My children had a bedtime of 9:00. I told them, “Mommy is nice until 9:00, after that, I make no promises. You better get in bed.” That’s kind of funny but it was pretty much true.
Let’s be honest moms. We need some time at the end of the day to eat some ice-cream by ourselves or just stare at the wall without “ma, mama, mom, mommy.”
“If we don’t keep our eyes on the bigger picture, parenting will eat us alive.”
If we don’t keep our eyes on the bigger picture, parenting will eat us alive. Training children to be decent human beings is the hardest job I ever did. I have worked full-time while doing almost full-time ministry simultaneously and it was nothing compared to shaping three souls for the Kingdom of God.
“Shaping souls is the ultimate act of making disciples.”
We are living in a fool’s paradise if we think we can bark orders at our children while we have our face in our phone screens, keep them occupied with activities 24/7 to avoid dealing with them, and expect them to grow up to love God and their neighbor. Shaping souls is the ultimate act of making disciples. Jesus gave His disciples one of the most valuable things He possessed…time. Your children need your time more than almost any other thing. When I see women looking for “ministry” who have children at home, I want to shake them and say, “The greatest ministry you will ever do is in the four walls of your house. Your children are your number one ministry.”
“The greatest ministry you will ever do is in the four walls of your house. Your children are your number one ministry.”
If we spend time with God and let Him completely fill us with His Spirit, our children can spend time with God through us. What a miracle. They will get to know what God is like through us.
We will either show them who God really is and be supremely blessed by us, or we will distort who God is to them and cause damage that may never be repaired. If we don’t get to know God, then we will give our children our version of God. That thought should scare us all to death.
If we are still living under guilt and condemnation, we will make sure everyone around us lives in guilt and condemnation. We will control the people in our homes with guilt. It is highly effective short term, but the long term damage it does to their psyches should put us all on our faces.
“We don’t know God. Jesus has to teach us who God is.”
We don’t know God. Jesus has to teach us who God is. As He teaches us, we can give our children something money can’t buy but is priceless…a home full of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to have money to give them this gift. We don’t even have to be smart to give them this gift. All we have to do is come to Jesus.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
A soul at rest is what both you and your children need. A home without tension and full of God’s Spirit is a home in which children will thrive. How does a home at rest and discipline go together?
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God….
“God disciplines us because He loves us, not because He is disappointed and hates us.”
Our children should see these same qualities in us. They should feel the warmth and love of God, but they should also have a healthy fear of disobeying us. God disciplines us because He loves us, not because He is disappointed and hates us. Our children should get the best of us when we discipline. It is a chance to show them God’s nature in a real way.
How do we spank and show love at the same time? Spanking should be your first response, not the straw that broke the camel’s back. We should tell our child ONCE to do something or to stop doing something. If they do not obey, say something like, “Okay, you have chosen to get a spanking.” Calmly take them to another room. This is important. I never spanked my children in front of siblings or people. They get embarrassed and we should always protect their dignity.
“Remember, we represent God. God is not out of control and raging at us.”
Even if they are screaming and out of hand, don’t go to the same place with them. Remember, we represent God. God is not out of control and raging at us. Make sure they understand what they did and then give them a spanking. Afterward, hug them and reassure them of your love and let it be over. Never bring up what they did again. God has put our sin as far as the east is from the west. They should never be shamed by whatever brought the spanking.
“Discipline done right, without shame and guilt, is one of the most powerful self-esteem builders in the world.”
Discipline done right, without shame and guilt, is one of the most powerful self-esteem builders in the world. Children who can control themselves will be standouts in the world they live in. They will be a joy to parents, employers, friends, and spouses. They will grow up to be people who do not manipulate others and are not easily manipulated. They will be themselves and comfortable in their own skin.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will bring delight to your soul.
Proverbs is full of scriptures like this. Children were meant to be a delight to us and the world around them. Most people completely ignore the Bible, raise their children by human wisdom, and then are shocked when they are self-centered and make terrible life choices.
I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.
Exodus 20:5 NLT
Look at the path of destruction we leave long after we leave this world for our descendants. It doesn’t have to be this way. I grew up in a home full of religion but void of God’s Presence. My dad committed suicide and my mom greatly struggled with so many things. She had parents that were religious without love. My grandmother also grew up in a religious home that was full of rules. I remember my great grandfather. I was very afraid of him. Just the look on his face scared me.
“I knew my family dysfunction had the potential to send my children to hell through me. I had to get healed. What is impossible with us is possible with God.”
These things shaped me greatly, but when I looked at my precious babies, I decided the buck stops here. That heritage might have been handed to me, but I decided my children were worth the fight for freedom. I knew my family dysfunction had the potential to send my children to hell through me. I had to get healed. What is impossible with us is possible with God (Luke 18:27). We have to believe that truth in order to fight for it. We are terribly lazy spiritually speaking. We need a catalyst to make us desperate. I believe God uses children in a mama’s life.
But women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
1 Timothy 2:15
“Most of us are so afraid to revisit childhood wounds that we stay that broken child and then produce broken children.”
Mom, look at your babies and decide you will know God! If you do nothing else in this life, do that one thing. God longs to show you who He is but He will not force you. Knowing God is completely up to us. He is available and if we stay in the dysfunction we grew up in, it’s our fault. Healing is excruciating. Pretending we are fine started when we were little. God will go back to all our brokenness and heal us if we will let Him. Most of us are so afraid to revisit childhood wounds that we stay that broken child and then produce broken children. The cycle continues.
Listen to this promise for us if we allow God to come and help us.
But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
Exodus 20:6 NLT
- Unfailing love
- A thousand generations
We are foolish if we don’t look at those over the top words and say, “Hell or high water, I’m getting to my God. My children, grandchildren, and every single descendant that will ever be produced is worth the fight. My single life has the potential to affect thousands and thousands of humans for the glory of God.”
As God disciplined me, I learned how kind and stern He was. I got to know His heart. Therefore, I could turn and be the same way to my children. They grew up to both tremble in God’s Presence and belly laugh with joy in His Presence. The kindness and sternness of God. They are both true and together, they make us feel what we want most…safe and loved.
My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.