"The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother." Proverbs 29:15
Recently I have been studying up on discipline & God's wisdom for raising children. I have just finished a Beth Moore study called Wising Up, Wherever Life Happens. It was so encouraging on so many levels. Her last session she spoke about her youngest daughter. She recalled how her youngest daughters first sentence written in here baby book was "don't boss me". Beth spoke on being courageous in our battle of motherhood. Two points stood out to me the most. Her notes are in italics.
- be courageous in your child's individuality.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it"
(lots of training going on around here... just kidding. He actually LOVES this.
Prov 22:6Many of us have heard this verse over and over and often times interpret it this way: if we discipline our children & teach them the scriptures when they grow up they will adapt a Christian lifestyle.
what after taking the verse apart in the original Hebrew it really brings new life to the verse and its application and promise.
The literal rendering is 'according to the child's way' implying, it seems respect for the child's individuality and vocation though not for his self will. In other translations it implies a looser version meaning 'train a child in a manner befitting that child'. What struck my heart was the individual manor in which I must be careful to raise my children including their discipline. This really emphasized to my heart praying over them and being able to make sure that I am allowing them to be children, growing in grace not perfection while also balancing the need for discipline and correction out of love.
- Be courageous in the child's discipline
The same word "train" in proverbs 22:6 is used in Deut 20:5 & I Kings 8:63 when talking about dedicating. It is the Hebrew word "hanak". "Hanak" has a primitive root meaning "properly to narrow, to initiate or discipline. To dedicate, train up.
Discipline should ALWAYS be for instruction. We don't just want to fix behaviors but we desire our children to be trained in their behaviors from a point of willing obedience to show that we are shaping their character not just their actions.
- Be courageous in battle
Nehemiah 4:14 states, "Don't be afraid, remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
Remember that we are at war literally in the spirit. We are fighting for our children's destiny and their spiritual beings in a world that loves darkness and hates the light. Raising a child in a spiritual manor does not just mean that we are teaching them to pick up their toys and have respectful answers. It means we are teaching them to be selfless in a world that says 'me first'. It means that we teach them to pray for others who are mean to them. It means that we teach them to love unconditionally without expecting in return.
* if you have a strong willed child: find a way to make some 'yes' answers in a day FULL of no's. This has really changed the way Israel & I have interacted in the past few weeks. I have been purposefully setting him up for situations where I can say "yes" to him. He has felt fullfilled in this and not always rejected in his qustions or ambitions. It has made the times I say no more consistant with pleasant responses because I have given him a few yes's.