Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2 Straightening the Arrows

Day 2 - 31 Day Journey of Parenting Tweens and Teens

Life goes along, things seem to be on track, and then BAM! It happens. Out of the blue, when you least expect it. When you aren't looking for it. When you aren't ready for it. This IT I'm talking about is lying.

Lies keep the truth hidden. Lies separate us from God's best. Lies create cracks in the parent-child foundation. How do we help develop Godly character in our children, especially when it comes to lying?

When I've caught my children either by omission or by out-right lying it is like a dagger through the heart. I feel so hurt and disrespected, but mostly hurt. Oh my! These moments with my children often turn into more of a heart lesson for me than for my child. See, we are no different than our children. I believe Jesus feels the same way when we hold back and lie to him. He knows our heart! Nothing is hidden from Him!

Proverbs 25:18, " Telling lies [about others] is as harmful as hitting them with an ax,
wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.

Oh, how I felt like a sharp arrow had pierced my heart! Where did this come from? Why was this happening? What am I supposed to do now? In the heat of the moment it is hard to keep your cool. I'll admit throughout some of these conversations when lying is involved, my voice can get loud. There are times when you will need to table the discussion for later; either for times sake or other demands. Usually, these things happen right before everyone has to leave for school or work, or even late in the evening when the day should be over. Often, this is probably a good idea. When you can step back, take a breather, usually cooler heads prevail.

I learned this with our oldest son. Whatever the issue is, if your child is getting angry, and you are too...stop and focus on YOUR behavior, not your child's. Are you escalating the situation? As parents we often focus on being RIGHT versus TEACHING and helping them see our heart and also God's heart about the situation. When I can keep calm, the situation often goes much smoother...for all involved!

Let's set up a good road-map for this journey.

1. Work on your relationship with your own Heavenly Father! Set your GPS to follow Jesus every day! For it is through this relationship with the one who created you that will provide whatever you need to be the parent for the child he has given you. These children were HIS first. Everyday obedience and reliance on Christ Jesus is essential for being a good parent.

2. Pray for any hidden things to be revealed. 1 Corinthians 2:10, "But God has revealed it to us by His spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." (NIV). Search your heart and ask God to reveal anything that may be happening with your child. We don't have privacy in our house. Phones, vehicles, and bedrooms, are all subject to short-notice inspections. You'll know if something is up, and then ACT on it.

3. Check your ego at the door. This isn't about winning. This is an opportunity for them to see your heart. It is a chance for you to direct them right back to God. Proverbs 2:1-5, "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." (NIV) If you catch yourself heading down the road of ANGRY VOICES and POUNDING FIST, stop! Take some time and then come back to the table and address the issue. If you do deal with it in the moment, keep it to the point at hand. Don't bring up something unrelated. Deal with the issue at hand and don't get sidetracked. Talk about God's best and how lying can be a slippery slope for other sin to creep in. Don't use, I don't want you to lie...say God has rules for us and they are good. To be more Christ-like we must follow and obey his commandments and boundaries for our life. Consequences can be figured out later.

4. Communicate EVERYDAY! No matter what is going on in our busy lives, find a way to connect with your teen/tween every day. I know it is hard between school, sports, homework, dinner, errands, dr. appointments, events and everything else in between, but JUST DO IT! A little conversation goes a long way in discovering where and what your child is thinking on. Just as my husband and I need a daily download, your kids do too! I find the car is a great place running between activities.

There will be bumps in this road with your tween and teenager but take heart! God has given you everything you need to be the parent you need to be to the children He has given you! Isn't that great! Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 says, "What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time." (NIV) We don't always get to see the fruit of our labor during these years, and often it feels like we are truly toiling away with no results. Keep up the good work parents! We are helping to straighten the arrow so we can send them out into the world and make a difference for the kingdom of God! Psalm 127:4.

Blessings sweet friends! I'd love to hear how you handle the tough issues like lying in your house? Good or bad?


For more 31 Day'ers check out The Nester.

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