenting your children.

Love,
Kara at The Chuppies

Overcoming Anger With Eternity

Overcoming Anger with Eternity

Eternity changes everything.
I’ve written in the past about why I don’t want our children to feel at home here.
Because–
I want their true home to be in Heaven.

But…
I’ve also come to realize that when I lose my temper and the anger rises,
And especially when I start to see a pattern of quick-to-annoyance-why-can’t-they-all-just-do-what-they’re-told-and-quit-dropping-full-cups-of-yogurt-on-clean-tables–
It is usually because of two things:

1) I’ve allowed idols to creep in.
If you missed my friend Ruth’s post at The Better Mom from a couple of weeks ago, please take time to read it.

2) I’m suffering from eternity amnesia.
Whether I say it or not, I’m living like Heaven isn’t real.
As if my current state of laundry piles, runny noses, bills, and stringy gum stuck in hair is–
All there is.
I have forgotten eternity and the promises of forever that I have in Christ.

“I often lived as an eternity amnesiac.
I, too, often lived with the unrealistic expectations and functional hopelessness that always results when you tell yourself that this life you have right here, right now,is all there is …
This present life is not all there is.
There is a forever on the other side of this life.
Eternity is not a mystical creation of overly spiritual people.
Forever is a reality …
Living in this present world is designed by God to produce three things in me–
longing, readiness, and hope.”
~ Paul Tripp, Forever (pages 12, 13, 14, & 35)

So how does remembering Heaven change things?

How does it help a mama who is about to lose it because–
There is a popsicle stick stuck to the corner of the couch, he forgot to mention signing “us” up to bring cupcakes for the class party, there wasn’t a trash bag in the garbage can when they scraped the breakfast plates, and someone used a stamp pad to wallpaper her sister’s room?

Focusing on eternity reminds me that:

1) Life is not all about (me).
“(I) am not in the center of my world now, and (I) won’t be then.  What makes eternity wonderful is that God is restored to His rightful place at the center of all things.”

2) (My) heart will only  be satisfied when it finds its satisfaction in God.
“In eternity (I) will no longer search horizontally for what (I) will only find vertically.”
~Paul Tripp, Forever (pg. 76)

I lived a whole chunk of my life not really thinking much about Heaven.
But then our daughter Selah died.
And I needed to focus on eternity.
And while it brought comfort as I thought about the future joy of seeing her again, learning about and thinking about Heaven did so much more than that because:

Heaven changes everything.
It shifts our dreams, our goals, our direction.
It affects our pain, our sorrow, our fears.
Heaven gives us hope.

Heaven moves us to invest in what will endure–
Forever.
Heaven gives us courage to sacrifice for what will last–
Forever.

Heaven reminds us of what is truly important.
Especially, when I’m tempted, as a mama, to unleash the flood gates of anger.
Heaven calls me to patience, as I remember the patient grace that God offers me daily.

“When circumstances rise to levels of importance way beyond their actual importance, they exercise more control over us than they should … The resurrection of Jesus and the hope of forever give us a sense of priority and proportion.” ~Paul Tripp, Forever (pg. 87)

“Peace is found only in knowing that this world is meant to prepare us for the next and that the temporary pleasures and pains of this world are not our final address. When we live knowing that the God of grace will lift us out of this broken world and is now readying us for the world to come, we can face difficult without wanting to give up and experience pleasure without becoming addicted to it. We live with hope in our heart, eyes to the future, and hands holding this present world loosely.”
~ Paul Tripp, Forever (pg. 37)

Heaven reminds me that this world is broken.
That I should not be surprised when I face frustrations and failures in myself or even in those I love best.
But that there is hope because–

Jesus said,

“And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and will take you to myself,
that where I am you may also be.”
~John 14:3

And I want to live–
To really live in such a way that when I reach Heaven I will say:

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

“Our citizenship is in Heaven,
and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
~Philippians 3:20

Practical Ideas for Renewing an Eternal Perspective:

–Do a Bible search on verses that relate to Heaven and find creative ways to display them around the house. 

–Ask God to remind you of Heaven throughout the day, especially when you feel tempted to lash out in anger.

–Read any/all of Randy Alcorn’s books about Heaven.  Heaven for Kids is probably our favorite.

–Read Paul Tripp’s book– Forever  and/or Joni Eareckson Tada’s book– Heaven.

–Begin every morning thanking God that “we are looking forward to a new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” ~2 Peter 3:13

Overcoming anger with eternity perspective makes it all worth it!

His for eternity,

Kara @The Chuppies

*photo source– my dear friend Anne-Marie

This post is part of the month-long challenge From Grouchy…To Great.  Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

From Grouchy…To Great

A Perfect Plan {facing the unknown in pregnancy}

With one hand she wiped away tears that escaped her light blue eyes. The other hand was placed under her life-filled belly. She spoke to me with a soft and gentle voice, “I’m nineteen weeks along and they won’t stop calling me. I turn thirty-seven this year. My doctor says I’m at high risk of having a baby with a disability .”

As she spoke, my heart began to beat faster. The same heart that has been broken and healed. Graciously healed. A heart that has been refashioned.

The word unknown flashed in my mind like a neon sign. There was a time when I thought I had control of the unknown, like I could keep it from happening. But today it has become the sweetest part of my life.

I listened to her worries, the kind that every mother struggles through. The more children we have, the more worries rise to the surface of our hearts.

I held my daughter close and I poured out words that have come from the most difficult times in my life. Times that have become precious to me. It was when I was desperate for Christ to be my comforter. When no human could possibly offer me any comfort, my Savior was reminding me to trust in Him. Not my plans and my direction. But His perfect plan. His good and perfect plan, one that I would have never picked for myself.

As I told my friend I would pray for her, she’s been on my mind ever since. And that test has been on my mind. It can tell her a few things about her baby, but it will never tell her all the things God knows about her baby—after all, He is her baby’s creator. The one who formed her beating heart. The one who knows every soft and delicate hair on her precious head.

A Perfect Plan {facing the unknown in pregnancy}

No matter what, God is so good and so faithful to bring beauty out of the darkness. That dark corner of our mind that consumes us with the what if’s and I could never. The place we want to hold on tight to everything we love. It’s a place that we feel in control. And as light shines into that hidden place, we can know freedom from worry and fear.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.—2 Corinthians 12:9

Blessings,

Natalie Falls

The Bravery of Motherhood

Mother and child - happy time

Nobody told me how brave I would have to be.

There were the two pink lines, and then the loss of a little life, and a grieving process for a baby we never knew. And then there was the waiting, and two more pink lines, and then nine months of holding my breath for fear of loss again. There was the fear of giving birth, and then the actual giving birth which was more terrible and wonderful than I could have imagined.

And then I thought I’d be able to relax. But the old fears were replaced by new ones. What about SIDS? Was she growing normally? Was that fever too high? Why wasn’t she crawling yet? With each new milestone reached and each old fear assuaged, a new dread filled its place.

I’m beginning to think the worry never ends. I thought my mom was overreacting when she cried as I boarded a plane bound for nine months in Africa when I was just seventeen years old. Now? My heart races at the thought of my own girl doing the same someday. I can envision the fear of letting her drive a car, go to college, get married. I wish I could hold onto her, keep her close, protect her from everything forever.

But the fact remains that I can’t.

When we think of bravery, we often consider heroes like military men and women, missionaries to far-off places, or law enforcement officers, but we seldom think of moms. Do we stop to consider the temerity required every day to get up and raise children in a world chock-full of frightening possibilities?

When I was growing up, I heard my peers say things like, “I don’t just want to be a mom someday. I want to do something exciting, something that really matters.” I might have even said something like that myself. But now I know the truth.

There is nothing more thrilling or terrifying than motherhood. And there are few vocations more important than raising up children for God’s kingdom.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.

Christian mothers must be brave. The rest of the world may choose to hang on tightly to their children, idolizing them and falling apart when anything goes wrong with them. But Christian mothers must love God more than their children. They must believe that He can be trusted with the little ones He made. They must have the courage to trust God through long nights of infant sickness, days of potty training and terrible twos, moments of childhood heartache, seasons of teenage rebellion, and the inevitable day when their little ones leave the nest. Christian mothers must have the courage to face these days knowing that whether the outcome is desired or not, God’s gracious and loving character remains the same.

The Christian mother says to her child, “I love you, but I love God more, and I trust Him with your life and my own.”

In the face of adversity, heartbreak, loss, and joy alike, the Christian mom bravely believes Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you,” and she is not moved.

Blessings,

Aubrie Drayer

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