It was a pleasure to join with RDS parents and teachers last Thursday for our Zoom Evening of Encouragement. For those who joined us, thank you! And for those who were unable, here is a recap.
- Mindset #1. Your authority to parent is given to you by God;
- Mindset #2. Be consistent in your correction and instruction, spousal agreement is a must;
- Mindset #3. Parenting is a long-term process; short-lived sacrifices are a necessary part of parenting.
Set your mind on what is best for your child, not what is most comfortable for you. Parenting is a sacrificial calling; the lying down of one’s life for what is best for your child.
In Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp talks about the three stages of child-rearing. Our focus: Birth-5 years– “children come into the world as self-sovereigns;” you are God’s agent of authority to require obedience. Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” Children must be taught the importance of obedience; it provides an umbrella of safety and blessing for your child. Address the attitude BEHIND the behavior, such as, the selfish sin in the heart. “Don’t over-talk,” says Miss Connie.
Miss Pat shared her powerful testimony of how Jesus saved her as a young adult, and how God in His mercy taught her how to parent biblically. She wouldn’t mind me quoting her, “I was a viper in diapers.” As she says, there is always hope, even with the most strong-willed child. She admits to being one.
Secondly, we must set our minds on being consistent in correcting, instructing and disciplining whenever your child is awake. Deuteronomy 6:7 talks about training and instruction in righteousness, “whether you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.” Make sure to inspect what you expect in terms of behavior. Otherwise, you are placing a stumbling block.
Thirdly, set your mind on the fact that parenting is a long-term process (birth-18). If we don’t keep this mindset, we can see moments of disobedience as interruptions and hassles. Paul David Tripp, “If your eyes ever see, and your ears ever hear the sin, weakness and failure of your children, it’s never an accident; it’s never an interruption. God loves your children and He put them in a family of faith, and He will reveal their NEED (sin), so you can be a tool of His rescue and restoration.” Reread that. Profound!
Nuggets of wisdom from our teachers:
Miss Cheryl: “Pray that God would give you an opportunity to talk to your child AFTER you have disciplined the behavior.” In the moment is not the right time.
Miss Nancy: “I found that my priority in parenting had to take precedence over my shopping for food.” Leaving a shopping cart full of food was the necessary sacrifice for the long-term mindset of child-rearing. Her husband was okay with having something else for dinner.
Miss Pat: “See your child realistically. Just as you would not be short-sighted in your driving, looking at only the bumper of the car in front of you, keep your eyes on the long-term process of parenting.” Miss Connie: “Pray for wisdom each day.”
Miss Page: “Don’t give an instruction unless you are committed to seeing it through.”
Miss Von: “Sometimes enforcing a consequence means that you aren’t ‘liked’ in the moment by your child.”
Miss Jenny: “Some children respond quicker than others to training and instruction. It is important to keep the long-view mindset. Don’t give up if you’re not seeing fruit immediately! ”
Closing thought: Ask the Lord for wisdom to parent biblically; that’s a prayer He delights in answering!