A quick reference with counseling wisdom and biblical insights to help make you more effective at what you do.
We love being a part of your life!
Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
Feb 16 – Feb 22
- Focus on Relationship
- As a parent, you know if you are emotionally close to your child. More important, probably you could identify one or two things you could do to draw closer. Commit yourself for a month to doing at least one thing consistently with each child that will bless him or her.
- The quality of your relationship will determine the effectiveness of your discipline strategies. Your goal is to develop a plan that may involve the following:
- The rules to be followed.
- How discipline will be handled for infractions of the rules.
- What is negotiable and what is not (for example, curfews might be negotiable).
- Setting aside family times (a particular night of the week or breakfast or dinner as a family).
- Chores (who does what, what is required, when chores must be completed).
- Other items as needed.
- What needs to be in the plan? (This varies depending on the ages of the children and the issues involved.) Have the whole family talk together and share ideas to be incorporated into the plan.
- Try to incorporate everyone’s ideas into the plan. Even the youngest members can have input, but you as the parents are responsible for the final plan.
- If you sense that the parents are immature enough that they won’t be able to develop a good plan (or that their kids will run over them), follow up after they have had their family meeting to look over the plan they developed. You may need to help them accept the parental role or be more realistic.
- Work through the plan for a couple weeks and make tweaks as needed—always with a family meeting. (For example, if chores are still not getting done, you may need to add consequences that will result.) The plan should reward desired behavior and specify consequences for undesired behavior.
- Post the plan where everyone can see it. Mom and Dad must be 100 percent together on this. The kids must not think they can get one to overrule the other or that they can pit their parents against each other.
- Ask for God’s leading in raising your children to be responsible adults.
- Try to have at least one meal a day together as a family. Eating breakfast together may be more feasible than eating dinner together, depending on your family’s commitments. Most important, keep the relationship between you and your child strong.
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6—9
Teaching one’s children the ways of God is the highest calling of parenting and a 24/7 process.
“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD.” So they worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:27—28
Parenting is demanding and rewarding. Many people prepare and study for years to enter a chosen profession, but for parenting we usually receive on-the-job training. The goal of parenting is to let the children go eventually.
For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. 1 Samuel 3:13
Eli did not discipline his sons even though they were priests under his supervision. These men were treating the sacrifices of the people with contempt (1 Sam. 2:12—17) and were committing sexual sin with women of the tabernacle.
Certainly Eli, as parent and as high priest, had the authority to deal with his sons but he chose not to do anything. Eventually God stepped in.
God gives parents authority over their children. Parents should use this authority wisely to guide their children away from sin.
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, “Why have you done so?” He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.) 1 Kings 1:5—6
Adonijah was a son of David, and it is apparent that one of David’s weaknesses was the inability to discipline his children.
David’s failures as a father led to a number of failures and sins in his children.
Parents always influence their children—for good and bad. There is no substitute for invested, caring, loving parents who discipline when necessary.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them. Psalm 103:17—18
One of the great promises of the Bible is that the mercy of the Lord continues from one generation to the next, even to our children’s children. This does not mean that the children of believers will automatically believe in God, but that God’s mercy and goodness are available to each generation that follows the good example set by the previous generation.
Parents must set the right example for their children. They are living not merely for themselves; they are setting a precedent that will affect generations to come.
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14—15
Timothy had been learning the Holy Scriptures from childhood. Christian parents have the God-given responsibility to raise their children to know and love God and His Word.
Young children can learn the great truths and stories found in the Bible that show God’s love and power. The teaching given to young children will be embedded in their minds, giving them a strong foundation on which to build. That training is able to make them “wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”