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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Introducing Scripture with Discipline

Most parents of a 3 year old struggle with discipline.  We certainly do, despite our efforts.

It wasn't too long ago that I shared about a company called Doorposts that offers help to parents who want to have a resource for biblical character training (for children and parents).  I reviewed a book called Honor Your Father and Mother.  (See review by clicking the link).  It was this book that first motivated me to incorporate Scripture in to our praise and discipline for M's behavior.  I thought it would be best for us to stay focused on one verse at a time.  As M ages, we can explore more verses, and address specific behavior with specific verses, but for now, this works.

For a couple weeks now I have been been focusing on the verse "Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord." Colossians 3:20.

I started with writing the verse in large print on a piece of paper.  I hung this on our pantry door.  My 3 year old noticed it right away.  I read it to her and discussed it with her.

Within a few minutes I made sure I praised her obedience and drew her attention to the verse.  I made sure she knew that her obedience makes her father and me happy, and it makes God happy.  When she disobeyed, we explained that it disappoints us and God.  It also makes us sad.

(One thing I feel that I fail to do on a daily basis is have the expectation of obedience.  M is fairly strong-willed.  We try to be consistent, and I think we don't "give in," but somehow, I still think we are very lacking.  Any suggestions?)

I do not want to use God's Word only to discipline for disobedience.  I feel it is important to use Scripture for the positive side of discipline.  I felt this was a great verse to use to begin since the cause and effect is a positive one.  Obeying pleases the Lord.

As I said, we have used this verse for a couple weeks now.   M knows the verse.  She understands the positive and the negative.  It works for us.

If you are interested in hearing the verses I select in the future for us, would you leave me a little comment today?  I don't know if this is something that comes easily for others that are interested and this is just boring...

Also, if you have some suggestions for using Bible verses to discipline, I would love to hear them!

This summer I want to re-read the book Shepherding a Child's Heart.  When I first read it, M was not old enough for me to really put it into practice, but I liked that it focused not on the behavior of the child, but on the attitude of the heart.  Because, really, the heart is the reason we do anything.  (Does anyone want to read this book along with me...I'd love to discuss it with someone!  I actually read it before as part of a moms' group, but know it will be a new read for me this time since I can put so much more into practice.)


Ticia said...

I'd love to hear the verses you're going to use. Why didn't it occur to me to use them for encouragement too?

Miller Moments said...

Wonderful post!

Debbie said...

For helping with a "strong willed" child try these recent posts on a Charlotte Mason site that I follow.

Our children are not really strong willed but weak...and so are we!!! There are actually two posts so far. The link to the second one can be found in the box at the bottom of the first post.

It was a really eye opening post. I hope it will be as helpful to you as it was to me.

You are doing a great job with your kiddos. We have loved and used Doorposts stuff for years.

I also highly recommend getting and using Keeping Our Children's Hearts: Our Vital Priority by the Maxwell's from - here is the direct link to the book: We have many products from the Maxwells, they are a wonderful example of a God honoring family.

Hope these extra resources are an encouragement and help to you as you raise your little ones for the Honor and Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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