Part 12: Obedient Hearts “The Many Faces of the Perpetrator”

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Faces

 

I’ve noticed so many different responses when disciplining my children.  When you have fourteen kids of course, you see quite a wide spectrum of personality types.  And they all have their portfolios of interesting behaviors and idiosyncrasies.  Here are some “faces” of little people that I’ve encountered in the process of trying to teach fourteen very different individuals to obey.
 
The Pleaser: He very seldom needs spanking, usually complies with what is expected of him.
 
The Limit Pusher: He seems compelled to see how much he can get away with.  Then he wonders, “Why do I get all the spankings?
 
The Prophet: He’s Elijah, calling down fire from Continue reading Part 12: Obedient Hearts “The Many Faces of the Perpetrator”

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Part 11: Obedient Hearts “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother—and Thy Son and Thy Daughter”

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Fathers

 

I’m not trying to rewrite the Ten Commandments.  They’re just right as they are.  But I’d like to call your attention to a principle.

That is the principle of honor.  It is the essence of the first Commandment with a promise but it goes much farther than that.

The dictionary says that to honor is “to hold in high regard, to have great respect for.”  The idea made it to the Big Ten in the context of honoring one’s parents.  That’s early on in Scripture.  Elsewhere, the Bible lists other persons we’re Continue reading Part 11: Obedient Hearts “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother—and Thy Son and Thy Daughter”

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Part 10: Obedient Heart “There’s More To It Than Discipline”

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Training-dogsI train dogs.  

I started learning how to do it when I was in the Security Police during my Air Force days. I went through a 12-week school to learn how to train and handle police dogs.  Later I had a couple of other jobs in law enforcement that involved the tutoring of canines. I learned that the Air Force trained dogs pretty much as they trained people.  That is, they were quite demanding and they didn’t allow a lot of consideration for individual differences. They weren’t Continue reading Part 10: Obedient Heart “There’s More To It Than Discipline”

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Part 9: Obedient Heart “It Takes Two to Tangle”

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Surely there are few things that grate on a parent’s nerves like hearing our children fight with one another.

It’s always the other guy’s fault, of course.  He hit me as hard as he could for no reason whatsoever.

It-takes-two-to-tangle

Listening to this used to remind me of some Criminal Justice courses I took when I was a deputy sheriff.

Elements of Common law Burglary:

  • The breaking
  • and entering
  • of a dwelling house
  • in the nighttime
  • with the intent to commit a felony.

It seems the young prosecutors in our house have an instinctive understanding that one must prove all the “elements of the crime” in order to sustain a conviction.

Ah, if only life were really that simple.  But it seldom is.  Usually, there’s a lot more to it than who started it.  Even if that can be determined—and it seldom can—there’s almost always guilt on the part of more than one party.

Ok, Bubba borrowed your toys and left them scattered on the floor of your room.  Sure, that’s irritating.  But that doesn’t justify your kicking his trash can across his room, scattering used tissues everywhere.

Oh, I remember how it was when I was a kid.  When my brother did something I was offended by, it seemed perfectly justifiable to react with something of the same kind.  I had no understanding of turning the other cheek.  But as a parent—and a Christian parent especially—I am responsible to teach my children that they should do just that.  If they don’t, they are guilty of an offense, too.

Strong medicine, and not very tasty to swallow.  But that’s the fact of the matter in God’s economy.  I’m harder on the guy who commits an unprovoked offense, but reaction carries responsibility with it as well.

Are you teaching your children that there is much more to a conflict than who started it?  That starting an argument is disobedience, but that reacting wrongly is disobedience too?
~ Rick

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Part 8: Obedient Heart “Kids Can Be Appealing”

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obedienceMy children don’t always like what I require of them.

I can understand that; I don’t always like what my authorities say, either.  Sometimes it seems that we have only two choices:  go along with dictates that are really painful, or carry the guilt and conflict of disobeying. That’s why I try to teach my children how to properly make an appeal.

One time when Tim was a young teenager he came home Continue reading Part 8: Obedient Heart “Kids Can Be Appealing”

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Part 7: Obedient Heart “Is It Just Childishness?”

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 I’ll never forget it, though I must have been only about three years old at the time. 

Dad-noseI was sitting on my Daddy’s lap in the living room of our little duplex apartment.  He was pretending that we were having a fight, though most of what he was doing was tickling me.  

Getting a little too much into the spirit of the occasion, I reached up and punched him in the nose with my little fist.  Continue reading Part 7: Obedient Heart “Is It Just Childishness?”

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Part 6: Obedient Heart “Authority—The Heavenly Umbrella”

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 obedient-heart-umbrella 

   We used the illustration of an umbrella as a symbol of God’s authority in our lives. 

   He had a picture of one up on the screen as he explained that authority is not something to be feared or hated, but something that God has built into creation to protect us from harm.

   It’s not hard to see how that works if you have small children.  Little ones seem to think Continue reading Part 6: Obedient Heart “Authority—The Heavenly Umbrella”

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Part 5: Obedient Hearts “Discipline- Look at the Bright Side”

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Character-Concepts-Obedient-HeartsParenting isn’t easy.  Teaching obedience isn’t easy.

I think the worst thing about teaching obedience is when we have to punish our children.  It’s one of the “Catch 22’s” in life.  The last thing we want to do is punish our child in anger, yet we hate punishing so much that it’s hard to take action until we are angry.  Yuck.
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Part 4: Obedient Hearts- Obedience First, Explanations Later

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cassI had a friend once who said that he did not always feel an obligation to explain his instructions to his children.  “Sometimes, when they ask why I’ll tell them why.  But I want them to obey promptly whether they understand my reasons or not.  When a little kid is playing in the street and there’s a truck coming at him, there’s no time for an explanation.  His daddy needs to tell him to get out of the street, and he needs to obey.  Quick.”

Continue reading Part 4: Obedient Hearts- Obedience First, Explanations Later

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Part 3: Obedient Hearts: Obedience- It’s Not Always Easy (a true story illustration)

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Character-Concepts-Alvin-York

 “… A great story to illustrate to your children how obedience may be hard for the moment, but will lead to greater good in the end.” ~Rick

If you’ve ever seen the wonderful 1941 movie, Sergeant York you’re already acquainted with the story of the Tennessee mountaineer, a hard-drinking, brawling, straight-shooting country boy who became the most famous American hero of World War I.

Continue reading Part 3: Obedient Hearts: Obedience- It’s Not Always Easy (a true story illustration)

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