I just finished facilitating a parenting study using the Biblical guide “Discipline Them, Love Them.” It is a beautiful collection of “projects” that you and your spouse can do together to examine areas of strength and weakness as parents, and it offers wonderful ideas for building up your children and developing responsible, respectful little persons.
It emphasizes keeping your marriage relationship a priority. If you and your spouse can model for your children what a healthy relationship is, you will be giving them an incredible gift that will impact them forever!
And yes, this can ONLY be done through **complete trust in God. **
The old adage, **“The Family That Prays Together, Stays Together” ** cannot be denied!
I always have said, since the birth of my first child, “If parenting does not improve your prayer life, NOTHING WILL!”
One thing, too, that comes from the study I mentioned, is that “The LORD disciplines those that He loves.” He commands us to do the same. **Discipline and the “rod of correction” will drive folly away from the child.
Our goal should be to gradually work ourselves out of a job** (that is, teach them, train them, correct them, and they will grow in self-discipline…hence, not need so much of our controls)…the book gives you 6 methods for training up your child in the way he/she should go. Very helpful!
Also we must understand that to “discipline” means to “teach/instruct” then to “train” (through guided practice) and then to “correct”…it’s not ALL correction! We have to be careful that we have done the teaching and training before it is fair to correct them.
And NEVER punish/correct your children when angry. This is where two parents are very handy!!! Always discipline out of love and a desire to nurture and train up the child in the way they should go. That is:
We should be shaping the child’s will without breaking their spirit.
You can find the book at AMAZON.com. It’s been significantly helpful for my DH and I.
We have five beautiful children (8, 6, 4, 2, and 11 months) who can handle a trip to a restuarant!!! And we often get compliments from complete strangers about how well-behaved they are! What a testimony to the LORD!!!
You also will find that you cannot be “selfish” as a parent…you are simply stripped of the “me-attitude”…which is really amazing. And this can only be dealt with if we remember that your job as a parent IS A MINISTRY!!
We do it by the GRACE of God, depending on Him, through prayer, for wisdom, patience and endurance…and the BLESSINGS we get in return are more than we could ever ask for or imagine.
I am glad that you are seeking wisdom with your role as a parent. That, in itself, is a HUGE thing. We are not to throw in the towel, no matter how tough things get…but turn to the Lord in all things. He is faithful.
God bless YOU on your journey into the world of “family”…it’s truly a beautiful thing.