Saturday, January 30, 2010

What I'm Learning

We are going through a parenting study on DVD in Sunday School by Chip Ingram. We will start our fourth session tomorrow. I think I can speak for the whole class when I say we have all been encouraged.

Some of the points he discusses I feel like we are good at such as quality family time, affection, praying often with our children. Other aspects need some work. We need to be more consistent, demanding instant obedience. We have tried hard for the last several weeks. It is sooo hard because honestly I get tired of spanking Libby. I feel awful when I have to. It breaks my heart, but I know it's for her benefit and her good.

How will she ever grow up to obey her Heavenly Father whom she hasn't seen if she can't obey her earthly parents whom she does see? Children will have an easier time obeying the still small voice of the Lord if they learn to obey yours at a young age.

Joey has been praying for the Lord to help him be consistent with family devotions. The nights we are at home, we have been doing them. We are reading through John in small portions that Libby can handle. Joey discusses the portion with us in a way she can understand. We sing several songs together. Not just kid songs, but songs with a story. She loves to sing Amazing Grace, Jesus Paid It All, and Victory in Jesus. She knows the verses by heart. Some of her other favorites are Do Lord, The Lord's Army, and If You're Happy and You Know It. We share requests. Joey prays and then Libby wants to pray.

We purchased "The Jesus Storybook Bible" by Sally Loyd-Jones. Her husband is Martin Loyd-Jones, one of the great modern day theologians. In my opinion it's the best Bible story book for kids. Each story points back to Christ. We also use that as part of our devotion time.

We are striving as a family to incorporate more doctrinal truth and teachable moments as we go about our day.

Like Chip Ingram said, sex, language, and violence is easy to spot in movies and TV. But where we are subtly pulled in is when a woman from a bad marriage becomes involved with a man from a bad marriage and somehow we find ourselves rooting for them. He said a teachable moment there would be to stop the movie or turn the TV off and talk to your older kids why that is not ok and how that lifestyle doesn't honor the Lord. Instead of letting things like that slide, take time to address them.

You can do that with little ones too. When another child in Wal-Mart is talking disrespectfully to her mother or throwing a fit, take time to address the situation. Tell them Jesus wants us to talk sweet to our parents and that it pleases Him when we are kind to others. Find teachable moments. They are there.

Sooooo, that is what we are learning to do. I have failed. I will continue to fail. I am praying for wisdom. We have one shot on this parenting journey. I don't want to mess it up. Other things you might can blame on someone else. You can't blame your parenting mishaps on someone else.

If you feel like you have failed. You aren't alone. There is forgiveness and restoration from the Lord. Pray. Ask for wisdom and start today making a difference in your home. Your children's souls are at stake.


Lindsay said...

What is the name of the study? I really like Chip Ingram alot. I think our weakest area is being consistent as well. Its so hard when you go days spanking the same child over and over for the same offenses *sigh*

TulipGirl said...

I'll take a different tack to the "consistency" issue. . . Something I didn't get a lot of encouragement in when I was a younger mother was when to be "flexible"--consistency was what was stressed.

Firm and flexible. I've learned that sometimes I need to have firm boundaries and sometimes I need to "give in". Parenting info I had when my kids were younger had a very heavy emphasis on being firm and consistent (like what you are referencing). And I agree that we need to have good boundaries and teach our children that yes means yes and no means no.

But. Sometimes parents (read: me) give directions to our kids that we shouldn't have. Just because we say something doesn't mean we need to "enforce" it or we are always right. Sometimes in the name of establishing authority, parents feel pressured to keep a certain boundary strong, when it is really wiser to revisit it and maybe change our instructions.

For example, telling a child to do something and then realizing that hunger and tiredness make it an unreasonable request. I understand we need to teach children to obey even then, but seriously--sometimes it is the wiser and kinder response to change our directions for our children. As my kids are getting older, a lot of times they bring new info to me that also changes my boundaries in a situation. They aren't wheedling or bargaining, but know I'll be reasonable.

Just hoping to give some encouragement. . .