Somebody asked us to compile some thoughts on child training. My husband and I laughed at the prospect: How can We give any kind of counsel in that matter, if we are so in need of advice ourselves? Yet when we compared with other families we could see we had indeed walk some part of the path. The next week God showered us with more resources and books on child training, and we decided to make an attempt to compile what we are learning.
Lord, give me grace when children’s hands
Are busy with manifold demands
Give me gentle, smiling eyes;
Keep my lips from sharp replies.
Lord, give me patience; quell my sigh
When one again begins to cry
Though I am falling far behind
Give me grace to still be kind
Lord, give a smile and self-command
When still a child can’t understand.
Give a love that’s true and strong;
Drop into my heart a song.
May weary days and children’s noise
Not blind my eyes to fleeting joys.
So tonight at day’s decline,
May lovely memories brightly shine.
1.BORN OF THE SPIRIT
Before a man is born of the Spirit, he goes through the world asking this question:” What can I get out of this or that situation?”. After a man is born of the Spirit the question is thus changed:”What is the will of God, what God wants me to do in this or that situation.”
The ideal marriage is where two lives blend according to God’s order with the husband as the head and the wife at his side in love. Establishing a Christian home is the foundations of Child Training:
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her”
Colossians 3:18 “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it is written in the Lord”
1Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives in your life together paying honor to the woman as the weaker sex since they too are also heirs of gracious gift of life-so that nothing may hinder your prayers”
Failures in marriage can be due to:
a-Marriage is not begun in the Lord
Other reasons for marriage apart from God’s will be an obstacle and should be overcome ASAP. These could be reasons from the flesh, greed or intellectual. ( The more learned the more the danger of being deceived)
b-Husband does not take his rightful place of leadership
Just like the example of Jacob and Esau, some men do not take heed of the command of leadership in their homes and let themselves be unthroned of the crown that is of birthright.
c-Wife is not submissive to her husband
If we know God, we know he is sovereign to all, also over our husband. Any sign of rebelliousness to our husband will be imitated by the children as rebellion to authority. Some signs of rebelliousness are very subtle, like criticizing our husband in a self-pitying manner, a wife should share her troubles with others only with her husband’s blessings in a way that is honoring to God and husband both, if not she may be “showing her slip” in a metaphorical way.
d- Both or one partner is selfish
It is in giving that we find JOY:
J: Jesus first
O: Others after
Y: You last
e-Both or one grew up in unhappy homes
Destructive patterns are set in us, yet in God we are also rescued from the bondage of the past.
f-Third person interferes
The best friend for a wife is rightfully her husband, when a third person comes into place, man or woman, the natural order of things is changed with many dangers creeping into the relationship. Our friends should encourage the bond that we have with our spouses and not hinder it.
When the home is built in rhythmical patterns, the children rest in comfort, they know what comes next as a matter of fact. (“ we clean the dishes after eating, etc…) it is no conducive to rhythm to go out too much, to be away from a home centered hearth. As parents, being contented in the sameness passing of days and seasons is a show of strength. A feeble family may need more entertainment in their lives at the cost of peaceful home-centered life.
Psalm 23 “ The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quite waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
When the parent is present, and the thoughts are clear, this permeates the environment. It is no good to be day-dreaming, reading your own book, computer, TV, radio, phone, etc….Attentiveness to the task at hand is one of the main vehicles of Love. Singing Hymns and prayer songs helps in bringing your own mind to be renewed. Silence is also on the pedestal of Love, by being silent we learn to listen to the Spirit instead of being busybodies letting our tongues ride wild.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”
1Timothy 5:13 “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not”
A child needs to be taught to surrender his own will for the sake of the whole. This is taught by example ( how we ourselves are willing to surrender) and by reproof. Sometimes the discipline action can start as soon as 6 to 10 months, and it may involve different things. The spanking is used for small children, a paddle with the hand can be useful; for older a small stick, and for even older the spanking is turned into an emotional one, by making the child aware of his fault and making him feel ashamed of it. Sometimes we read or make up a story that hits home, or perhaps we make them put their selves into the other to see the fault. As the child turns to be a grown up, the discipline usually takes the shape of the Spirit.
The discipline should be done without anger and in a state of sorrow but in willfull obedience to God’s directives:
Prov 12:1 “ Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge. But he who hates correction is stupid”
Prov 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of the child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him”
Prov 13:24 He that spares his rod hates his son; but he that loves him is diligent to discipline him”
Prov 23:13, 14 “Withhold not correction form the child, for if you beat him with the rod, he shall not die. You shall beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell”
Prov 19:25 “ The rod and reproof give wisdom: But a child left to himself brings his mother to shame”
Prov 19:18 “Chasten your son while there is hope, and set not your heart on his destruction”
Prov 29:17 “Correct your son, and he shall give you rest; yes he shall give delight unto your soul”
Hebrews 12:6,7 “For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons”
Col 3:21 “Fathers, provoke not your children, lest they be discouraged”
Unless we design our work to be child-included, the training will be unsuccessful at the end. Children thrive when they feel they are needed for the surviving of the family, just like we thrive when we know God needs us to fulfill tasks he has layered upon us. “Idle hands are the devil’s tools”
When we joyfully work overcoming our comfort and fleshly nature, we learn and teach to live for God instead of for ourselves. Singing as we work, sometimes for hours at a time is very appropriate for our minds, as well as sharing with others the load of work by keeping company and godly conversation. Children that grow up in setting as this, learn early on, in a very practical manner, that the best way of life is to live for others.
Galatians 5:16-18 “ So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law”
The Fruits of Her hands (Wilson)
Child Training (Stoll)