I am just amazed that we have begun a new year already. Time certainly has been going fast it seems and it has gotten me to thinking about certain things, namely my children. My oldest is 10, which means in all likeliness, I am past the half way point of how long he will be living in our home. God has really placed on my heart lately to make sure that I am training them according to His ways and that I am not only training them to be obedient but that I am reaching their hearts. I can teach them to obey me, but if they are not doing it with a right heart, I am failing. They need to have their hearts set on God before they enter the world or they will have a much more difficult time making the right decisions in life.
I have a tendency to fall back into being concerned with the world's opinions, this includes their opinion of my children. Sometimes I worry what others are thinking about how my children are behaving or what my children are learning, but this is a worldly, fleshly sin on my part. I am to be concerned with God's view of my children and how I am raising them according to His standards, not the world's standards. I have also noticed that the times I tend to worry about the world's view, are the times I am slipping in my devotion time with God. When I start missing that quiet time with Him is when I forget that which is truly important and slip back into my worldly cares. Do you find this true for yourself as well?
I have been trying very hard lately to make a concentrated effort not only to discipline but to train and instruct. I have been praying for wisdom and guidance in this area. I have also come to realize that I cannot train my children to be a better person than I am. They won't learn near as much from what I try to teach them as they will from the example I set before them. That realization really hits me hard and makes me take a hard, long look in the mirror at the person I have become and see the qualities I need to work on in myself.
I am reading back through the book "Don't Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman and I will share from it over the next few days or as I feel led. She deals with reaching your child's heart, not just disciplining. I have also ordered several other books that speak of how to instruct and train your children using the scriptures and I will share from those as well when I read them.
Have a blessed day and take a moment to ponder what I have shared and ask God if there are areas in your own life you need to work on to be the Godly example to your children that He would have you to be. Also, ask Him if you are reaching your children's heart or are you merely teaching them to obey you for fear of being punished. Let Him guide your heart and open your eyes.