1. Lower expectation, higher appreciation
I am easily disappointed when my children makes mistakes or makes a mess, when they are irresponsible with tasks given to them. It makes me wonder if my expectations are just too high for a 6 and a 10 year old. My normal tendencies is to give a sermon that goes on and on, repeating again and again. They end up getting frustrated and exasperated.
The same principle applies with our spouses, we often nag them for the things that they fail to do or their short comings, focusing on the negative. But what is helpful is to count our blessings. Do not focus on what we don’t have but on what we do have. Appreciate our kids and spouse more rather than criticize them for their short comings and misgivings.
2. Resist the urge to lecture NOW.
From my earlier example, as we all know, lecturing during or after the crisis doesn’t work. So it is wiser to take note of the issue at hand and address it at a later time. I so need to work on this.
3. Teach principles in a creative way.
When things cool down, aside from just talking to them directly, we can do artwork to get the point across, have an object lesson or a story telling session. We must adapt our teaching to the learning style of our children. My son is a visual learner, so what can you expect him to learn from hearing my 5-point sermon.
As we are called to be intentional, we have to plan how to communicate the principles to our kids, patiently and gently. I often get frustrated when they don’t learn it the first time around. Having a project about the character we want them to learn will be more effective like singing bible verses, watching cartoons with such lessons. However, it will really take time to mold a character. So we need to take it 1 at a time. As they say, more than 3 criticisms breaks the spirit, it is too much to bear. So APPRECIATE, APPRECIATE, APPRECIATE; PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE.
God bless y’all.
From the previous article, i shared about my anger with my son for his disobedience with a simple and easy command that i asked him to do.
2 Truth about Anger
1) Anger doesn’t make them Realize their mistakes
2) Anger doesn’t make them Resolve to do what’s right
Jam 1:20 (Esv)
20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Anger only aggravates the situation, and shifts the focus to a different thing. What are some constructive way to deal with the situation? Here are some suggestions: 3Rs
1) Reflect on their attitude and actions – we should stop what we’re asking them to do, whether studying, assignments, or a chore, and give them a time out. Let them go to a place so they can think and deal with their issues in the heart and then come back when their ready. With a calm voice, we issue a command once, if they don’t follow – time out. So do not need to get angry before you give them a time out.
2) Reassure them of God’s and your unconditional love – when they come back from their time out and have regained a better perspective, we can now communicate with them how much we love them and how we want to develop their character – responsibility, diligence, and so on. Reassuring them that we love them no matter what. We love them not only when they get high grades or when they are well behaved. If God loved us like that then all of us will cease to exist since we’re so hard headed ourselves, stiff-necked as the Bible puts it.
3) Restore them to their true identity – criticisms whether constructive or destructive are hurtful and painful. Truth hurts. That is why we need to elevate them and encourage them to be all that God want them to be. We as parents want our kids to excel and achieve what God has purposed for their lives. First, we need to share God’s love to them through Jesus’ finished work on the cross so that they may receive forgiveness and adoption as sons of God. Secondly, as heirs of the promise, we need to teach them to act in a worthy manner of their calling. We can never be there with them 24/7, that is why we need to lift them up to God in prayer. Pray for their heart, their character, and their future. God is our partner in raising our kids up. We need to do our part in instilling His words in their hearts so that when they grow old , they will not depart from it.
David (2 Samuel 11-14)
We know that David is a man after God’s own heart. But even in his success, he sinned against God and had a weakness for women. He acquired more and more wives. One that displeased the Lord was how he got Bathsheba – through murder. So his consequence was the sword will never cease to devour in your own house.
Indeed, this came true with Amnon and Absalom. David was a very wise and discerning king. He seek God’s advice for every actions that he took when he was going to war. Could it be that David backslided? How come in regards to his family affair, he was not seeking God. In his relationships he did not seek God’s will – like what to do with Amnon’s sin of raping his half-sister, Tamar. What to do with Absalom for murdering his half-brother, Amnon. He wasn’t even bothered if he did not see his son Absalom for many years. He longed for him but did not bring him back. When he brought him back courtesy of Joab’s idea, he didn’t go see him for 2 years as well.
Could it be that David has backslidden or he has compartmentalize his life about seeking God’s will with nation’s affairs but not family affairs? This reminds us of the value to seek God’s will specially in terms of our relationship and family – dispensing discipline, justice, involvement, and most important of all love. Maybe he was too busy and had too many families to be able to mind them and be involved in rearing them up. We can see that David had a weakness in being a great father despite him being a great king and leader. It reminds us that even as we succeed in our careers and earn a lot of money but if we didn’t invest our time with our families they will be led astray. They might even just squander our riches foolishly.
It is never too late to correct this problem though it may not be easy. Teens will have their own agendas and groups that they don’t want to spend time with us anymore. But through repentance, prayer, and God’s grace there is hope for restoration and reconciliation.
As parents, you have the first move of reconciliation, will you take it? Will you humble yourself and ask God and our children for forgiveness of our shortcomings and sin of neglect?