Find me the book that will tell me how to train my children in a way that is easy and pleasant and I will order it today and pay to have it overnighted. Wouldn’t that be great? Only one problem. That book doesn’t exist. And if you find one, don’t believe its claims.
God’s Word says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
One of the most effective ways we can fight for our children is by training them well. Training and discipline are not pleasant; not for the one training, nor for the one being trained. It doesn’t take us long as parents to figure this out. We don’t need a book. What we need is a reminder that there is a harvest we are after, so we will not give up on our children just because the process isn’t pleasant.
I’m no child training expert, but I know who is, and He has helped me persevere in training my children even when I was up against some very unpleasant challenges. God has faithfully led me as I have had to face, ADHD, Autism, strong-willed children, addictions, fear and anxiety. God will faithfully direct us in how to train each of our children. He knows our children better than we do. He knows when we’re pushing too hard. He knows when we’re not pushing hard enough. If we ask Him how we can train our children so that they will be useful for His Kingdom, we can be sure that He will show us. Our job is to do what He directs us to do. Here are some of the things God has taught me about training my children:
1-The process isn’t pleasant. Some of the consequences I have to give my children as I’m training them break my heart, while other consequences threaten to break my will. We can’t give in to them because we pity them and we can’t give up because we pity ourselves. We have to fight hard for them by seeing the process through.
2-The results aren’t instant. I had one particular child who, let’s just say, was very passionate! For almost a decade this child had tantrums and fits that would put the Hulk to shame! I felt like a failure as a mom! What was I doing wrong? Nothing. It was just going to take that particular child longer to learn not to tantrum. We aren’t bad parents if our children behave badly. We are bad parents if our children behave badly and we don’t work on it. We have to be willing to invest lots of time in training our children and never give up!
3-Love must rule. We will crush our children and leave them with fearful or bitter hearts if we attempt to train them apart from unconditional love. Every consequence, every word, every part of the process must be filled with love. When love is not the force behind the training then we are fighting against them and not for them.
4-Let some things go. If we try and address every little issue we will surely exasperate our children and ourselves. There are moments when I am tempted to burn every pair of Puerto socks in existence and tell my tribe that they will live barefoot from now on. It’s in those moments that I am reminded that I’ve decided as a mom to let the socks all over the house go because I’m working on others issues right now. Sin issues must be addressed, but there are other issues that we can let go if need be. Ask God what to let go and what to make a serious training issue.
There can be a harvest of righteousness and peace in our homes if we will be willing to invest time into training our children. The process won’t always be pleasant, but the result is beautiful!
Oh Lord, child training can be so exhausting! Give us strength. Give us wisdom. Give us love. In Jesus name.