The Wise Woman Teaches Her Children
Welcome to Week Fifteen: “Your Mother’s Teachings”
This is week fifteen of sixteen. Your Mother’s Teachings. We are working through the workbook, A Wise Woman Builds Her House by Erin Thiele. If you missed the former weeks, you can start over with week one, A Wise Woman Builds Her House…On a Rock by clicking here. I hold a copyright release to reprint the book for you here, but you don’t. Therefore, the copying of this material in any form is illegal. I encourage you to buy the workbook. I have worked through it several times over the years. Every time that I do I find that there are new things that we need to work through. I also tend to write prayers in my book. I encourage you to do the same. Journal your thoughts, write prayers, even write confessions. The next time you work through it, you’ll be encouraged at how far you’ve come and how God answers prayers.
Remember that each week’s post is a week’s worth of study. I give it to you all at once for those who choose to work on it all over a weekend and ruminate over the information throughout the week.
As a reminder, this study is for WOMEN ONLY. Just as I encourage women to NOT study what a man should be doing once they marry so they don’t start judging their husband, I am asking the men to give us the same leeway. I am following the dictates of the Bible in Titus 2 for “the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children.” Thank you for understanding.
Your Mother’s Teachings
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head,
And ornaments about your neck. —Proverbs 1:8
Today there is a lot of talk about whether or how to correct our children with corporal punishment and very little about teaching, training, or love. Many wonder what method of child discipline they should use. Certainly, one that works and one that brings about bountiful fruits! God said that anything that is not founded on His Word is on sinking sand. But how can we discern whether the method we follow is based on Scripture? You can discern the truth by knowing God’s Word. Let’s search the Scriptures and seek the Truth.
Love Your Children
As parents, we must discipline ourselves first and begin to build a strong foundation of love for our children. If we fail to invest love in our children, we will have resistance and rebellion to our teaching, training and our correction. Therefore, love will be our foundation and love will be our children’s motivation to obey us.
We love, because He first loved us
The foundation of love is found in First John 4:19: “We love, because He first loved us.” We are loved first by God; we, in turn, love Him. Similarly, our children cannot give love without being loved first. When I am the first to give love to my child, my child in turn will learn to love.
The Lord gave us an example that we are to follow. “For you have been called for this purpose . . . leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). It was the love that the Lord had for His Father that resulted in His obedience to His Father’s will. “And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt’” (Mark 14:36). Love motivates obedience. As we grow more in love with our Lord, we become motivated to righteous living.
I have always wondered why children of godly parents (parents who without a doubt followed God’s Word on discipline) still went astray. Could it sometimes have to do with an inadequate expression of love? Of course, most parents love their children, but does it show? How do they look at their children? Do they express loving words? How much time do they spend with their children? The bottom line is: do their children feel loved?
Blessing or curse?
In lesson 12, “Fruit of The Womb,” we learned from God’s Word that children are a blessing, even though our society tells us differently. But what do you believe in your heart? You cannot give the deepest heartfelt love to your children if you think of children as a curse.
What do you say in front of them? What do you say behind their backs? What does your attitude toward your children convey to them? Do you say one thing to your children, say something else to others, and, at the same time, dread the thought of any more children? “For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7-8).
What then is love?
We are told about love in our books, our movies and our media. Everyone tells us what he or she thinks love is. But shouldn’t we go to the author of love for the true description? “And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the Truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:2-8). It is quite clear that love is more than just a feeling, as we have been told. Love is an action or reaction we make toward others. Let’s look deeper into the words that are in bold in the preceding Scripture.
Patience is a reaction. Patience is definitely more than a necessity when dealing with children. We only need to look at the parents we see in public with their children to see that patience is in very low supply today. If these parents are this fed up with their children in public, how do they act in private? The following verse is a perfect prescription for a wife and mother to use with her children. “And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men” (1 Thess. 5:14). “And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged . . .” (2 Tim. 2:24).
Kindness goes a long way when dealing with children. Sometimes, however, we seem to forget. “And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged . . .” (2 Tim. 2:24). “. . . sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be dishonored” (Titus 2:5). We must speak kindly and gently with our children. When training your children, it is important to get their attention first by calling their name. Then take the time to look at them lovingly in the eyes and speak kindly to them. This does not mean that we are trying to plead or beg for their obedience; it is merely the difference between speaking gentle words and barking out commands.
We should be keenly aware that favoritism can cause jealousy between siblings. If one child exhibits unfavorable habits, mannerisms or the like, it may cause you to favor his sibling(s). Instead, love your troubled child enough to work with him on his weaknesses. Or have you forgotten the discord in Joseph’s family caused by favoritism? It resulted in a notorious jealousy! “And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father . . .” (Gen. 37:11).
Does not act unbecomingly
Acting unbecomingly has become commonplace in too many of our homes, as well as in public. Major “scenes” or “ranting and ravings” go on all too often instead of the gentle and quiet spirit God loves so much. Love your children enough to control your spirit. Then control theirs until you can teach them to control their own. “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit” (Prov. 25:28). “But let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:4).
Seek its own
We women are bombarded every day with encouragement to “do our own thing” and have “our own life.” Only a few years ago we would have called that attitude “selfish and self-centered.” But be assured that selfishness will reap only sorrow and regrets. God’s Word says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself . . .” (Phil. 2:3).
How short is your fuse? Are you quick to fly off the handle? Is most of what you say in a raised voice? “A hot-tempered man [or mother] stirs up strife, but the slow to anger pacifies contention” (Prov. 15:18). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32). “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” (Prov. 19:11).
We must learn to be discreet when we are offended or disappointed. “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion” (Prov. 11:22). Royalty is taught to control their feelings in public. Ladies, we are children of the King; we should therefore act accordingly in the presence of all others and teach our children to do the same.
Bears all things
God expects us to bear burdens with His help. The burdens of a mother can sometimes seem unbearable. This is the time to run to Him. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah” (Ps. 68:19). “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly” (1 Pet. 2:19).
Believes all things
To follow Scripture when training, disciplining and correcting our children, will take faith. But, praise God! We have His promise that we will not be disappointed! “. . . for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:10). For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed” (Rom. 10:11). Authors and manufacturers tell us that following their directions or buying their products will change our lives. Trust our Creator and the author of life to receive His Promises!
Hopes all things
Our hope for our children must be in the Lord. As you follow Him in obedience to His Word and have faith that He will complete what He has begun in us and in our children, know that He will complete it. This is our hope! “The hope of the righteous is gladness, but the expectation of the wicked perishes” (Prov. 10:28). “Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off” (Prov. 24:14).
Endures all things
Motherhood is sometimes very difficult. When we feel we are at the end of our rope, God encourages us to hang on to Him. “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). “And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved” (Mark 13:13).
Love never fails
This is our greatest promise: His love for us and our love for one another, especially our children, will never fail! “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions” (Prov. 10:12). “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed” (Prov. 27:5). “Who is a God like Thee . . . He (God) delights in unchanging love” (Micah 7:18). Whenever I am unsure how I should deal with my children, I choose to react in love since I have the promise that it never fails!
How do I convey my love to my children?
Many mothers give their children material possessions, but children need something else. They need you!
The most important thing you can give to your child is your time. When we like someone, or love someone, we want to spend our time with them. Where is your time being spent most? Where does your child fall in level of importance to you? If you wait for there to be time for your children, they may not be children anymore! Then they will show their gratitude to you by having little or no time to spend with you. What could possibly be more important than that little boy or girl? We know we waste so much precious time on things that will mean absolutely nothing years from now. There is such a great reward in spending our time with our children. It is the greatest investment you could ever make. You will be investing in their future and your future too.
Make eye contact
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8). We need to teach and instruct our children with our eyes. But how can we do that when most of our time is spent dropping our children off at a multitude of activities? Even if we do stay to watch, many times we are in deep and lively conversation with another mother. Our lives are hurried, stressful, too full, and much too tiring.
If our children are never around because of school, sports, music lessons and other activities, how can we possibly instruct or guide them? We must make the time to look into their eyes, to show our love for them and to instruct them. They must know that they are the apple of our eyes! “Keep me as the apple of the eye . . .” (Ps. 17:8). All the activities and talents that seem to keep us so busy are usually temporary; therefore, they have only temporal value. “. . . while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).
Touch is very important. It has healing and comforting powers.
Consider these verses:
“And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He might touch them . . .” (Luke 18:15).
“And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them . . .” (Mark 10:13).
“And they brought a blind man to Him, and entreated Him to touch him” (Mark 8:22).
“And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all” (Luke 6:19).
“But Jesus said, ‘Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me’” (Luke 8:46).
The first touch
The decision to breast-feed is a decision that is made at most women’s first prenatal visit. We will see that breast-feeding is not only for food but also for your baby’s first touch. The formula companies are now required by law to tell the truth in their ads that breast milk is best for the baby. As mothers, we want the best for our babies. Because of our past failures to nurse, because we plan to go back to work, or just because we want to “leave” the baby sometimes, we may choose an imitation milk and surrogate sucking for our babies. Many times it is our own mothers or our friends who encourage us to bottle-feed. As an older woman, I want to encourage you younger women to breast-feed all your babies, since older women should “. . . encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children . . .” (Titus 2:3-4).
Are we to comfort or not?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:3). The natural response of a mother whose baby or child is crying is to comfort. Experts come and go, along with their recommendations on whether to respond to a crying child. We are presently being told to teach our children to comfort themselves, to help them to become independent.
Children comfort themselves by hugging a stuffed animal, rocking themselves, sucking their thumbs or their fingers, or taking a pacifier. Children whose needs have been thwarted seem never to “wean” completely or at the proper time. This causes those who have been given a “substitute” to God’s provision to become insecure. These children are sucking longer and longer. If you take the time to look around, you will notice that it is not just babies sucking their thumbs, but children of elementary school age and older! This is now commonplace and accepted in today’s schools! This should be a warning to us that something has deviated from God’s perfect plan and design. God’s ways are always perfect.
Are we to listen and respond to our child’s cries or not?
Do we plead with God asking Him to hear us, comfort us and help us? “Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me” (Ps. 27:7). “Hear . . . when I cry to Thee for help . . .” (Ps. 28:2). “. . . give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears . . .” (Ps. 39:12). Let us not ignore our children’s cries for us! Do we want “experts” or older men to tell our husbands to ignore our cries and that it is good for us to cry it out—alone? Of course not! Even if nothing works when you try to comfort your child, your child can still feel your love. NO ONE wants to hear her husband say something flip about her tears like “Oh, it’s just because you’re pregnant” or “You’ve just had a bad day ” or “It’s just that time of the month.” We want understanding and comfort. We want to be held in our husbands’ arms.
Mothering techniques come and go. Different psychologists and child experts tell us different things. Let’s hold their advice up to the “light” of Scripture to clearly see the Truth. Then we will be founded on the Rock.
The touch at bath time
In our hurried world, we are bathing our children less and less. We see these children in the grocery stores, unbathed and uncared for. Bathing, when done unhurriedly, will give them a time to unwind and calm down. When we wash our children “lovingly,” it helps our child feel loved. After the bath, the child is so soft and sweet-smelling that we naturally cuddle and hold them close. Moms, our children need this type of unhurried love from us. And once you’re done holding them or reading a storybook to them, send them to sit quietly on Daddy’s lap to encourage a loving touch from him. You cannot give your children a better gift.
They are grown
You may be reading this and thinking that it’s too late because your children are grown. No, it is never too late to show love. Begin now to love your grown children. Begin with your words. Are they loving, accepting and caring? Lay the groundwork with a loving hug and an “I love you,” no matter what their age.
They are too big
No one is too big to need affection and a gentle touch. If they are in their teen years, begin with a loving nudge, a back scratch, a loving squeeze on their arm, or a quick hug. Give them a smile with your eyes and praise them for something. Ask God to set up the perfect opportunity for you to say something kind, loving and sincere.
Have you made mistakes or do you have regrets about your parenting? Have you shared these regrets with your grown child? It’s humbling, but rewarding. “A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor” (Prov. 29:23). If your family needs healing, there is a scriptural recipe. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).
Maybe you should begin by confessing to a close friend your failures, so that both of you can bathe them in prayer. Pray for an opportunity, for the right words to say and for the heart of your grown child to be receptive to hear. Be prepared to hear their hurts. God tells us, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Prov. 18:19). But do not lose heart. Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.” And First Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” Make sure that you accept all responsibility. It may be wise to review lessons 3 and 4, “Gentle and Quiet Spirit” and “Kindness is On Her Tongue” before your meeting.
We must also express our love for our children with loving discipline. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19). Our children need our discipline so that others can love them as well. We have heard the saying: He is a son only a mother could love. A child who is undisciplined, unruly and lacking in self (or parental) control has been done a great disservice by his parents. It is especially shameful to the mother. “The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” (Prov. 29:15). Our children need us to train them so they can become responsible adults. This all takes time, patience and kindness. You will need to bear many things, believe many things, hope many things and endure many things, but that kind of love will never fail!
For more information there is an entire video and chapter devoted to this topic of really loving your children so they feel loved and as a result respond to your discipline and training through favorable behavior in the Workbook, HomeSchooling by Conviction! available through our ministry.
Our Foundation for Discipline Must Be His Word
For teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training
Discipline is referred to 90 times in the Old Testament when God disciplines His children and when God’s children discipline their own children. Discipline is found 36 times in Proverbs, almost always referring to the parent-child relationship. If we want to be well-versed in child training, we should read and mark these verses in Proverbs as our foundation for training our children. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). As we will see in the following verses, discipline is a tool for restoration, rather than condemnation, to bring a person back to his rightful place spiritually.
To know what was in his heart
Correction does not always denote the infliction of pain or disappointment. As mothers, we must live disciplined lives in order to properly discipline and correct our children. We must be determined to win every conflict with our self-control and not “give in” or overlook the behavior or attitude. “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:22). Have you been negligent in correcting because you really don’t want to be bothered? “God left him to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.” (2 Chr. 32:31).
Thy Word is Truth
We also find that God always preceded His physical punishment by first communicating His Word. “The sum of Thy Word is Truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting” (Ps. 119:160). This is called chastening. The dictionary defines chastening as “training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior.” As parents we must use chastening or physical punishment to change the child’s pattern of behavior and bring about a character change.
What has kept us from following God’s Word?
Not knowing the Scriptures
It is our responsibility to know Scripture well enough to keep us from being deceived. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
He will go astray
The lack of proper instruction from God’s Word in our Sunday school classes or from the pulpit has resulted in the repercussion of masses of rebellious children. “He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray” (Prov. 5:23).
Lack of knowledge
We lack the Biblical knowledge to correctly train and discipline our children. Therefore, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6).
Turned aside to fruitless discussion
Many Christians follow the most popular “experts” of their day. However, we are told in Scripture that we are not to pay any attention to them. “. . . instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation . . . For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion . . .” (1 Tim. 1:3).
We are told that we will look for what we “want” to hear. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the Truth, and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Some of the more popular myths that are prevalent in our Christian books and are accepted theories of discipline among Christians:
The strong-willed child
When searching Scripture, you will find that God makes no distinction between personality types such as strong-willed, melancholy, lion, etc. for disciplining, training or teaching children. Certainly, a child who does not bend when switched should be dealt with carefully lest we neglect the Word of God. We must be very careful to resist adding to God’s Word. “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deut. 4:2).
Another thing we are erroneously told is not to break the “spirit” of the child
But the purpose of punishment is to destroy the “spirit” of rebellion. If you tell the child not to do something and they do it, you must punish the rebellion. Threatening will not destroy a “spirit” of rebellion. As a matter of fact, constant threatening will only intensify the spirit of rebellion. You must punish with the rod. Never “threaten.” You must always mean what you say and carry out the punishment after you have warned. If you don’t, you are lying to your child! “A youngster’s heart is filled with rebellion, but punishment will drive it out of him” (Prov. 22:15, KJV).
Another misconception found in popular books on discipline is that we must only discipline for “deliberate defiance.” Yet, we clearly find in Scripture that this is not the Truth. “Foolishness” is also a call for punishment, for example if a child forgets to do things that he is told to do. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him” (Prov. 22:15). But why would we embrace something that is false and not found in Scripture? Could it be that we want to hear something untrue about child discipline? Could it be our fear?
Fear of man brings a snare
But if we do discipline the way Scripture tells us to, well, what about the HRS and child abuse? Again, let’s look at Scripture for the Truth. “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted” (Prov. 29:25).
Do not fear the reproach of man
What might other people (family or friends) say? “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, A people in whose heart is My law; Do not fear the reproach of man, Neither be dismayed at their reviling” (Isa. 51:7). (Reviling is defined as verbal attacks. Reproach is defined as blame, disgrace or discredit.) We are then not to be worried about verbal attacks or people trying to disgrace or discredit us. “And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house” (Ezek. 2:6).
Do not add to His Words
Shun the “theories” and correction “techniques” of today’s world, i.e. “time out,” “grounding” or removing privileges, etc. in lieu of using the rod. “Do not add to His Words lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar” (Prov. 30:6).
Make a covenant with God that you will follow His way regardless of what the world says.
The Truth on Discipline
Let’s look at specific references in Scripture for wisdom:
When you punish a child it proves to him that you love him
“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him” (Prov. 13:24). I have explained to my children that I don’t discipline other children, only my own. This is because I love them in the same way as our Heavenly Father loves us and He only disciplines those who are His. “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and he scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6).
The time to punish is from the beginning
Don’t wait to turn your child from his wrong ways. “Discipline your child early while there is still hope” (Prov. 19:18). The Living Bible adds, “if you don’t you will ruin his life.” This means both early in age and early in their disobedience. So many think that you can’t or shouldn’t train a baby to do the right thing. However, you’d be amazed at what a very young child is able to understand. The hardest thing to break is a toddler’s or older child’s behavior (or attitude) that they have been allowed to enjoy. Stop and punish the bad behavior the first time they do it.
Fools despise wisdom and instruction
We can see that we must not just break the “will” of the child, but we must break the “spirit” of rebellion. But how can we tell if it’s the will or the spirit that has yielded? If the child exhibits any type of anger, resentment or sarcasm after the punishment, it means the spirit of rebellion is still there! “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). Rebellion opposes authority and thus opposes God.
He will not die
Temporary pain is profitable for permanent character change. Who is stronger and more determined, you or your child? “Do not withhold discipline from a child. If you punish him with a rod, he will not die” (Prov. 23:13). In life we must face pain “for a season” to enjoy what God wants to give us for a lifetime.
What are the benefits of properly correcting our children?
The real benefits of punishment are spiritual. “Punish him with a rod and you’ll save his soul from Sheol.” The Living Bible says, “They won’t die if you use a stick on them; punishment will keep them out of hell” (Prov. 23:14).
Again, when you punish a child it proves to him that you love him
“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him” (Prov. 13:24).
The purpose of punishment is to redirect the life
“Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a rebel with a rod to his back” (Prov. 26:3). Don’t use a whip since your child is not a horse, nor a belt since your child is not a donkey. To follow Scripture we must use a “wooden” rod on the backside. We have used a switch that has brought about true repentance. “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” (Prov. 29:15). Avoiding punishment will eventually bring shame to you as a mother. All the Scriptures are clear about punishment: the rod is the only “cure” for rebellion. Other “techniques” can be used after the rod, but they are rarely needed and should be used sparingly and cautiously.
The ministry of reconciliation. “You’re Grounded!”
Many parents believe in and practice the method of grounding. During a designated period of time the child is to be “in the dog house,” so to speak. But this is not Scriptural. We must apply physical punishment (the rod) and then train our children to ask for forgiveness. Then we should forgive! “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
Forgive and comfort him
Show your love for them afterwards. “. . . forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him” (2 Cor. 2:6).
Applying the Rod
He who loves him disciplines him
Do you love your child enough to apply the rod? “Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death” (Prov. 19:18). “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently” (Prov. 13:24). And, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
Many parents let their children get away with disobedience because they fail to tell them what is expected of them and don’t believe it’s “fair” to apply the rod. Instead they warn, warn and warn. When you tell your children they are to do or not to do something, see if there is a reference for your teaching in the Bible. If there is a specific Scripture that applies, then open up the Bible and have them (or you) read it out loud. Ladies, this is a good reason to know the Word!
Your goal in using a rod (a switch) is for the child to associate sin with pain. What is most important is that the child knows, through your actions, that you are not angry with him, but rather you hate the sin. Isn’t this following the same pattern our heavenly Father uses with us? God will discipline us but He never stops loving us.
When you call a child to come, and he chooses not to comply, simply walking over and switching the back of his little leg will encourage him to move. When a child is told not to call out for a drink or anything else after she has been put to bed, it is as simple as walking in, pulling back the covers and applying a little switch. Then bend down, kiss her again and tell her kindly and lovingly not to call again. When two children have been told not to fight, it is as simple as walking over to them and giving each a quick switch. There is no need to yell, be angry or explain!
If they seem shocked, you may explain after you have already applied the rod. There are too many parents who spend time debating with their children. Mothers, your family is not a democracy. God in His infinite wisdom created a line of authority for a purpose. Don’t undermine your authority with verbal debates with your children. And don’t wait until you are angry. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Prov. 17:22). If you wait, hoping they will come, or obey, or stop what they are doing, then there is a good chance that you will become angry. If, instead, you apply the rod (a switch) that brings about a sting without delay, you can keep your countenance joyful.
You were made sorrowful to the point of repentance
The use of the rod is to bring about compliance and repentance. “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us” (2 Cor. 7:9). “You shall beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from Sheol” (Prov. 23:14). If at this point you want to tell me that your children won’t respond to a switch or any other physical correction—then you are not applying enough of them or they are not hard enough! You simply must make sure it hurts.
Many parents are afraid of permanent damage, or they are afraid that they may become abusive. All a child ever needs is to feel the “full effects” of a rod one time for them to always respect the switch and their parents. Abuse stems from anger. If you “nip it in the bud” each and every time instead of ignoring improper behavior, then you will never reach the point of abuse. Abuse is on the increase because parents have stopped using corporal punishment with their children. By the time the child has totally exhausted the parent’s patience (because all the other methods simply don’t work), then the frazzled parent responds by losing control.
Speaks from that which fills his heart
It is sometimes important to ask for an “I’m sorry, please forgive me for . . .” since “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds persuasiveness to his lips” (Prov. 16:23). “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart” (Luke 6:45). This should be sincere without any resentment, anger or coaxing. If the child again rebels against your authority, by refusing to comply to your request with the right heart, then repeat the switches until they feel the “full effects.”
A countenance that is lifted up
You must see true repentance. “. . . So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it’” (Gen. 4:5-7). If you are too frightened to follow through, and you allow their covert anger towards you as the authority, you will someday find that their bitterness towards you will destroy your relationship.
Forgive and comfort him
Once you have a child whose rebellious spirit is broken, then reaffirm your love for him, verbally and physically. Hug him or hold him in your lap, if he is not too old or too heavy. “Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him” (2 Cor. 2:8). “Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (2 Cor. 2:6-7). At this point, there should be no need for you to “ground them,” “send them to their room,” “take away their privileges” or use any other means of punishment.
Reaffirm your love for him
After using the rod on your child, make sure that you show your love for him. “Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him” (2 Cor. 2:8). Never correct or administer the “rod” in front of those outside the immediate family. We should never shame our children while embarrassing the onlookers in the process. “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14). “The wise in heart will be called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Prov. 16:21). Love is an important foundation for you to show to your child. “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5). Make sure that your attitude towards them confirms that all is forgiven and forgotten.
If you as a mother go through the proper steps of correction, then there should be no need to punish them a second time “when their father gets home.” If you want to make your husband aware of a problem that has transpired during the day, then do it privately. Even our court system does not allow anyone to be tried twice for the same crime!
Happiness and peace of mind
God’s Word is true. Do you trust Him or do you trust the world’s advice or the world’s warnings? “Discipline your son and he will give you happiness and peace of mind” (Prov. 29:17).
Make a Commitment
Don’t wait too long
Begin to train and discipline your children when they are young. Don’t wait to correct bad behavior. Move into action as soon as he starts the disobedience or the disagreeable attitude.
Author of rebellion
Remember that the author of rebellion is Satan. God is the author of discipline and authority. Whom will you serve? Whom will your child serve?
Discipline breeds respect for you and for all authority. Moreover, the lack of proper correction breeds disrespect for you and for all authority.
Confess your sins
Parental correction is only temporary; you only have a few years! So begin early while the clay is soft. If you wait until they’re teens, you will need a sledgehammer to chip away at concrete. If your children are grown and you didn’t discipline and train them biblically, then you probably have had much heartache and many sleepless nights. Your comfort is in prayer! God is a God of miracles. Confess your lack of obedience to His Words and His ways to your adult child. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).
Energy and commitment
It will take energy and commitment on your part, but the results are worth it!
Pay now or pray later!
Raising a child to be a Godly adult takes more than discipline—it takes training. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). This verse says to train him in the way he should go, not “shouldn’t” go. Many times we spend all of our time telling the child “no” or what not to do, instead of using the time to train. By following God’s Word, you will prevent the need for a lot of discipline. Train your children what to do!
Lack of knowledge
Scripture tells us, “My people perish for a lack of knowledge” (Hos.. 4:6). Are your children perishing because they lack the knowledge of what they should do? (For more information read and apply Workers@Home. It will help you give your children CLEAR directions that will result in well-trained children that people comment on!)
Whatever a man sows
We send our children to school or to Sunday school for them to get knowledge, but God gave them to us. Are they learning what we would teach them, if we took the time? Let’s remember, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7).
He should go
If we don’t train them and discipline them, can we honestly claim: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
I did away with childish things
Therefore, if we want to claim the promise of Proverbs 22:6, we must teach and train our children. Help them to do away with childish things as they grow to adulthood. “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11). Teach and train them in these character qualities:
Working with Diligence
Teach them to work with diligence
Diligence is enthusiasm, enjoyment, excitement, delight, devotion and fervor. Help your child to learn good work ethics. Give them tasks that they must do every day. Women who only have one or two children many times do not require their children’s help with the housework or yard work. By not teaching them to do “their” part, you will greatly compromise your children’s future.
Wanted and needed
When you require a child’s help it shows the child that he is wanted and needed. There is a chapter in Workers@Home that will help you to implement a system with your children that has kept my home in running order for over 20 years! I get so much response from my 3×5 card chore system that I hope to make a video series about it someday!
Work teaches them to appreciate what they have and in turn teaches them responsibility! If they earn what they have, they will care for it and appreciate all God gives them in the future. We require our children to pay for sport uniforms or sign-up fees, school curriculum, orthodontic retainers, and many of their own clothes. Now that my children are in their teens they are so grateful for this lesson. They actually brought this point up to me just last week—amazing!
Employ your children by making jobs available for them to earn money. These should be above and beyond their normal duties.
When they are young
Begin by first looking around the house for things they are able to do. You must not wait until they are too old; begin when they are young. We pay our younger children with treats or privileges or a mere quarter for good labor.
Next, as they grow, they can begin to work around the yard, in the garage, or on the car. Outside is the next step after they have mastered the inside responsibilities.
Finally, after they have graduated from inside to outside and they work well, they are then ready to work around the neighborhood. They can wash cars, do yard work, feed animals, bring trashcans out to the street and help older women with their chores. As their parent, look around for the needs in your neighborhood.
Note: Make sure that helping you or a neighbor is not always for money—they are to be helpful to you, to widows and to the poor.
Money they’ve earned
What do they do with the money they’ve earned? It is important that you don’t stop the instructional process once they’ve earned money. You must instruct them on how to spend the money they’ve earned.
The worst thing you can do is to provide for all of your children’s wants. Also, do not replace the things that they have lost or damaged, or that have been stolen—if it was caused by their irresponsibility.
Carried over to their adult life
Whatever you teach them to do with the money they’ve earned now will be carried over to their adult life. Do you want them to rely on you once they’re out supposedly on their own?
God supplies all our needs
First tithe! Teach your children that God supplies all our needs. God only asks us to give Him 10 percent and we get to keep 90 percent! Tithing is done on all that is earned. Tithing is not done when the child gets money as a gift from someone.
Save 10 percent
Save! Teach the child to save the next 10 percent.
Next pay for needs. Look ahead to their future needs as stated above (dues, equipment or clothing) or possibly a birthday gift, Mother’s Day gift, etc.
Teach wise buying
Lastly, the child may spend on his “wants.” The caution here is to teach wise buying. This can only be accomplished if YOU exercise wise buying. The BEST way to begin to purchase what you really need and will use, do Chapter 2 “Remove Clutter” in the book Workers@Home. When I got rid of ALL that I had bought, but didn’t use, it changed my purchasing practices and it has done the same for countless women who have had the same results.
His own money
Don’t allow toys, games or books that have a bad influence on your child, just because he is using his “own money.” Also, don’t allow them to buy rebellious clothing (things you wouldn’t buy for them), just because it’s their money.
The best buy
Help your child to purchase things that will last, finding the best buy and not falling for “fad” items.
Teach them organization
You must train a child to be organized, but you can’t teach what you haven’t learned yourself! My mother, God bless her, was the most disorganized person I ever knew. When I got married I had no clue how to get my home organized and running smoothly. If you have trouble in this area, there is hope. I wrote down most of the ideas for how I keep my house and family (of nine) running smoothly. Pick up a copy of Workers@Home: Making the Most of Your Time. A woman who owns all of my books told her friend, “ Workers@Home is the BEST book I have ever read bar none! It works!” Boca Rotton, FL.
Any way they like
Be diligent about them keeping their rooms in good order. Many mothers think that because this is “their room” they can keep it any way they like, as long as the door is shut.
Therefore, your daughters will someday keep their homes that way!
Was allowed to keep his room
Many women allow their sons to be slobs. I don’t think you’ll be too popular with your daughter-in-law when your son keeps his home as he was allowed to keep his room!
Caution: Be careful about breeding “territorial attitudes” about their room and their things. You need to teach and exhibit to your children that “we own nothing.” We are stewards over all that God has entrusted to us.
How to do it
Teach them how to do all the tasks and chores they are asked to do.
Work together at first; then later, when they’ve mastered the skill, periodically check their work to make sure it was done right.
Everything is wonderful
Many experts tell us that we will damage our child’s self-esteem if we don’t say “everything is wonderful.” Then after they are safely gone out of the room we can “fix” what they missed or did wrong. Children want and need the truth from us. Don’t be afraid to correct them. Just make sure it is motivated by love, not a desire to prove them a failure.
Build the esteem
You don’t want to build the esteem of your child. (If you’re not convinced, reread lesson 6 on Humility vs. Self-Esteem.)
Wanting to improve
It’s important to train them with the desire to “want to improve.” This should be an ongoing process. Doing things correctly should be sought after, not a matter of defeat.
Ready for inspection, Ma’am
I have the children say “Ready for inspection, Ma’am.” Then I point out the things they’ve missed. I then come back later to check it again.
Teach them how to prepare ahead by setting the table the night before for breakfast, laying out clothes for the next day, packing their sporting bags after the clothes are clean and dried, and placing things by the door to collect when they’re going out the door. You’ll find some tips on this in Workers@Home: Making the Most of Your Time.
Lower your expectations
When working with children, patience is needed the most, along with lower expectations than we might have for ourselves.
Investment in the future
It may be easier now to do everything yourself, but, by training your children, you are making an investment in the future—yours and theirs.
Don’t just pick up after them
Teach them to keep your home clean and tidy. Call them (into the room or into the house) when they have left something out of place. Don’t just pick up after them!
Difficult to be patient
Having them assist you in the kitchen can be helpful also. Caution: don’t make this investment when dinner is late or you’re expecting guests—it will be difficult to be patient!
Train your young men
Train boys to do the laundry. Housework is not just for the girls since most men live on their own before they marry. It’s terrible when mothers haven’t trained their young men. Won’t your daughter-in-law just love you when she has her first baby and her husband is able to keep the home clean and all the laundry done? Boys who are about 9 or 10 can easily learn this. If you wait until they are in their teen years, you have waited too long. Don’t wait until they are teens to teach these tasks. Rebellion shows its mighty head, especially if you have had little or no control over them when they were younger.
The easiest way to “tell” your older children (and most little ones too!) is to implement the 3×5 card method from the Workers@Home. Young people don’t seem to like to be told to do things. This method is telling them without telling them.
Suggestion: Drop the title of “teenager” from your vocabulary. It connotes rebellion. They are “young men” or “young ladies” and you should expect them to act like it.
Talk about God
Talk to your children about God, your Lord, and how He plays a part in your everyday life.
Pray with them about their needs and fears. Ask them to pray for your needs, especially during a family trial. Daily prayers are the best remedy for daily cares.
Share your trials
You’re not “shoving religion down their throats” when you share your trials and how the Lord helped you through them all. Don’t hide all that you go through as an adult so they are unprepared for life. But, at the same time, don’t bring them into your confidence and into details that they should never have to face as a child.
Caution: Children have ears and they hear everything! Be careful what you say in their presence and especially watch your tongue when you are on the phone. Your children are not your best friends. They need you to be the parent and to protect them while they are young! Don’t impart fear to your children.
God answers prayers
Use a prayer tree to show how God answers prayers. You will find this at the end of lesson 2, “Your First Love.”
See your joy!
Live your faith! Be gentle and quiet. Let them see your joy in the Lord! Another thing I did with my small children every day was to have them put on their armor of God. Have them act it out as if they are putting on each piece of armor. My little boys used to make their armor with helmets and swords. They would proclaim in a loud voice, “This is my sword of the spirit—the Word of God!” “I’m wearing sandals of peace, so I can be a peacemaker when I see trouble!” “This is my shield of faith, so I can put out all the fiery darts of the devil when he shoots them at me!”
Lead them to the Lord
Lead them to the Lord at an early age. (Don’t leave this blessing to a Sunday school teacher or someone else.) If they learn from you that God is a LOVING God, by how you treat them, your children will want the same relationship with the Lord that you have with Him and with them.
Hiding God’s Word in their hearts
Have them memorize Scripture every day. By hiding God’s Word in their hearts they will have the foundation they need for a truly great and godly character. You will find some tips on Bible memorization in Workers@Home and Homeschooling by Conviction available through our ministry.
Disciplining and training
By following God’s Word by disciplining, training and correcting your children, you are setting an example for them to do the same with your grandchildren.
Honor You mother and your father
“Honor your mother and your father” (Eph. 6:1). This should be the first Scripture every child should memorize at two or three years of age.
Follow your example
Be careful how you speak about your parents in front of your children; your children will follow your example. Be sure you treat or speak about your parents in the way that you want to be treated when you get older.
Glorify disrespectful children
Don’t allow your children to be disrespectful to other adults. If you allow television in your home, you are training them to be rebellious. Disrespect for adults is being emphasized on all the sitcoms they watch and the movies they view. It’s very popular these days to glorify these disrespectful children.
Do you allow your children to talk back to you? If they answer anything but “Yes, Ma’am” or “No, Sir ” they are talking back.
Never allow it
Immediately; switch them. Never allow talking back. (Read lesson 4, “Kindness Is on Her Tongue.”)
Train them to answer you with “Yes, Ma’am?” or “Yes, Mommy?”
Wait until things are calm
Don’t yell at them if they do talk back since that will probably lead to them yelling back at you. Calmly switch them, and then explain that “talking back” will not happen again.
You are a liar
If they do it again and you don’t punish them, you are a liar and you are an abomination to God. Anytime you merely threaten your children and do not carry out your threat, you are a liar. Replace threats with warnings and then follow through! (See lesson 4, “Kindness is on Her Tongue,” for “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge . . .” (Hos. 4:6).)
How many times do you call?
Never call twice. Children know how many times you are willing to call for them. Every child waits to come until just before they know that you will “blow up.”
Here I come!
Teach them to answer your first call with “Here I come!” This begins by teaching your toddler to say, “Here I come, Mommy,” and then taking his hand and bringing him back to you, praising him along the way.
Suddenly unable to walk
If they get “weak in the knees” and are suddenly unable to walk, they get a little swat.
Come along willingly
By the time they are able to say the words “Here I come, Mommy,” they think it is their idea, and they come running along willingly.
Are you too lazy?
Don’t call them if you are too lazy to go get them after your first call. Remember: delayed obedience is disobedience! Teach respect for others by enforcing what you tell them.
Base every lesson on a Scriptural foundation
Don’t speak badly about others and don’t tolerate it from your children. I always try to base every lesson on a Scripture. There are many Scriptures on the subject of slander.
Show respect for other people’s belongings and property. Investing in others will teach this. Help them look for opportunities to help one of your neighbors with their home. Also, you can have them help their siblings clean their room, fix their bike, or do their chores.
Teach your children the polite way of introducing themselves with “It’s nice to meet you” with a smile (and a handshake for the boys). My daughters saw a Shirley Temple movie where she curtsied. They did this when being introduced to an acquaintance of their grandmother. The older gentleman never got over it and has told dozens of people about the adorable, well-behaved girls who are home educated.
Proper phone etiquette
Teach them proper phone etiquette. Have them identify themselves and ask, “Who’s calling, please?” Then teach them to cover the phone, or go and get you—never yell for you!
Make eye contact
Look them in the eyes so they will learn to do the same. Not being able to make eye contact can affect how others perceive their sincerity. People they meet may feel that they are dishonest, sneaky or ill-at-ease.
Do you allow your children to interrupt?
Are you encouraging interruptions by allowing your children to get what they want when they interrupt? Never allow them to interrupt when you or others are speaking. Teach them to:
Teach them to stand next to you quietly. After a short wait, pardon yourself and ask them quietly what they need. My little ones put their hand on my forearm to get my attention, without saying a word.
Go away and come back
If they interrupt, make them go away and come back and do as you have asked— over and over if necessary!
And don’t listen to what they want or you are just breeding interruptions!
Wait until you are not busy
As they get older, the time they wait should be stretched. By the time they are 6 or so, they need to wait until you are not busy, unless it’s an emergency. Of course they could always “slip you a note.” When you respond to them, make sure you “excuse yourself” with the person you are talking to!
A proper attitude should be life-long
Don’t use the phrase “As long as you are in my house you’ll . . .” Is it your goal to develop a godly man or godly woman? Good behavior or a proper attitude should be life-long. It is important to develop your children’s character, not just suppress a fleshly response.
Don’t speak badly about your children, ever! Don’t call them brats or worse. Don’t say that you can’t wait until they go back to school or grow up. You will reap what you have sown. That same attitude will return to you later. Also, you’ll have a brat on your hands now!
Many people think it’s strange that I educate my children at home. The Lord knows that it is not merely a commitment but a conviction. Though we don’t think of ourselves as “homeschoolers” because we don’t fit the typical mold, we would NEVER turn our children over to others to teach. Whatever difficulties we have encountered during our 16 years of teaching our own children, the BLESSINGS we have reaped have FAR outweighed any trials we have ever experienced.
Below are just a few of my reasons and convictions for educating my own children. If you are not educating your children at home, I hope that after reading this you will feel it is something you should pray about with your husband. Since this chapter was first written and had brought so many questions from parents about educating their children at home, AND because both my husband and I have such a heart for parents educating their own children, I wrote a workbook, HomeSchooling by Conviction! You will find more information about this series in the back of this book under Resources.
And you shall teach them diligently
God gave your children to you to train until they are adults. As adults, they need to know, among other spiritual things, how to read, write and do math. One only needs to turn on the news, read a newspaper or pick up a magazine to see that those who are graduating from high school do not have these basic skills. Major companies now have to spend money to teach remedial skills to our nation’s young adults because they didn’t learn the basics in 12 plus years in school. “And you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut. 6:7).
God gave them knowledge and intelligence
You spend years knitting into this little child morals and wisdom, and then school unravels all that they have been taught. To top it off, then they turn your own children against you and toward their peers. Daniel never could have stood alone had his parents not trained him as a young boy. We claim the Scripture in Daniel 1:17 which says: “And as for these four youths (Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah), God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.”
Make up your mind
As with all promises, there are conditions that must be met. God’s condition, which these youths met, was that they remained undefiled. “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself . . .” (Dan. 1:8). If we keep our children undefiled as these youths’ parents kept them, then we can trust that God will give our children what they will need.
Ask yourself these questions: If your children are surrounded by evil, will they remain undefiled? Is the world’s knowledge more important than the condition of their souls? Do you want your children to learn a different religion? Secular humanism is taught in all public schools and is intermingled with every subject they take. “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth” (Hos. 2:2).
Have you considered the time spent in school versus their time at home with you, their father, and brothers and sisters? “. . . our days on the earth are like a shadow . . .” (1 Chron. 29:15).
A friend of the world is an enemy of God
Do you want their peers to have first place in their lives? Do you want their peers to be the persons they most want to please? Wouldn’t you rather it be you and the Lord who are first in their lives? Don’t you want them to want to please God most? “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:3).
Disgraceful even to speak of the things
We all know the problems in school: peer pressure, drugs, sex, drinking and violence. Not only are our children exposed to these evils, but also the schools are now educating our children in evil! They are teaching your children about AIDS, homosexuality, birth control, turning parents in for child abuse, and the list goes on. “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness . . . for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret” (Eph. 5:1112).
Instead, teach them to “. . . turn away from evil and do good” (1 Pet. 3:11). Here’s a funny story: When Cooper, who was then just five years old, was leaning to be a gentleman (when his sisters or I was dressing), he would turn away and begin singing to the tune of “Dixie,” “Look away, look away, look away, godly man!”
Leave the presence of a fool
Let’s heed God’s Word when He warns, “Leave the presence of a fool or you will not discern words of knowledge” (Prov. 14:7).
Lest he fall
Would you like it if your husband worked in a bar or somewhere else where immorality, drugs, violence and alcohol were rampant? How long could he “stand” before it started to affect him? “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
Bad company corrupts good morals
Your children have less power to resist an evil influence than a grown man or woman does. “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33).
Cause one to stumble
If you put your children into an environment that is evil and that will corrupt their good morals, isn’t this Scripture directed at you? “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:1-2).
Here are just a few more of the benefits of educating your children at home:
Your mother’s teaching
Since you are your child’s teacher, you can be sure that your son or daughter will learn everything he or she needs to know. You are not trying to teach 30 children, so you can take the time to explain to each child what he or she may not understand. You will not have to go on to a new lesson until he has mastered the previous skill. This is one-on-one tutoring, a method in which all children excel. “. . . Do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head” (Prov. 1:8).
Wisdom will enter your heart
You can spend time teaching “academics” instead of wasting time teaching birth control, child abuse, recycling or worshiping “mother earth.” Their time will be spent wisely. They also will have the skills to be leaders since God separated those He chose for leadership, i.e. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus. “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul” (Prov. 2:10).
Seek ye first the kingdom of God
You will be able to put Bible reading and memorization first. If you place the most importance on these subjects, then you can claim the Scripture: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Don’t forget that the book Workers@Home has a great method for memorizing Scripture.
Imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit
Your goals for your daughters should be different than your goals for your sons. Each of your girls should be capable of teaching her own children and helping her own husband. You should encourage them not to pursue careers, which would jeopardize their marriage. Teach them to manage a home, care for children, sew, and do a ministry from their home. Use Proverbs 31 as your guide. “Let her works praise her in the gates” (Prov. 31:31). But most importantly, you can guide your daughters to have “. . . the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:4). A gentle and quiet spirit will only be learned from your example. Besides, I don’t believe this type of spirit is one of the goals of our public schools!
Without the spirit
My goals for my sons are first to be mighty in spirit, along with learning diligence and a strong work ethic. “For the body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26).
He will exalt you
Both your daughters and your sons need to learn to live their lives for the Lord. “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10).
Destroy the soul
The way to direct our children’s lives is not toward college or a good job where they’ll make a lot of money. A recent survey reported that, of those who professed to be Christians (our sons and our daughters) and went to college (secular as well as Christian colleges), 80 percent of them turned away from their faith! What’s worse is that only 40 percent of those ever return to God! Parents, is a college degree more important than your child’s eternal soul? “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). The pursuit of money should not be the goal. All of us must seek the Lord to find out what “call” is on our children’s lives.
My God shall supply
Many times it is the parents’ “pride” that has them sending their children on to college. Beware of all colleges, especially when they are away from home. You may be paying for your impressionable son (or daughter) to be carried away into lust and other sins such as drinking or drugs. Jesus didn’t leave His parents’ authority until He was 30! Many perverse teachings have been planted in the minds of young men and women even in Bible colleges and have given forth “bad fruit” later in life. Interestingly, Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, had a degree in theology! “For my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory” (Phil. 4:19). Caution: I have personally counseled women whose husbands have learned some unimaginable, actually perverted, theories from their professors in Bible colleges.
Number our days
The most important benefit is the “QUANTITY,” not quality, time that you spend with your children. Do you remember older people telling you “how fast time flies,” and “enjoy your children while they are young”? Take that advice, because they are right. I can’t believe how fast the time has passed since my older ones were little. I can never get those days back again. I plan to look back on every moment I have with my children without regretting the time I may have wasted. “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to thee a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).
Benefits of Home Schooling
A bounty of joy
If you spend time teaching, training, disciplining and correcting your children, you will reap a bounty of joy!
Taking the time to develop well-behaved children will bring praise from others, instead of shame. Also, your children are your testimony and witness to others, whether they are with you or out on their own.
I have no greater joy than this
If you spend more time “disciplining, teaching, and training,” there will be less need for correcting. Catch bad behavior quickly. Remember, “A switch in time saves nine!” You will also have helpers, not burdens. But most importantly they will be strong in faith. “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in Truth” (3 John 1:4).
If you love them enough to train them early, you won’t have to use “tough love” on them when they reach their teens. “Tough love” is needed by parents who didn’t discipline and train their children when they were young. They were afraid to use the rod because they did not fear the Word of God, but instead feared man. And yes, I do recommend “tough love” for teenagers even though I don’t agree with it for the marital relationship. Parents are commanded to punish and control their children; however, neither the husband nor the wife is instructed to respond to their spouse’s actions with anything but love and respect.
Warning: “Tough love” is never to be used on your husband. This is unscriptural and the consequences are disastrous! See How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage: By Someone Who’s Been There to learn of the results of someone who tried it!
Love and respect for you
When you love, teach, train and discipline your children, they will be part of your life even after they are married. Because you have instilled in them love and respect for you, they will choose to be close to you as adults.
Financially supporting them
Another blessing is that you won’t be financially supporting them in their adult lives if you have trained them diligently in good work ethics.
Show interest in them now
Don’t wait to talk to your children; if you show interest in them now, they’ll show interest in you later.
To love, teach, train, discipline and use the rod with my children with all diligence
“Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to following God’s plan for parents that is outlined in Proverbs. I will remember always that these children are the Lord’s and have been entrusted to me. I am to train and discipline them in love so they will be ready for God’s service and willing and able to obey Him.”
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hos. 4:6). We have seen the destruction of our youth. Let us take heed to this verse. It is speaking to us as mothers of this forgotten generation.
- 3×5 cards. Ladies, I believe you have been faithful to write down the verses from each lesson that has touched your heart. Continue to keep these cards in your purse and bring them out regularly until you have completely and totally renewed your mind in Christ Jesus!
- I want to encourage you to not only renew your mind, but also teach these same verses to your children. There are a couple of methods that I use with my own children that are included in the Workers@Home book and HomeSchooling by Conviction! Workbook, which is available through Restore Ministries International. I apologize that I am unable to include them in this workbook due to limited space.
- Share the wisdom from this lesson with one other mother who needs help with her children. However, make sure your little darlings are in line! Also, be sure you are honest about how your children are not always perfectly well-behaved.
Write her name on this line
A Graceful Wreath
One night a crying child woke me at midnight. Since I was unable to go back to sleep, I began to pray. This usually caused me to sleep; yet I found I was still very much awake. Then I thought God might be waking me, as He had done in the past to instruct me, since “I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night” (Ps. 16:7).
When I asked Him what He wanted to teach me, He reminded me of a conversation I had with a woman earlier that evening. We were discussing reading programs that I used for my son who had had trouble with learning. (Though he was brilliant, my son was unable to read until he was ten years old.) She said that she had one child who was dyslexic and another child with ADD. The Lord reminded me of the inhibition in my spirit that I experienced when she defined her children this way. He also reminded me of my initial response. It was “It really doesn’t matter what reading program you use, it was my praying and crying to the Lord that caused my son to be able to now read at an adult level.” But immediately that “Word from the Lord” was stolen and I offered her one of the many reading programs I had acquired while looking for something that would work for my son. Her daughter overheard our conversation and stated, “Oh, no. Not another reading program.”
Then the Lord showed me the Truth. First of all, He showed me that “labels” (dyslexic, ADD, hyperactive, etc.) were nothing more than “curses” we put on our children. He brought these Scriptures to mind. “. . . from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh” (James 3:9-12). “Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .” (Prov. 18:2). “And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer’” (Exod. 15:26).
He showed me that we must refuse to speak curses over our children and, instead, replace them with blessings. We must then testify to others these Truths when we encounter those who have unknowingly spoken curses over their own children.
He went on to show me a brief but powerful vision. I saw myself praying a blessing over each of my children as they began their school day. I was laying my hands on top of their heads and blessing them. I was praying that God would bless and give them all wisdom, discernment, and understanding to grow to be mighty men and women of God. I was praying that God would give them what He gave Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah because they had remained undefiled. “And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams” (Dan. 1:17).
I began to grieve when I thought of all the children who were defiled through school and the media. The Lord simply and quickly brought to mind that if our children have been defiled in any way, then we must plead the Blood of Jesus over that defilement. Then we must turn our children from any evil that they are being exposed to as the Lord brings it to our mind.
He reminded me of the promise of the father’s instruction and the mother’s teaching, that they are a graceful wreath about the neck. He also reminded me that Deuteronomy is filled with the blessings of the parents who do teach their children. “And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut. 11:19). Each father should speak a blessing over each of his children in the morning, if he is agreeable to this. If not, then you as the mother should do it.
I have committed to doing this over each of my children daily. I have shared this with many women who have fallen into this pit of destruction with their children. My prayer is that others will become aware of this deception and share it with others. Praise the Lord!
For more information related to labels and the effects on your children, read to the HomeSchooling by Conviction workbook available through Restore Ministries.
I used chore cards for myself and my daughter since she was a little girl. Many of you have asked for a cleaning system that works. I’ve also heard that you just don’t have time to create a system. So I have done it for you. I have worked all week typing all the chores I have on my cards (even the ones I have put away as they pertained the “the big house”) to create the card system I starting using way back in the 1980’s for you. I don’t know how they compare to the ones Erin talks about here as I didn’t read that book. I just know how mine worked for me. To get them done quickly, I hired a stay at home young woman to create the template to put all the information on the cards so I could get them printed for you. Although she agreed to a 24-hour turn-around, she has not yet delivered. If you’d like to add your name to the wait-list please click on the blue banner above and fill in your contact information. I will email you with the details of the system and cost once I have a price from the printer and post office.
Book where I’m a contributing author:
A very helpful book on homemaking and age-appropriate chores for kids: