I hate having to discipline my children. I don’t know of a single parent who actually enjoys this aspect of life. However, I realize it is important in raising children up properly. Our children need to know there are immediate consequences for poor choices. They need to understand that obedience, temperance and respect are essential.
Early on, my husband and I read a wonderful book about training up our children in the ways of the Lord. This book helped us understand what the Bible had to say about raising children. It was also instrumental in helping us decide the best manner of training and discipling, as well as the difference between the two. We have used the principles in this book for the last several years and have always found them to be sound and true.
Unfortunately, as of late, I have found myself to be lacking. Far too often we are repeating ourselves in order to be obeyed. Far too often the children are asking why they need to do something, instead of doing it. Far too often we are allowing them to be disrespectful and blaming it on those “pre-teen” years. Mommy is starting to feel tired, irritated, and frazzled.
Today, it hit a point where I realized who was at fault… ME! I was using grace as an excuse to be lazy. I was justifying my lack of action by thinking that giving them more of an opportunity to obey would make them want to obey. I thought if I extended grace, they would rise to the occasion, be grateful, and quick to obey next time. Well, that certainly wasn’t happening. I was only giving them more opportunity to disobey. I was slowly, but surely, getting more irritated with not being obeyed the first time. I was becoming more and more disrespected because my children were being allowed to get away with it.
This morning, after a few bouts of disobedience and disrespect from the kids, I knew this needed to come to an end. I called all of my babies into the front room and sat them down. I sincerely and thoroughly apologized for not being more patient and kind. I apologized for not doing my job; namely training them immediately. I explained that my God-given responsibility was to teach them to be respectful adults who feared the Lord. I explained that in order to do my job I needed to be training them, and I was no longer going to tolerate disobedience under the guise of grace.
Afterwards, I knew we needed to come up with a better plan of encouragement. Not only did I need to be training them more, but we also needed to be keeping each other in line with God’s will and His Word. What better way to do this than prayer? Together we came up with the plan that whenever we see someone starting to get out of line, we will immediately stop them and pray with them. This works for Mommy too! If Mommy is getting frustrated, the kids have been encouraged to walk right up to me and say, “Mommy let me pray for you.”
Through prayer and a return to training, I know our home will be one filled with joy, peace, and love. I have confidence in knowing the Lord is helping me to raise our children with wisdom and patience. I can proceed into our upcoming school year, knowing that our learning will be more easily accomplished without the challenge of disobedience. Now I know that when grace is offered, it is because it is truly meant and that it is not laziness masked by grace abused.
“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!”