Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 11 - Creating an Appetite for Discipline

I'm inspired today as I am reading through the book of Deuteronomy. It seems when I'm diving into God's word about parenting, I'm brought right back to this book in the Bible. You might be thinking, "How can a book in the Old Testament really help me today in my parenting journey?" Well, friend it is a book that Jesus quotes many times. This book of final words written by Moses to the Israelite people gives us great insight about parenting and some practical applications as well. If its good enough for Jesus, then its worth checking out!

Moses spoke often of obedience. What kind of obedience? Well, obedience with our heart, our will, our mind, our body, our finances and our future. Doesn't this sound like a playbook for parenting? We are ultimately training up our children to walk in obedience to Christ in all these areas. Its about creating discipline in all these areas!

Deuteronomy 8:3, "He did all of this to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord." Are you creating an appetite for discipline in your children or do they crave rebellion and utter freedom from any kind of rules? Do they obey you on the first try or do they test you over and over again? Think about the following.

My commentary breaks it down like this:
If we are truly obedient then we must do it with:
Our Hearts - Loving Him more than any relationship, activity, achievement, or possession.
Our Will - By committing ourselves completely to him.
Our Mind - By seeking to know him and his Word; so that it may form the foundation of all we think and do.
Our Body - By recognizing that our strengths, talents, and sexuality are all given to us by God to be used for pleasure and fulfillment according to his rules, not ours.
Our Finances - By deciding that all of our resources we have ultimately come from God, and that we are to be managers of them and not owners.
Our Future - By deciding to make service to God and man the main purpose of our life's work.

Now, I'm going to challenge you. How to you measure up to these? As a parent we do want to instill in our children a love for God's word and his commandments. Teaching obedience begins from a very young age. It is much easier to handle a young child's disobedience than to deal with a teenagers rebellion. Its a tough job, but I know that you are up to the challenge.

God's word is so clear. In Chapter 11, Moses writes about the blessing of obedience. When I think about teaching my children obedience, In the midst of the struggle I remind myself of the end goal. Ultimately when we obey all the commands, and if you Love the Lord with all your heart and soul and if you worship him, he will send the rains in their proper seasons so you can harvest crops of grain, grapes for wine, and olives for oil. (v13)One day, we shall see the harvest in our children. Obedience is nothing more than self-discipline! We have to have cultivate this in our children!

How do we create an appetite for discipline in our children? Here's my top 5.
1. Be the parent - stay engaged at ALL TIMES! This is not the time for a substitution or for sitting the bench, stay in the game.
2. Be praying - Pray constantly for your children and let them know you are praying. I always communicate this to my children
3. Be obedient - The best example for our children is Jesus, closely followed by you, THE PARENT! Practice being obedient in your own life. Own up to your kids when you fail. Let them see JESUS working IN YOU!
4. Be encouraging - It can be easy to focus on the negatives of parenting, and your child's failure. But each day find something to compliment them on. Never let them leave the house without an edifying word (even if your upset with them). I'll often say, "God has a calling on your life...don't miss it! or Look for Jesus as you go through your day today!"
5. Be humble - Show up for parenting each day with a new attitude! Don't give in to the world's definition of terrible teens. It is easy to want to be right as a parent, remember when we humble ourselves to Christ and our children, it is a great way to learn wisdom!

I hope you've enjoyed today's post! God is always working on this momma's heart! I hope your inspired, encouraged and reminded of the top 5 ways you can give your children an appetite for discipline!


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