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|you have put off the old man
with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is
renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
"Look to Abraham your
father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased
I am a new man in Christ
|[The above was taken from the September 1995 issue
of "Focus On The Family Magazine", with Dr. James C. Dobson. This
magazine is free. And you can order it from:
Focus on the Family
P.O. Box 35500
Colorado Springs, Co. 80935-3550
|I define the boundaries before they are enforced.
I establish reasonable expectations and boundaries in advance. The children God has
entrusted to me know what is and what is not acceptable behavior before they are held
responsible for those rules. The rules I give children are appropriate parallels of the
rules given to me by my Heavenly Father in His Word. In this way I avoid the overwhelming
sense of injustice that youngsters feel when they are punished for their accidents,
mistakes and blunders. If I haven't defined it - I don't enforce it!
I distinguish between willful defiance and childish irresponsibility.
When defiantly challenged, I respond with confident decisiveness. Once children understand what is expected, I hold them accountable for behaving accordingly. As a son of the rebellious First Adam, I know that in a moment of rebellion, small children will consider my wishes and defiantly choose to disobey. Like a military general before a battle, they will calculate the potential risk, marshal their forces and attack the enemy with guns blazing. When those nose-to-nose confrontations occur between generations, I know it is extremely important to win decisively and confidently. The children have made it clear that they're looking for a fight, and I will not disappoint them!
I reassure and teach after the confrontation is over. After a time of conflict, during which I have demonstrated my authority to lead, youngsters between 2 and 7 (or older) may want to be loved and reassured. I open my arms and let them come! Hold them close and tell them of my love, just as my Heavenly Father assures me of His Love. I rock them gently and let them know, again, why they were punished and how they can avoid the trouble next time. This moment of communication builds love, fidelity and unity.
I avoid impossible demands. I attempt to be absolutely sure that my children are capable of delivering what I require. I never punish them for wetting the bed involuntarily, for not becoming potty-trained by 18 months of age, or for doing poorly in school when they are incapable of greater academic success. These impossible demands put children in an unresolvable conflict: There is no way out. That condition brings inevitable damage to the human emotional apparatus.
I let love be my guide! A relationship that is characterized by genuine love and affection is likely to be a healthy one, even though some parental mistakes and errors are inevitable.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those
who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also
predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn
among many brethren.
I have remembered Thy Name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept Thy Law.