About two months ago, I guess, I borrowed a book from a friend by Ginger Plowman called Don't Make Me Count to Three! (a misnomer, in case you're wondering). I finally finished the book during my spring break last week, and tonight I went back through the book and summarized or copied the parts which were new to me or insightful ideas I need to remember.
I thought I'd share some of the points with you, too!
- We should seek to understand what is in the heart of our children as well as showing them how to understand and evaluate what is in their hearts Ask heart related questions. Prov 18:3; Prov 20:5
What was the nature of the temptation? Was it anger, idolatry, envy? Was it selfish or contentious?
How did he respond to the temptation? Did he respond to the temptation in such a way that God was pleased? What was wrong with the way he responded?
What other ways could he have responded that would have been better?
- Don’t provoke your children to anger by chastising them for the wrong without teaching them the right.
- Whenever your child behaves sinfully, teach in the moment. Use God’s Word to verbally train them in righteousness, then have them put it into practice right away. Do it over and over until the child gets it right.
- Some good, in-the-moment applications of scripture:
1 Cor 13:5 “Love is not rude.” when a child wants/asks for/argues over a toy that someone else has before the other person is finished with it
Prov God hates one who “stirs up arguments among brothers”
James “Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires”
Matt for tattling without first trying to resolve the issue in private.
1 Cor 13:6 “Love does not delight in evil” for enjoying some else’s suffering (pestering them)
Prov 17:5 “He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” for rejoicing at seeing someone else get in trouble
Prov 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” for yelling.
Deut “Honor your father and mother…” for a child speaking disrespectfully to parents
Phil for grumbling and complaining
- Don’t become weary when it seems like you’re training your children for the same things all day every day. James 1:2-4—We should be joyful and thankful every time we are provided with an opportunity to point our children to their need for Jesus by training them in His Word.
- All kids are sinners and will manifest sinful behavior. The question is not: Will they sin? The question is: When they sin, what will you do about it? Will you ignore them, scream at them, make excuses for them, or will you train them up in the way they should go? (Prov. 22:6)