BEatitudes = Attitudes To Be


BEatitudes:

When I was in college in Atlanta, we traveled over 30 miles on Tuesday night to a Bible study that sometimes had over 400 in attendance.  There was a three-piece band and a speaker.  Simple music, simple truths.  The concept was, “if you teach them, they will come” and we did.  We studied the Bible a passage at a time.  I remember it was the first time I heard the phrase “the Beatitudes are Attitudes to be”.  Most of what God has to teach us and our children is simple truths.  We just like to complicate them.

As parents or workers with children of various ages, we know “attitude”.  We probably get several doses a day.  Have you ever thought about teaching children a conscious attitude; attitudes to be?  Jesus did, and He gave a wonderful lesson that we should teach to our children early on.

English lesson:

BEatitudes!

TO BE verb and auxiliary verb

  • present singular 1st person: am (I am)
  • 2nd  person: are (you are)
  • 3rd person:  is (he/she is)

Attitudes are something you ARE and choose to BE.  Attitude is a decision.  Very early on you must teach children that they are choosing their attitudes and those choices decide how they act.  Their actions have consequences.   At the first sign of an inappropriate attitude you look them straight in the face and say, “you need to make a decision.  Make a good one.  If you continue in this ____ (name it – action or attitude) then YOU are DECIDING and CHOOSING this consequence“ (name it and make sure you stick to it).  Make sure you are in a right attitude yourself. Lose the temptation of grounding them for life attitude.  Teach them to do as you do.

You can teach them as early as two that they are ‘asking’ for consequences by their choices.  If they are acting out they choose to be punished.  Do not let them blame you.  Encourage them to choose wisely and receive good consequences.

I hear mom’s say, “he/she’s in their terrible two’s” or, “oh, he/she’s carried the terrible two’s into the terrifying three’s”.  Don’t CLAIM it for goodness sake.  Do something about it.  You do not let children control you or your home.

I know I have said it under other sections, but let me say it again.  Parenting is a SMALL minuscule picture on earth of our Heavenly Father’s relationship with us.  Remember what happens when you try to control your life; you try to control God?  Makes a mess of things doesn’t it?  Well, why are you allowing children to control you and the home?    I see toddlers in control of large adults 4x’s their size and I shake my head and think, “when did you hand them the keys?”  Most turn over control before they are two believe it or not.

I won’t mention which daughter, but one of mine wanted something in the checkout line and I said, “no”.  To which I received a tantrum, her first.  I looked at her and told her she was embarrassing herself and me and that was no way to behave in a store.  I told her to make a decision or I would have to embarrass her.  She continued to scream.  So I dropped to the floor and threw a tantrum.  She was mortified.  She told me I was ‘mbearinsing her’.   I told her I would stop if she did.  Quit laughing, it worked.  We were in Winn Dixie and a mom looked at me and said, “Oh, if I only had the courage to do that.”  There were no more tantrums in the store.  There are those that say not to humiliate your child in public.  HOGWASH! (<~ I have become my mom, it was her fav word).  Half of what is wrong with children is we are protecting them from good child rearing techniques for fear of what others will say or think.  Or worse, what some ‘professional in the world’ says will hurt the child.  The world is not in charge of raising your child.  The truth is, you answer only to God for how you turn out your kids.  Any child still living at home and you pay the bills, is your responsibility, your stewardship under God’s eyes.  I am sorry to say that an out of control teenager did not wake up that way one morning.  It started years before when someone stopped parenting and handed over the keys. It is very hard, but not impossible, to get those keys back and start over.  God expects you do to just that. With a preteen or teen you start with a heart to heart of how it should have been and how it wil be going forward  if you have to take away a lot it is hard  just keep reminding them their choices decide the consequences

God gave a manual on teaching attitudes to yourself as well as your children.  These are simple Bible truths that Jesus taught in Matthew 5. (This is greatly simplified due to BLOG constraints – everyone should really do a thorough study of God’s attitudes TO BE.)

  • 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (our BEatitude is recognizing we OWE all to God) God is teaching us and we need to teach children, that we are blessed by Him and stewards of all that we have; we should have a humble and thankful spirit and not a proud and greedy one
  • 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (our BEatitude of SORROW  for sin that brings repentance, recognizing when we do wrong and REALLY being sorry) God is teaching us, and we need to teach children, that we should be sorrowful over sin and wrong doing; that we are dependent on the Holy Spirit to walk daily in Him and that we cannot do so without Him. Teach them to yield to that conscience; yield to the tugging of the Holy Spirit.  We know when we are doing wrong and we know when we are ignoring that tugging on our conscience.  If we ignore, the Holy Spirit within us grieves.  We ignore that, we harden.
  • 5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (our BEatitude of  SUBMISSION to God) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children,  to be quiet and rest in Him, to not get upset when we are wronged but to turn the other cheek and show His love to others as He has shown it to us.  We are to be patient with others as God is with us, that includes being patient with the children you are teaching patience!
  • 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (our BEatitude is one of SENSING our need for God and striving to be more like Him) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, through two things the human body can understand, hunger and thirst.  These needs keep us alive and our hunger and thirst for righteousness are vital to our spiritual life just as food and water are to our physical body.  Priorities must be set and followed.  Putting God first makes everything else fall in line.
  • 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Our BEatitude is one of SHOWING Christ in our actions) God is teaching us that when we hunger and thirst after Him, our ACTIONS will show Him.  This is our testimony in action.  We show love for others as He has loved us.  For a long description of LOVE see my “For The Greatest Of These is Love” post.  We give forgiveness as we are forgiven.  We show compassion, pity, patience, just as we have been shown them by Him.
  • 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Our BEatitude is one of seeking His Holiness) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children,  to put away the world and seek only that which is pure.  God cannot look on iniquity so having it in our heart separates us from Him.  To see God, we must have a pure heart.  Pure hearts come from what we put in our minds through our eyes and ears.
  • 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Our BEatitude is one of SOLVING not creating problems) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, to strive to get along and find good in others and situations.  To establish Peace through Him.  Our light in a dark world should bring comfort and peace.  As the old saying goes, “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”  When actions display God in us and not us in the world, then we are part of the solution.
  • 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”(Our BEatitude is one of SELFLESSNESS) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, that when we take on all of these BEatitudes, the world will not understand.  Sometimes you will be walked over, made fun of and some will even give their lives.  This is hard for us as adults and certainly not something little children can grasp.  We simple must teach them that sometimes, even though we are doing right, bad things are going to happen; people are going to hurt us.  This is when it is even more important TO BE the BEatitudes through His strength in us.
  • 11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”(Our BEatitude is one of STEADFASTNESS standing strong in the Power of the Blood).  In America today, Christians are being picked apart and ridiculed.  You and children will face more and more verbal, if not physical, persecution for standing in the testimony of Christ. During these times our resolve may weaken, or we may become apathetic if we do not stand in His Power.  There are times when I just get quiet and pray, “Lord, by the Power of the Blood, for the Victory that HAS BEEN ONE, I bind satan from this situation.  What is bound on earth is bound in Heaven. (Matthew 16:18)  I claim this VICTORY.”  And then I move in His Power, not my own.

Learn the BEatitudes and pass them on to your children.  What’s your BEatitude today?

Renee’ Green                            Copyright 2012
RBGreenDesigns 2020

Just LEAVE ME ALONE!


Have you heard those words …  from one of your kids?Leave-Me-Alone-I-Know-What-I-m-Doing-T-Shirts  How about from your spouse?  Maybe, you said them.    It’s a cry of , “I don’t want to deal with it.”  Sometimes we think ignoring something will make it go away.  Sometimes dealing with an issue is worse than the issue.  Kind of like the old saying, “the cure is worse than the illness.”

Matthew 8:33-34 NASB  “The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.”

They were comfortable with their lives.  They did not want them interrupted.  Some people will not hear the Lord, because they are afraid of what they’ll have to give up to live for Him.   Many accept Him and then hold back parts of their lives, not willing to give up what is “theirs”.  Truth is, it’s all His … holding back just keeps you from getting what He has for you.

Are you comfortable with your sin?  Do you want God to leave you alone?  Deal with it now, because until you do God will keep nudging you.  He chastens you much like you do your children to clean up their room, do their homework.   You do so because it is good for them and because you love them.  God will keep after His children to mold them as they “grow up” as well.

Hebrews 12:6 NLT “For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

He loves each and every one of us.  He never stops loving you and will never stop loving you.  It is safe to turn over everything to Him, every little corner.  If you do not, you still have a toehold on your life, and so does satan*.  You will never be satisfied with your life as long as you are in control, and neither will He.

Is God satisfied with you?
*satan, devil – I know people capitalize the “S” or “D” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

Pick Your Battles!


Is that what God is asking parents to do?  Pick the battles?  Are not all battles HIS?  Which means the victor is decided, so why not fight the battle?  So by picking your battles are you not just really choosing which ones not to fight?  Really?  Leaving them for satan* to claim without a struggle?  Hey, it is your child, not somebody else … certainly not satan’s* (although I have heard parents say their child is the spawn of satan* in jest.  Sad, right?)

Acts 9:1-21 ~  God turned Saul into Paul.  Saul saw Jesus …  Paul praised Jesus.  Jesus brings change.  There is no child that cannot be made into a child of God by Jesus.  Show them Jesus in you.   Be careful what they see, hear and say.  It is a parent’s job; not the churches, not the schools.  They can only reinforce.  If God made you a mother or a father, then be the parent.   PARENTS decide.  You do not lord over them, however, you set the parameters, the borders in which they live their lives.   You cannot ‘pick’ battles.   They are all battles that God has won. If something they are doing is really bothering you then sit them down and tell them what it is, why it is wrong and why it is not going to be allowed.   Don’t wave it off because you don’t want to ‘fight that battle’.  Realize that the thing that is bothering you is the Holy Spirit telling you to be the parent.

Let me give you a couple of recent examples:

 Mom comes into store and asks for some HipHop/Rap artists.   She says she doesn’t know what to do.  She hates the music, cannot understand it and doesn’t want it in their home.  She says she hopes the words are okay, it’s hard to understand and is so loud.  Then she says, “What are you to do? You have to pick your battles.”

Another mother walks in with her preteen and teen daughters.  Mini-shorts would be longer on these girls.  Cheeky is an understatement.   She sees the eyes of women around her and sighs, “What’s a mom to do? At least I know where they are.  You have to pick your battles”.

Neither of these are picking battles, nor are they parenting.  They simply do not want confrontation.  The truth is, if Jesus is not seen in their child, they have handed the battle over, that Jesus has already won, to satan*.   If the Message cannot be discerned in the music, if it cannot be understood, then it is just noise.   If the appearance is not modest, if it implies you are anything but a Christian, then it is not for your darlings.

You do NOT pick your battles.  You can choose what IS a battle.  Let me assure you, the Holy Spirit will let you know where to draw the line.  Ignoring it is NOT PICKING YOUR BATTLES.   Where problems arise is when parents never set boundaries.  When they are little you teach them to dress as Christians.  That does not mean they are in long robes, unfashionable, etc.  It means, you teach them their Christian character must show through the clothes.  When my girls were toddlers I would lay out clothes for the day from which they could choose.  They did not pick pj’s to wear to church (as I have seen done) simply because those were not within the boundaries for that day.  When they were old enough to help choose the clothes they wanted to wear, I would scout out the store if possible before hand.  If not, as we walked through I would point out areas they could choose from.  When they started wearing makeup they were taught that if someone says, “nice eye makeup, love the eyeliner,  or nice lipstick, ….”  instead of, “you look nice”, then they had on too much of the item.

In other words, making something stand out overwhelms the total person.  They never wore words on their backsides.  Never understood why parents would want everyone walking by to stare at their daughters backside.  Just think about it.  Seriously?  And cleavage?  Seriously?  The current fashions include showing your boxers, your bras, …. seriously?  THOSE ARE BATTLES.  God holds you responsible for your child’s testimony.  There is no way that people are looking at your child and thinking wow look at that testimony for Christ.  If their appearance causes lust, you are responsible before God.  Women and their daughters baring shoulders, thighs, anything that would cause a man to stumble in church just blows my mind.   How are they going to stand before God and say, “I was just picking my battles.  They were in church weren’t they?”

It is your job to teach your son and daughter to walk, talk and look Godly, not worldly.  They can be very fashionable within parameters set by His word.  They do not need to be social outcasts.  Parents that succumb to their kids dress wishes, music wishes, curfew wishes have long ago allowed the child to be the parent.  Taking back your role as parent will not be pretty, battles never are.  Jesus won that battle, ask Him how to proceed.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 (NASB) “that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

Ephesians 4:1-2 (HCSB) “Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, acceptingone another in love…”

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

” O be careful little mouth what you say…”


 
O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above

Pretty is as pretty does

And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say
 

I was walking in the parking lot and I heard the most profane comments, including the Lord’s name linked to profanity.  The voice was young.  I stopped and turned around.  Three girls and a boy were  walking behind me; none over 15 years of age.  I looked at the girl with profanity flying off her lips and wanted to tell her how pretty she was … until she opened her mouth.  Her words made her ugly.  Not cool, cute or popular.  They made her ugly.  You can dress up like a princess all day long, but one flow of inappropriate words will destroy that image.

The woman pushing the cart in front of me was on her phone talking loudly.  “Now this is between just you and me.  But, she ….”.   Really?  There were about ten others in earshot listening to her gossip.  If she had been quietly shopping others would have thought her to be a diligent mom out shopping to feed her family.  Her words made her a gossip and she spewed hurt and shame on an unsuspecting audience that may or may not know her victim.

I hear so many words coming out of mouths that grieve the spirit within me.  Parents to children; children to other children.  People lying, calling others names.  Gossiping, half-truths … words, words, words.    I think Christians need to be very cautious in this area and not fall into the world’s standard of speech.  God’s word has a lot to say about our words:
James 1:19 
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

James 1:26
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

James 3:6
“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”  (You should read all of James 3:1-9).

Ephesians 4:29 
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

God expects us as parents to make sure our children hear the correct things to say.   The shows, video games, computer games that they watch, influence their speech.  In our house I did not allow my girls to call each other stupid, idiot, jerk or other demeaning terms.  We do not say shut up.  Speech is important to developing a Godly character.  Sadly, some parents think it is not anything to worry about.  However, speech is a sign of respect.  God thinks a lot about the words we say.  The verses above are only a sampling of how He wants us to guard our speech.

If we are not guarding our speech then we are not guarding their speech; we are not guarding their minds.  If we are not guarding their minds, we are not guarding their souls.   What they think to say becomes their speech.  Their speech reflects in their actions, their actions in their character.  It all starts with a word … then more words.

“O be careful little mouth what you say …”

Soul Safe … “It is WELL with My Soul!”


Grieving over the recent death of their four-year old son to Scarlet Fever, the family was further devastated by the Chicago fire of 1871 that destroyed much of  their holdings.  The father decided to get away with his  wife and four daughters on a ship back to England where they were to join up with Moody in his evangelistic meetings.  At the last-minute the father had a business complication and sent the wife and daughters on ahead.   Their ship collided with a French ship killing 226 on board.  Nine days later Horatio G. Spafford received a telegram from his wife that read, “soul survivor”.   He booked passage  to join his grieving wife and while passing over the spot where the ship had gone down with his daughters, he penned the following hymn that we sing.

Soul Safe

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well,
with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Refrain
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Refrain
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Refrain:
But, Lord ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Refrain
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Refrain

There is nothing new under the sun … nothing has changed since Job’s time in the Bible … day in and day out good people suffer.  Our children should be raised to know that no matter WHAT happens, once we are Christ’s, “it is well with our soul”.  NOTHING can take that away from them … from us .. EVER.  And that is all that matters.

This was true for Job, it is truth on which we can stand.  The Psalmist penned:

Psalm 46: 1-3  ” 1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found  in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple  into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah”

What happens when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel?  When the end is not in sight?  When it DOESN’T get better.  How fair-weather is our faith?  Is our faith dependent on our circumstances? 

Twice yesterday I heard “It Is Well With My Soul” played on the radio.   And then at church we sang, ” Great Is Thy Faithfulness” .  The Chorus of this great hymn is also a truth on which we can stand.

Chorus
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Our needs are provided … the problem we have is that we let our wants get in the way.  Acceptance of Christ =  SOUL SAFE.  That alone is all anyone needs. God, however, provides our needs.  When you look at your life, and when you teach your child to look at their life, each of you realize that you have your needs met and provided for … Know Christ = it is well with YOUR soul.

Persistent Perseverance Payoff = Patience


NEVER pray for patience unless you are willing to learn no matter the cost.  It is a valuable character trait.  However,  most humans I know are not patient.  That is probably the reason that patience lessons are the hardest.  I think God does not enjoy teaching us patience but, knows we need to learn.  It is a struggle, something we must learn (and re-learn) daily.

As parents we need to learn patience and we need to teach patience.  God patiently teaches us patience, although I know we are very trying at times (well, most of the time).

So how do you learn patience? How do you teach it to a child?  Persistence and perseverance come to mind.  When I was raising my daughters we had a rule in the house, if you started something new, you had to stick with it a year before you could quit.  Gymnastics, swimming, horseback riding, flute, French Horn, cheer-leading, track, tennis, tap, clubs, band, voice … piano.  You name it they took it or joined it somewhere along  the way.  I wanted them both to learn piano.  I knew it would teach them eye-ear-hand coordination and self-discipline, not to mention the added advantage that music training increases ones spacial learning which results in stronger academic achievements.  So I decided that piano they did for me.  I would let them join, take lessons, etc.  anything within reason as long as they studied piano.  My oldest started at six and my youngest at four.  I was persistent and they persevered.  We all learned patience.  The result was that they became well-rounded in many areas, successful academically and wonderful musicians.  My oldest is beginning to teach her daughter, age 4, piano and my youngest graduated with a music degree and has her own web page promoting her voice and piano lessons.  They learned self-discipline through their perseverance.  As adults they can stay the course and complete multi-tasking goals.

Our spiritual life is to be the same.  We are to be persistent in prayer, persevere the day-to-day trials and tribulations, allowing God to work patience in our life.  Toddlers can be taught patience through persistent instruction and discipline through love.  Just as we teach our young, God is always teaching us.

In Genesis 31:38-42 we read o f Jacob’s diligence and his patience.  In Proverbs 21:5 the scriptures tell us that hard work pays off.  In Mark 15:47 we are told that diligence allowed them to see Jesus.

Do not be passive parents.  Parenting is a participation action not a spectator one.  Get involved in the lives of your children at an early age helping them to set a goal they can achieve.  Encourage them, praise their work, guide them and keep them on task and rejoice with them as they achieve.  Every little goal accomplished teaches them.  Those goals become more complex as they grow.  When they are teens and young adults, they will be able to set achievable goals and accomplish much.

Allow your children to see you set goals and your persistence in accomplishing those goals.  Make sure they observe your perseverance and see you grow in patience.

Then, when trials and tribulations come your way, your patience and spiritual growth will help you face life.  Remember, life is 24/7/365 and we must have a spiritual focus on God our hope.  Defeat is when our spiritual feet are mired in the mud of life and sin and our focus is on our circumstances instead of Christ.

?? What IF? ??


 

IF?

 

What IF?  I had a teacher that instilled in her class to ask, “What IF?”.   Basically, she was teaching us to ‘think it through’.  There are those that say, “if only I had”, or “if things were different”, etc.   But, what she wanted us to learn was to weigh the consequences.  God’s word has many ‘ifs’, too many to list in a short space like a blog.  But, here is the idea …

2 Chronicles 7:14

IF my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

“IF” … “then”.   That is a cause and effect.  Throughout the Bible God says, “if” we do something, “then” something will happen.  Society has forgotten there are consequences.  God expects us to teach our children to THINK through, to be responsible, to understand consequences.   This was one of my favorite object lessons in classes at the high schools where I worked.  There were teenagers following the crowd, the media, Hollywood.  They were not thinking for themselves.   IF only their parents had taught them to ‘think through things’, in scenario form, THEN maybe these students would have been making wiser choices.   Of course I was not allowed to teach morality.  BUT, I was allowed to teach them to think.  In fact I was encouraged to engage students in thinking as part of my job.

In almost every class somewhere during the day, students would get into an ‘current issues’ debate.  While I could not instigate the debate or ‘throw’ in my views (unless specifically asked), I could interject “WHAT IF?”   That would always get things going.   Their first question back would always be, “what if WHAT?”   At this point I would look at both sides of the discussion and ask them to explain, “what if you are WRONG?”  Here are some  brief examples from some of the classes to show you how we started (the discussions were much longer of course and they really had to think out why they believed what they believed):

ABORTION:   “What if you are wrong?”
ProChoice: “Then they have murdered innocent lives.”  ProLife:  “A baby will be born”.
JESUS IS LORD:  “What if you are wrong?”
Atheist, other religions: “They are going to hell.”  Christians: “They have lived a life of service, love, and good.”
PREMARITAL SEX: “What if you are wrong?”
Believe it’s ok: They are adulterers, fornicators, guilt, health risks for nothing etc.
Abstinence until marriage:  “They have purity, no guilt, little health risks.

Starting children when they are young to ask “what if they are wrong”, will help them as pre-teens and teens to handle peer pressure and to think on their feet.  It will help them as adults to make important decisions, especially when satan* is making everything ‘gray’.   When your little one is thinking about doing something wrong and you see them, do not yell “DON’T”.   Instead, use our Heavenly Father’s model.  “If” …. “then“.   (Now obviously, I am not talking about when they are about to reach for a hot curling iron, are touching a sharp tool, or doing anything dangerous.)   It is important to instill in them the ability to reason, to question, to make good decisions … to think on their feet.    So look at them and tell them they have the opportunity to make a decision like a big boy or girl … tell them to make sure it is a good decision and ask them, “what if you are wrong?”

Use every opportunity you can when your child is disobeying to look at them and tell them they are making a decision.  Make them aware of their actions.  Tell them IF they continue to not listen and to disobey, THEN you will have to punish them.  IF they obey, THEN they reap the good consequences.  PLUS, most little children like knowing they pleased their parent.   Children like to know their parents are proud of them.  Make sure you acknowledge their good decisions and tell them how proud you are of them.

As an adult this should ring true in your life.  Daily, we have decisions, choices … some we rationalize and make gray when they are not.  God’s word says “IF” … “THEN“.  We have decisions to make and God has filled the Bible with the wisdom we need to make those decisions.  Yet, like children, many times we CHOOSE to disobey willingly and then whine when we receive the punishment and consequences.  Why?  WE chose them, not Him.  He told us what would happen.   God’s word says in Isaiah 5 (and so many other passages) ‘woe be unto you’ when you make wrong choices.   Wrong choices, a.k.a. SIN.

Do you have a decision to make today?  Talk it out in front of your child.  Use it as an opportunity to teach them how to decide.   Take every opportunity to show your child and let them watch you asking yourself, “what if I am wrong?” … ‘what if I am right?”

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.