Monday, May 2, 2011

Governing the Home with Godly Discipline



"There is much to be learned about the topic of parenting--volumes and libraries have been written on the topic. It is hard to persevere in our parenting at times and we must not give up. I enjoyed reading the following this morning and thought I would share it with you:

 It is not to watch children with a suspicious eye, to frown on merry outbursts of innocent hilarity, to suppress their joyous laughter, and to mold them into melancholy little models of octogenarian gravity. And when they have been in fault, it is not simply to punish them on account of the personal injury that you have chanced to suffer in consequence of their faith, disobedience, unattended by inconvenience to yourself, passes without rebuke. 

Nor is it to overwhelm the little culprit with angry words; to stun him with a deafening noise; to call him by hard names, which do not express his misdeeds; to load him with epithets which would be extravagant is applied to a fault of tenfold enormity; or to declare with passionate vehemence, that he is the worst child in the world and destined for the gallows. 


But it is to watch for the first risings of sin, and to repress them to counteract the earliest workings of selfishness; to repress the first beginning of rebellion against authority; to teach an implicit and unquestioning and cheerful obedience to the will of the parent, as the best preparation for a future allegiance to the requirement of the civil magistrate, and the laws of the great Ruler and Father in heaven.

It is to punish a fault, because it is sinful, and contrary to the command of God, without reference to whether it may not have been productive of immediate injury to the parent or others.

It is to reprove with calmness and composure, and not with angry irritation,---in a few words fitly chosen, and not with a torrent of abuse, to punish as often as you threaten, and to threaten only when you intend and can remember to perform; to say what you mean, and infallibly do as you say.

It is to govern  you family as in the sight of Him who gave you authority, and who will reward your strict fidelity with such blessings as he bestowed on Abraham, or punish your criminal neglect with such curses as He visited on Eli."


- A Mother's Treasury

From the book Verses of Virtue: The Poetry and Prose of Christian Womanhood



We must remember though that children are sinners, and that they WILL sin. It is also our part to show also grace, mercy and love much in the same way the Father has shown us (yet also with the love of discipline). We will not have children that will cheerfully obey every time, but we should work on teaching children not to rebel against authority and to obey  God. It is not okay for a child to yell "why?" or stomp their feet to a parent's command sighing or rolling their eyes, I believe this is what they are referring to in regards to cheerful and willing obedience.  Not perfect little robots, mind you, but sinners who need to learn the ways of self government. There is so much  more on parenting, more than you could ever explain or share in one post. With 8 children, parenting opportunities never cease and I pray that the Lord would give both my readers and myself wisdom and perseverance for the great and noble task at hand.


 Motherhood is blessed and we will be honoring mothers here at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home all week in honor of Mother's Day! We want to encourage you here and keep the grand vision in front of you...


Will you join us?






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9 comments:

  1. I actually posted questions about this topic this morning on my blog. Must be that kind of day...LOL. I am know what kind of behavior I desire, but am looking for some specific ways in which this is achieved for others. I would love to hear from you.....

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  2. Amen!

    It is this that seems to challenge us the most:

    "It is to punish a fault, because it is sinful, and contrary to the command of God, without reference to whether it may not have been productive of immediate injury to the parent or others."

    How hard it is to be so completely unselfish and unaware of our own inconveniences when disciplining our children! That is one of my utmost goals as a parent. One that I keep having to work at and fail often in!

    Oh but for the Grace of God!

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  3. Interesting thoughts on Raising Children. Enjoyed the read!
    Blessings!

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  4. This is a great post, thank you for sharing this. I think my biggest struggle is knowing at what point I should expect "good" obedience. My oldest is 2.5 years old, and a little behind the comprehension/communication curve, so I hold her to a lesser standard because of it...I *think* this is appropriate because of her slower communication etc. Hmmm....
    (advice appreciated! :) )

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  5. I don't let my children ask why either. They should not question things!

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  6. I love the attitude of correcting our children because it is sin rather than because of how it reflects on the parents or because it "annoys" us or that sort of thing. I know that one of the worst, yet most common, reasons for getting disciplined in my household growing up was "What will people think??" and I want to steer clear of that mentality when God blesses me with little ones.

    A side thought though... I don't believe it's the actual asking "why?" that is wrong in a person (whether they are 2 12 22 or 42 ;-)) it's the atttitude. I believe it is part of a parent's just to explain the why of a command/rule/request. If a child never understands WHY the parent requires something - or why God requires something - then they WILL just be little robots. I know that there were many things as a child I did because I didn't want to get spanked, and yet the moment I was no longer in fear of chastisement I gave into those desires. Now, I sorely wish I had been better taught WHY we do things, so that I could have the motivation to please The Lord all of my days rather than just please my parents because they said so.

    I hope that came across humbly, and not as me just spouting my opinions.

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  7. Dear Didi K.,

    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you--they should know why to do things but the point is not to ask in a rebellious or whiny way. They also need to know that they don't always need to ask for a reason why (I have seen children become very manipulative wanting to know why they have to obey for every circumstance) and should obey whether they have a reason or not.

    Thanks for sharing and many blessings...

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  8. June,

    I've been getting this article's comments in my e-mail box, and just wanted to respond to both the last comment and your response to it.

    I agree with both you and Didi and just wanted to say that Shepherding a Child's Heart has taught me a lot about how to handle the "whys" in a biblical way. Ted Tripp greatly encourages parents to be discussing the whys not only during times of discipline but also in the context of every day life. But it is clear to me from experience and his book that a child should not be questioning a parent at the moment that he/she is told to do something! It just doesn't work!(He does advocate the wise appeal though which is a privilege that a mature child gets to use as long as he doesn't abuse it!)

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  9. Something thing we came up with for this challenge was, if they wanted to have a "why" they would have to say Yes mom or dad to show that the heart was ready to obey then ask if they may ask a question. Sometimes the answer was yes, no, or obey first then you may ask a question.
    At one point my eldest had her privilege to ask a question suspended since she really didn't have questions as much as a complaint. Now sometimes when she asks to ask a question, I ask her what the heart of the question is.

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