Word of God
I believe the best place to start in learning to use the Word of God to teach and train your children would be to encourage you as parents to begin with yourselves. This may sound difficult if you were not raised in a Christian home where moral reasons for why to act righteously were taught on a regular basis.
For example, let's say that you catch your child in a sin, like sneaking into the cookie jar, starting to play before finishing a task, or snatching a toy from a sibling. First have them go to their room. Then find a scripture (using a concordance, if necessary) that you can encourage your child to righteousness with.
While most of us have some idea of where to look, (Proverbs is one good place) there is a book that we use in training our children called For Instructions In Righteousness. It has over 150 different sins topically outlined with why we shouldn't have this sin, what the opposite of this sin is, stories to illustrate the message and consequences of this sin, and blessings from abstaining from this sin and memory verses. ALL FROM THE WORD OF GOD!!!!!!!
This book has encouraged my husband, Jay, and me to take the time to train them. A side benefit, though, is that it can also help you find victory over your own sins if you use it apply it to your heart! So begin by working on your own heart and using scripture to train first yourself, and then your children.
We also take the memory verse and write it down on an index card and have the child carry it in their back pocket if we see a characterization of a particular sin in his life.
For the toddlers we illustrate on the card the memory verse. For example, let's say that one of my toddlers hits the other. I took a card and drew stick men: one scene with them hitting the other; the other scene with a big heart in the middle of them. I wrote down: "Be kind and tender towards one another. Eph 4:32" I have the child carry it in his back pocket all day, having him periodically pull it out and read it throughout the day; or for many days until we see victory.
I also want to encourage you to begin to use the "fruits of the spirit" to train your children. Get in the habit of saying things like: "Show kindness. (Do not return evil for evil.)" "You may not feel like it, but show love to your brother." ... "Be patient; he's younger than you are." ... "Are you having peace?" ... "Be gentle." (Especially when they are about to kick the dog.) ... "You are showing goodness in your heart!" ... "Be faithful in all things, even Mom or Dad aren't looking." ... "I know you're angry (or frustrated, or grumpy...), but you need to ask Jesus to help you find self-control." ... "Yes, it's raining outside (again), but let's be joyful anyway."
Give them a specific example of what it looks like. Let's say you see your toddler being patient at the breakfast table while waiting for his food, encourage the child in this way: "Good job, you are being patient!"
Another example would be when your child responds correctly when being told to do something' you could say something like "I am so proud of you! You had self-control."
Find specific examples of them demonstrating particular fruits of the Spirit in their lives (even if you have to look hard in the earlier stages of this process), so that they will know what it looks like.
Parents: encourage, encourage, encourage your children in their attempts at righteousness! Looking for and noticing fruits in their lives will be a great encouragement to them. It is fine to discipline your children, but much too often we forget to encourage and bless them for their good behavior.
Start today by blessing your children and encouraging them "in well doing." May God bless your family as you prepare to see more of Jesus Christ in your home and each other.
Barb and Kelli!
I just HAVE to tell you!!!
Kelli Johnson just happens to be a precious friend
and a dear sister-in-Jesus! She has been a tremendous help to
me in getting my website up and running and improved in many ways!
I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing this woman in action with her
four sons who range in age from 4 through 11 years old. I assure you that everything she says in this article she also does, plus she is
experiencing the sweet fruits of her training in her precious sons who
are amazingly well-behaved! And not just on the outside(!);
She and her husband, Jay, are doing an excellent job of
molding their sons' hearts, training them from
the inside out, and being examples
to them in the process!
If you got here via Kelli's site, click here to return.
I got the "mommy and baby" border at:
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