Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Toddler Training

A life with small children has many different seasons: fun, tiresome, encouraging, overwhelming, and frustrating. Life in general comes at us in different seasons. We have seasons of great passion, deep love, grief, angst, and turmoil. No two days in the life of a believer are the same. One thing is constant, the present, constant love of our Father. I find my understanding of that unchangeable love is wavering, even as He is not. Our understanding certainly is.

Proverbs 16:3,21&22
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it....

I often notice, as mothers, when we get into a particularly difficult season with one of our children, we are quick to share the struggle our child is having with other mothers. We tell of our frustrations with the behaviours and we often vent of our struggles dealing with a particularly hard season. Most often the responses I hear to these struggling mothers is, "oh honey, I can top that," or, "oh, it's normal, just give it time."

As women who depend on the Lord, I see in scripture that our responses to one another should be much more directed to the heart of our fellow mom. "So friend, did how did your heart react to that behavior?" Or, "How did your heart deal with the heart of your child?" Even more simply, "How can I help you think and pray through this tough season with your child?"

Titus 2
....teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

TEACH....TRAIN, not, "Oh I've so been there"...

Not preach, hound, judge, hurt. Train, teach....that the word of God may not be reviled. Do we use scripture as a weapon. Or do our children see the good works in us (even when frustrated) and then long themselves to be self-controlled and pure?

It is hard to be the one in a group that says, "before we fault our children, how about we take some time to look at our own hardened, possibly angry hearts." Not easy to do, but it could be the thing that brings us out of our slump with our little ones.

So how is your heart today? Have you given yourself even a moment to examine it before disciplining your child. Take the time, you will not regret it. If needed, go to your child and apologize for ways you have used your hard heart to punish your child.

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A place to find encouragement to love your little ones, your husbands and those you come in contact with daily. Two does not have to be terrible. These are years to grow not simply get through!