Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Using God's Word to correct and train...part 3 (The application)

You can read the introduction and part 2 for more encouragement before continuing on...

In the book of Matthew, Jesus gives us the same instruction to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with your soul and with all your mind” (22:37).  We do that by reading God’s Word – his true, infallible Word – written to guide us, love us, and save us.  We come to know God by reading His Word.  That “time” looks SO different for all of us – but filling your heart, soul, and mind with the God-breathed words grows strength to love God with all of our might.   So, we start with the Scriptures.  Read them.  As often as you can.  And seek to KNOW God through them. 

Deuteronomy 6 gives a charge to the parents, to us – “teach them diligently to your children” (vs. 7) and even gives parameters of when and how! There you have it folks.  Easy peasy!  But if you keep reading, you uncover that it’s more than that, it’s a lifestyle (change) for us!  When we sit in our houses, when we are walking, when we lie down and when we rise.  So, that encompasses just about all parts of the day, right?  But if we are filling our hearts, soul and mind with the scriptures as we were earlier instructed, shouldn’t teaching our children all parts of the day just naturally occur?  

Perhaps, but for me, “naturally” just didn’t happen until I began to pray for God’s help in guiding my children to knowing the scriptures as well, which would in turn affect their behavior and grow their character.  So this is how we slowly began to start changing the way we ran the ship at our house and allowed God, and His Word, to guide our comings and our goings each day.
11.  1. Be in God’s Word and make it evident.  We wanted our children to see the Bible, know what the Bible is, and know how important it is.  And not only that, but to actually see us READING it, imagine that?!  Sitting on a shelf (or closed on the night stand), it grows dust.  But, with it opened on our counter and being used it’s seen as our sword, every day.  And, the Spirit brings conviction to our own hearts when it’s open and we haven’t taken a peek into it after a while.  Try it.

22. We “wrote them on the doorposts” (Deut. 6:9).  The Word of the Lord should be meditated on day and night (Psalm 19:7), and one of the best ways to claim the promises of God and to remember them was to have them written throughout our house.  I painted a small wall in our kitchen with chalkboard paint so we could write scripture verses that could be memorized by all of us (yes, even my 2 year old at the time!).  I printed out verses that gave me great hope that I had found on and framed them and hung them in places that I would see them multiple times a day.  We have scripture in different rooms in the house and God’s promises written in our walls. There are so many creative ways to post scripture through your home so you can see it each day.  I’ve even heard of people who have built their home with Bible verses written on the lumber they use.  Literally – writing God’s word on the doorposts so that we can begin to hide his word in our hearts.
This is where life and faith get so creative! I LOVE my chalkboard wall and finding lovely fonts that inspire the presentation of God's words written on our walls each week. Here are a few ideas:

33.   We began a family prayer time and using scripture in our prayers.  We stopped using the “now I lay me down to sleep” rote prayer with our littles and began developing a time of prayer before bed that included our girls so they would learn, by example, how to praise God for his goodness, how to thank Jesus for his death on the cross, and how to pray for those in need.  We pray God’s Word with confidence and ask for our own faith in His daily abundant provisions.  They all take part in this time of corporate prayer and are learning how to pray God’s word, too.  As they have gotten older (now 5.5 and 4), they have no fear in “praying to God” at all times (Ephesians 6:18).
44.   We use scripture to rebuke AND praise our children.  All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16).  This can be one of the hardest, most difficult things to do and to do with consistency.  But when it’s done, there is such reward.  But before we could start doing this, we had to maneuver through (and still do) reading, writing, and praying God’s word.  By doing those things, the Lord has orchestrated a respect for His word and teaching that we all value as a family.  So when we fall short in obedience and are able to use God’s word as our ultimate source of correction, we straighten up and are speechless for argument.    We can turn in repentance and even find teachable moments for gospel truths.   When our children are kind to one another or display love to others, we praise them in the same manner and use God’s word to encourage them forward.  We as parents continue to pray that God will guide us through the trenches and over the mountains in this way over the coming days and years ahead (because we all know the trenches will still be there!). 

55. It isn’t always just enough to use the scripture.  We try to take the time to address the behavior, speak the appropriate Truth, and correct it with an active apology, and a time of prayer.  If necessary to give consequences, whatever they may be, it’s been helpful for our children to have warning of the consequence and to see how the consequence matches their poor choice in behavior.   Whatever the situation may be, when it’s covered by the Spirit and prayed over with God’s word, we all seem to walk away having grown and matured toward obedience…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).  Isn't that the end goal of each day, all the more as we see THE DAY approaching?

Just yesterday, M (my oldest, and always the most stubborn!) had difficulties listening to my instructions the first time...and even after the stern deliverance of them the third time, she looked me in the eye, and disobeyed anyway "because she wanted to help."  In my busyness to prepare dinner and a cake for the evening, I got carried away in my frustrations. And then there was an explosion. But, after a few minutes of sadness, and me gathering my better wits, I proceeded to console her and approach her disobedience with God's word and the important responsibility we have to obey not only mommy but God too-and that's how we can show love the best. The weeping and temper quickly faded and we rejoiced that we shared love with one another. That time was so special with her, and so encouraging for this "living in the trench" momma. 
God has given us as parents such a responsibility to train our children, and we can rejoice that we all journey together until His return.  

I hope you are able to find a sketch piece of paper, a wall you can chalkboard paint, or even one of those thousands of different scripture boards that you see in Hobby Lobby to fill your home with God's word this week and in the days to come. 


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