Do you grow weary of hearing your kids complain or argue with you or their brothers and sisters? How can you control their outbursts of anger? Did you know that God’s Word has a LOT to say about those issues and so many more? In fact, the heart of every problem you encounter with your kids is addressed in the Word, and He gives us the wisdom for knowing how to deal with it.
Consider Ephesians 4:
“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind….. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
We learn here 3 commands :
- We are to lay aside or PUT OFF the old self. Romans 6 tells us that our old life has been buried with Christ and we are now dead to sin. However, we must present our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness. “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices” \
- We are to be RENEWED IN OUR MINDS – We renew our minds by memorizing and meditating on Scripture, by learning what God’s Word says and acting upon it daily. Joshua 1:8 tells us “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” We are promised success if we meditate on God’s Word.
- We are to PUT ON our new self. Colossians 3 tells us “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity” We are to actively strive to cultivate these qualities in our life. The Holy Spirit is there to guide and help us.
So our job as parents is to guide our kids to develop these disciplines in their lives. They can do it. God’s Spirit is our Helper. With that goal in mind, I wondered – “how can I help my kids practically do this? How can I help them take the Word, learn it, apply it, and eventually “OWN” it so it becomes a part of their everyday practice?
I was learning with them. I’d never learned this myself. I grew up in a non-Christian home. Instead of being frustrated when my kids struggled with all these issues, I went to the Word to see what God had to say about each one. As my kids looked up the Scriptures and discovered for themselves what God had to say about each one, it became a guide to help them make wise decisions.
This is what I came up with- a study of Scripture that I entitled Growing in Wisdom. I identified 32 negative behaviors in my kids. I looked them up in Scripture and asked some short-answer questions about their Biblical consequences and insights learned from the Word. God has the answer for replacing our natural tendencies with wise choices which reflect the character of Christ.
Some topics I included:
- Self Control instead of Anger,
- Love Instead of Tattling,
- Kindness instead of Unkindness,
- Diligence instead of Laziness,
- Cheerfulness instead of Complaining
- and many more.
Other negative qualities they will learn to turn into the corresponding positive qualities are:
- Not Listening
- Bad Words
- Rejoicing When Others Get into Trouble
- Planning Wickedness
- Not Admitting Wrongdoing
Next post, I’ll show you how it works…..