I’m the Boss!

Sometimes parenting young children can be exhausting, especially for new parents. If only I knew then what I know now! I believe most parents “guinea-pig”  the first one and a half children and learn by trial and error as they go along! They establish a game plan for all the ones to follow after that! Then…BOOM! The next child born has a temperament totally different than that of the former.What to do now!! LOL! New parents have a tendency to panic. However, HAVE NO FEAR!! God would not bless you with that tender little being and not give you the wisdom to take care of it. He’s not just sitting up there deriving pleasure from your torment and frustration. Children are supposed to be a blessing in the home! Lighten up and enjoy the journey. There are many priceless memories to be made! When your child becomes mobile and begins to discover all the neat things in your home, that is when you begin to re-direct them in the way you need for them to go. As they begin to test the durability of everything in their reach, you begin to make preferences on the things that are safe for them to play with. At this point, many things are not safe for them! You will then begin to introduce the word “no” in relation to all of the “no touches” in their environment. They are not going to understand the “why not” at this point. They do not even have the verbal skills to ask why not. They lack the maturity and/or discernment needed to make an educated decision. You DO have all that is needed AND you are the adult so when you say “no”, you need to stick to your decision as many times as they try it again. Sometimes it will test your patience or pluck your last nerve, but remember, you are building a foundation that will last a lifetime!

Once the child becomes old enough to express their desires and will verbally, that is the parents cue to begin to establish general rules, limits and boundaries. Now comes the most important rule in parenting-Beforehand, parents need to discuss their beliefs and goals in regards to discipline and make a sober commitment to each other to be in agreement and of one accord on all decisions. Parents that try to discipline with different standards send mixed signals to their children. This keeps them confused and frustrated and creates strife in the home. Children learn quickly that they can go to the other parent to get a more favorable answer if they were not satisfied with the first one! “No” really needs to mean “no” and “yes” needs to be honored no matter how inconvenient! Children of all ages need to have clear, defined limits, boundaries and rules. This promotes peace, order and security for the child. They learn to know what is expected of them and upon obeying, they are secure in knowing the outcome. We also need to foster age-appropriate independence in our children. If you give a whole group of children unstructured time to play, almost immediately, they will begin to establish a “pecking order”. It will soon become evident who the “leaders” and “followers” are! They will begin staking claims on who gets to be the policeman, teacher, fireman, parent, etc. Most all of them want to be in a position of authority over someone else! It’s human nature! Watch how quickly small children learn how to use the words “yes” and “no” on you or someone else! They’re smart!! So…when raising young children, you can pray for creative ways to put things on their level of understanding. Discipline is not just giving consequences when bad choices are made. It is giving instruction and training them in the way they should go. They need to hear  and learn why you said no. Is it a matter of timing, convenience or safety?  You are training them to think for themselves. You are fostering self-discipline. God gave us all the right of free will or choice. We learn to exercise it and live with our decision. It may begat a blessing or induce a consequence! This eventually teaches them to discern people and circumstances for themselves and sharpens their power of reasoning. Doctors and child psychologists have learned that it is VITAL to learning AND that it is HEALTHY for children to experience some degree of failure. The brain actually re-wires itself by tending to our mistakes and bad choices. Brain scans prove this!! This will promote good life-coping skills as they learn to handle disappointments, frustrations, and various emotions that come with failure. We can be there to console, comfort and advise them upon experiencing failure OR be readily available to celebrate their victory in mastering something! The key is being there! If you are not present, you do not have “airtime” for teaching and redirecting. Getting angry, being short tempered, brushing them off or sending them to their room does not solve anything except giving you time to cool down and/or decide to sacrifice what you are doing at that moment to address the situation. That program on tv, that telephone conversation, or computer time can be sacrificed for the greater good.

I have discovered an explanation that has proven to be successful in teaching young children the importance of obeying. It has become a foundation to be built upon year after year, as they grow and mature. This biblical principle can be put on their level in this manner:

“God gave this,(pointing to myself), heart to me and He expects me to be the boss over my heart. He gave that, (pointing to them), heart to you and He expects  you to be the boss over your heart. You are not the boss over someone else’s heart and they are not the boss over yours. We all need to be the “boss” over our own hearts. Mom and dad are here to help you make good choices! We are here to help you do things that you do not know how to do because we love you sooo much! As long as you are making good choices and being the “boss” over your heart, you won’t need our help! When you are having trouble being the boss over your heart, we are going to help you because we love you sooo much! More importantly, God loves you! We want Him to be happy about all of us, especially you! We want Him to bless your socks off”.  This empowers your child with a sense of worth AND promotes the picture of them being celebrated when successful. At this point in the conversation, your child is beside themself, giggling with laughter and is anticipating being pleasing to you! It has not become a battle of my will -vs-your will. AND, who doesn’t like to feel celebrated! Even as adults, we like to feel celebrated in front of our peers and have our efforts or accomplishments acknowledged. How much more-so does that place your child on cloud nine and set them up for success! Your loving, nurturing and optimistic approach appeals to their human nature! They will strive to have your stamp of approval and be celebrated by you! They will yearn to be pleasing in your sight. As they mature, you can teach them of the importance of being pleasing in God’s sight and how the bible teaches that He is omnipresent and is looking for opportunities to bless our socks off! God takes pleasure in blessing us! The way in which we communicate with our children should mirror the manner in which the Lord deals with us! He is loving, nurturing, patient and gracious. We, as parents, should model all of these same attributes to our children. Then when they reach that age of accountability that the bible talks about, they have a solid foundation and tenderness of heart to receive instruction directly from the Lord. By then,  they will have established standards for themselves that will keep them from being influenced by false doctrines and pitfalls that others succumb to. They will have learned to follow the path of peace and will strive for the spirit of excellence in all that they do! Because of their obedience to heed the commandments of the Lord and their willingness to be led of His Spirit, they will have learned to step out in faith expecting to experience blessings and victories in every area of their life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do you hear the words comin outta YOUR mouth?!

One day in my classroom of four and five year old preschool children, a child blurted out a choice word that he had heard from home in a moment of dad’s unleashed temper! Just as fast as it hit my ears, children began to tattle and blurt out what the little boy had said. As fast as I could, I was pointing to each one and saying, “Ok, I heard. You don’t say that…that’s not a good…I said I heard. Do not repeat that!” Fires were popping up faster than I could put them out! I began explaining that even adults are not supposed to talk like that. While I ‘m speaking, another child blurts out uninvited, “Oh, that’s not bad…my dad says !@#?*! when his tool breaks and he smashes his hand…”. Oh my goodness! They all started shouting over each other telling all about what their parents say at home! If parents only knew how their little ones were singing like mocking birds at preschool, they would keep them home and lock the doors! In a moment of shock followed by an intellectual brainstorm, I then proceed to instruct the child on what is the proper course of action to take next time he hears dad talk like that. I instructed him that upon hearing that again, he should respectfully say, “Ohhhh,  you had big words in your mouth and God heard them”! He thought that was really cool. I could see the smoke clearing and all the fires were now extinguished so I proceeded with my lesson.” After all”,  I told myself, ” he can not remember his middle name so it will be ok”. I did not give it another thought until several days later a mom, upon dropping off her child, began to tell me about something that happened at home the day before. She was laughing uncontrollably and proceeded to describe the look of shock on her angry husbands face when he was corrected by their son! She warned me of a possibly offensive phone call that I might receive…you guessed it! We lost additional acreage due to that fire before all was done! Talk about crop failure!! Let’s try this approach…

No matter the age, I feel confident that we all have some degree of improvement that can be made on the words that come out of our mouths! We have words or quips that have been passed down from generation to generation or they have been obtained by social contact and various sources of media.These are deemed by many to be a sign of wit, humor and sometimes even intelligence! Even according to worldly standards, being eloquent of speech can lend immediate favor in given circumstances. God’s word says that words fitly spoken can promote life or words carelessly spoken promote death! Our prayer should be like Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth AND the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer”. This literally means, “let what I speak and what my heart murmurs to itself, be a delight to you Lord”. We should always speak the kind of words that confirm what we believe in our heart about God, His love and His power. If we believe, yet we contradict that belief with careless words, it’s not acceptable with the Lord! The bible says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, keeps his soul from troubles”. (Proverbs 21:23) It  also says, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit”. (Proverbs 15:4) How can we, out of anger, curse everything around us and then marvel when things go awry! We sometimes carelessly claim things like, “I’m gettin sick and tired of…” OR “That almost gave me a heart attack”! These things are not in line with God’s word for our lives, success, health and peace of mind! How is it that sometimes parents will even say things to their children like, “Are you stupid?! What were you thinking”?! OR “What’s wrong with you? You are a bad boy/girl and I’m not going to speak to you”! Remember, our children will repeat the behaviors that they see in us and not what we tell them to do. Also, the image of us being in authority over them is what perspective they are going to have about God being in authority over them! God daily grants us unmerited grace, favor and forgiveness. Who are we that we will not display the same towards our own children? We should never berate or address our children in a demeaning manner! Matter of fact, we should be speaking and praying God’s word over them. Even as early as before birth, parents can be praying blessings over their child/children and have faith believing God will perform it! Faith takes action! Parents, lay hands on your children and speak the word of God over them and their life. They need to hear you praying for them! It promotes a bond between children and parents. They also will feel celebrated by you! Children need to know they are important and are loved by us! Even as adults, it is human nature to feel the need to be celebrated by someone! Also children will learn how easy it is to talk to God in thanksgiving, worshiping and making their petitions known. They need to learn what God has to say about their inheritance, circumstance, health, happiness, dreams, desires and future as well as the past! They then will reach a point where they are praying out loud the same scriptures over themselves, you and others! Remember that Jesus said the kingdom is made up of such as them?!

Children are very precious in the sight of the Lord! Children are looking to us for words of confirmation, affirmation, approval and acceptance. Are we going to raise up children lacking all the same things in their lives that we lack in ours? “Oh, I’m sorry! You lost the genetic lottery! I was never successful in that subject or in relationships so you will be just like me”. We are supposed to be nurturing them with the Word. You remember what I said about children reaching a point where they are praying scripture aloud? The bible says that we should meditate on God’s word daily. From what I understand, the word “meditate” in that scripture means to utter audibly in a low voice. That sounds like prayer to me! Also, did you know that we have a part of our brain called the thalmus? The thalmus is like the hard drive of the brain. A thought is just that…a thought. When that thought comes out of your mouth…it then becomes a part of your thalmus which is like your hard drive. It is then there for recall as needed! How awesome is that? Then in a moment of fear, that child remembers that God does not give a spirit of fear but of love and a sound mind! In a moment of doubt, that child remembers that he can be ten times wiser than the children of the world and all his/her steps are ordered of the Lord. Oh my goodness what a victorious life we can set our children up for! You can pray over them for anything to EVERYTHING concerning their past, present and certainly the future! Learn what the Lord has to say about your children and your grandchildren! Step out in faith and claim those things believing that you are a child of the Most High God, He loves you and you were created for all of this AND He’s got everything under control. The God ordained possibilities for our children are limitless!

Philippians 4:8 ” Finally bretheren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”

Do you have good and wholesome memories from your childhood that have helped to sustain you through your adulthood? Character and conduct begin in our minds and our actions are affected by the things we dwell on in our idle thought time. The words true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report indicate things sincere, clean, modest, morally faultless, authentic, of reality and that which harmonizes with historical facts. Some adults schedule their child’s every waking moment to the max in order to keep them occupied and engaged in one activity or another! They are so committed that it results in exhaustion, stress and frustration. What was meant to be fun is no longer fun!

God created our minds as well as our bodies to have down time or time where there is no stimulation or manipulation from an outside force. Just time to ponder and meditate on things and life. Our life experiences and the activities that we engage in create memories of a good or bad nature. We then marinate on those memories in our thought life. Those memories will then promote love, peace, sound mind and a passion to live life OR fear, anger, frustration/stress etc. Then, during our and their resting time we wonder why we can not sleep. Proper rest affects our physical health as well as our mental health. For example, children watch cartoons and other programs, that are alledgedly rated for early childhood which introduce all kinds of un-natural and un-Godly looking creatures that display un-Godlike characteristics and behaviors. God placed in every child a measure of curiousity and a natural drive to learn. They are going to ingest whatever we make available to them! Brain development is very much influenced by our early environment and it’s influence is long-lasting!

Have you ever noticed that in the midst of numerous new Christmas gifts, that your child would rather play with the box that the new household appliance came in?! WHY IS THAT and don’t you just want to shout?! After all, don’t they realize how long you fought traffic and cashier lines to secure that AND what a dent it put in your account? LOL!! Not! And to add insult to injury…the box was FREE!  That child is going to make more wholesome memories pretending and using their imagination AND those memories need to include you! If you do not make time for them now, they will not have time for you later. Also, when life presents them with trials and tribulations, they are going to need those memories for recall to help get them through a hard time. It gives hope in a time of trouble! Many adults in this day and age are still plaqued by bad memories from their childhood. They have memories of someone’s unleashed anger, disappointments, rejections and abuse or neglect. Short of divine intervention, they are still dragging through life, dreading every new day and are very miserable. They do not have fun or heartwarming memories to dwell on.

Family Fun At The Beach

God did not intend for us to just exist without hope and enjoying all that He created. We need to be creating great memories with our children which bring laughter, promote mental and physical health, reinforce family ties and confirm the need to live a Godly life! These things cement our bonds with our children! They’ re going to bond with someone. Is it going to be you or their peers?  Whoever they are going to be spending time with is going to have “airtime” to be of an influence over them. Ask the Lord to give you creative ideas on things you can do with your children that make good memories! In all the years that I have been surrounded by children of all ages, I have never heard a child reminisce about getting to have their own tv in their room and watch unlimited cartoons. They do not cherish those memories.They will remember the simple things  that they longed to do with you that you never “had time” for! Children cherish memories like:

making tents with old sheets and blankets draped over the furniture on a rainy day

camping/hiking and discovering nature

having family pillow fights (yes adults can do this and it’s a load of fun!)

turning out all the lights and playing hide and seek in the dark

camping overnight on the trampoline or in the back yard

All of these moments lend you the opportunity for  “air time” with your children. They are intriqued by anything out of the norm! These kinds of memories are then there for recall in a moment of sadness, sickness, depression, anxiety or fear. The condition of our minds and our will to thrive affect every other portion of our lives and the people around us. It’s also condusive to the joyful, content and victorious life that God intended for us to have! We want a life filled with love, hope and peace for ourselves and loved ones! Take time to make memories of the highest quality with your children. It will help to sustain them through many years to come!

My Whole Family

Philippians 4:8

How do children rate on God’s list?

Jesus was having a discussion with His disciples one day and they inquired of Him, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1-5, 10) Jesus called a child to Himself, placed him in the midst of them and said, “Assuredly I say to you, unless you become converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.Whoever recieves one little child in My name receives Me. Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” WOW!! Their angels are likely guardian angels of the highest rank! They always see the face of My Father Jesus said!  The way into the kingdom of heaven is by the simple trust and dependence of a child. The way to greatness in the kingdom is by the humility of a child expressed in humble service.

Psalm 127:3  “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” Loving and caring for children honors God! They are ours only in a secondary sense. He blesses us with children,  entrusting them to us to beloved, nurtured, protected and raised up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. We, as parents, are supposed to be the buffer between our children and the whole rest of the world.

Proverbs 22:6  “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” “ Train up” has the idea  of a parent sowing into a child all the wisdom, love, nurturing and discipline that is needed for him/her to mature in the Lord. “In the way he should go” is to train the child according to their unique personality, gifts and ambitions.

Ephesians 6:1-4  “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and your mother…that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” The whole concept of children growing up obeying their parents is not an old fashioned opinion or a false interpretation of scripture. It’s all there in black and white and there’s no gray area. It does not get any simpler than that. It is a mandate from God to our children. God also promises longevity of life on this earth for their obedience!

God holds us, the parents, responsible for the upbringing of our children-not the grandparents, daycares, schools, youth groups or peers! He gave them to us first! Each of these might be of influence on our children, but the final duty rests with us, particularly the fathers. God appointed fathers to be the head of the household to lead and serve the family. These Godly principles are guaranteed for “believing” parents. Also, being an ” at home mom” is often discounted by the world and scorned as being a lesser achievement and does not rate very high on the world’s scale. Hold your heads up high moms because you are making dear to you what is dear to God! Children are precious in the sight of the Lord!  Actually, how many positions are higher than that!  Two things are necessary for the proper raising of children: a right attitude and a right foundation. As parents and a “spiritual umbrella” over our children, we should shield them from the whiles of the world, teach discernment, deposit grace, sow love……..we are that child’s reflector and protector. Whatever we place before our children is what we are going to see in the mirror! Parents if we are experiencing unrest, strife and dissatisfaction in our home, we have to discern where these influences are coming from. Are these things coming from an outside influence…OR are WE the outside influence! Are there things that we have sown into our lives that begat restlessness, strife, etc.? If we are displaying Godly characteristics, that is what we will see reflecting in our children. Many times, even as christians, we say, ” What happens at home, stays at home. We are all adults in the privacy of our own homes”. Remember what I said about “blowing smoke at yourself”? Friends, do not deceive yourself and do not let Satan rob you of God’s promises in regards to your family’s health,  finances and peace!  You may be temporarily “hiding” your choice of how you spend your time from the world. However, God Almighty is omnipresent. We can not teach our children one standard and live another. We should be sowing the best of what God has to offer into our children in order to guarantee a successful harvest. Anything less will result degrees of crop failure! Parents, I encourage you to realize the importance of what God has blessed you with. Do not listen to the world and become weary in well doing. What an honor to be deemed a temporary steward over some of God’s most cherished possessions! Daily, claim God’s promises over your children! Let them hear you pray over them! Making these things a part of your family’s lifestlye will bring you great honor and happiness that money can not buy! Remember, your not just impacting one generation, your impacting generations to come! Leave a legacy!!

“IN THIS CORNERrrrr…WEIGHING IN ATtt….”!

Do you awake each morning feeling like you are housing the world’s next heavy weight contender? Does your child live each day with apparent confidence that they are going to bring “home the gold”?Does it seem as though every issue quickly turns into a battle of the wills? The effectiveness of God’s plan for training our children is  co-measurate to the temperament of our children.It does not matter whether your child is mild mannered or acts like a bull coming out of chute number nine in a bull riding contest! Word up and remain consistent and unwaivering. As many times as they test the standard, lovingly yet firmly meet them there until they conform their will to what you have requested of them. As a wise woman told me once upon a time, “God is the Creator and that child came from Him. That strong will is a part of their personality for a reason. Only God knows what that child’s future holds and why they are going to need that trait which you consider a character flaw. So, in the meantime, pray for wisdom and creative ways to channel that energy and tenaciousness until the time comes that it is going to snap into place!”  As parents, it is our responsibility to teach them about God’s nature, character and role.There are unlimited examples and analogies for learning found in God’s creation and we have God’s word to teach us moral behavior and responsibilities. He has a purpose for all that exists!

Parents, we have to be under God’s authority to exercise authority! The “art” of “dusting pockets” is that we are suppose to be living a transparent life before all who surround us conforming our desires, goals and dreams to God’s will and direction. Just because we have been placed in a position of authority, we should be mindful of the accountability to God for how we exercise it over others. We can not abuse our parental privilege! When Jesus lived on the earth, He led based on His total obedience to God. His disciples saw Him angry, tired and hungry. He led based on His deep love for His followers! We have to consider, ” What would Jesus do if He had my job”? I believe that He would use a calm voice and lovingly and patiently call the child to come. He would then place them on His lap or draw them near and begin to instruct explaining the “how” and “why”. The “if you don’t” does not need to be explained the first time and sometimes not even the second. Giving the benefit of the doubt or giving direction in faith that it will be carried out is a positive way to lead no matter the age of the follower. When the child followed direction, I believe He would then praise the child, celebrating their obedience! Should the child choose to exercise their “freedom of choice” in a negative manner, I believe He would then reiterate the direction clearly negating any gray area. Upon the child disobeying, Jesus would not begin berating the child, offer a consequence he could/would not honor OR send them off to a cave to sit and stoke their anger and resentment! I believe He would then, with a loving calm voice, discipline the child and reiterate His unconditional love for them and His desire to bless them! We should display our love for our children in the same manner.If dad is ruled by how his day went at work or how he’s angry or disappointed in mom at the time, that’s not good! Mom’s, we can not exercise authority effectively over our children if we are ruled by our hormones! “UH OH!! Mom’s havin one of those days! Run for the hills and don’t forget to grab your rations on the way out! Dad will put out a flag when the coast is clear!” That’s teaching our children to be led by their emotions. We should not try to manipulate or instill fear to get desired results. We should not tell our children lies like, “I’m gonna call the police if you don’t mind me” OR “the boogyman is going to get you if you don’t stop throwing a tantrum”. Being deceitful will only cause you further problems. NOW the child is afraid to go to bed so they need to sleep with you. When they awake needing to go to the bathroom, and are afraid to get up and go in the dark, guess what?! NOW you are really tired, angry AND wet! You sowed a bad seed now you are experiencing crop failure! Find ways to establish a bond with your child in a manner that they will not want to disappoint you but, will strive to be celebrated by you! The more you connect, the less you will have to correct!

“One of those things that makes you go “hummmmm”

The Christmas season is upon us! Everyone’s running around making preparations for one of the most important holidays celebrated, especially by Christians. As the birthday of our Lord and Saviour approaches, we are all preparing to give each other gifts and enjoy various celebrations as tradition dictates! In the spirit of giving to family, friends and loved ones, the children usually” rake up” on a lot of cool things that they have put in orders for. As parents, a lot of us long to lavish things upon our children more than we were able to receive as children ourselves. There’s not too much wrong with that as much as we are able AND the level of appreciation is acceptable. The holiday season is also dreaded by many parents who feel over worked, under-appreciated and stretched financially by the pressures of other’s expectations! Christmas time should be a thankful, generous and joyous occassion as we celebrate Jesus’ birthday! Some people get so frustrated that they want to tear their hair out and gnaw all their nails off! 

I believe there is a revelation to be had which will promote peace and help parents to establish a more true tradition of celebrating Christmas.We should be reinforcing the true meaning of Christmas and all of our celebrating should be symbolic and in remembrance of the original and first Christmas. Now I know that I am threatening some people’s upbringing and may even ruffle a few feathers. I COME
IN THE NAME OF PEACE! All joking aside, I am most sincere in sharing this and believe it’s God inspired. Like my father always taught us, ” Just because you may not have the full revelation of a biblical truth, do not reject it and commit yourself against it. Put it on a shelf and marinate on it. If it is of the Lord, He will reveal it and confirm it to you. If it is not of the Lord, He will not let it be to your detriment”! I have found this to be true and a sure way of helping to discern things in life! Please prayerfully consider what I am about to tell you. For example, we need to teach our children that we give gifts in remembrance of how the wise men brought gifts to Jesus to honor Him! In the name of tradition, we all have a tendancy to repeat the things that were ingrained in us from our youth. One of the traditions practiced at Christmas time is teaching young children that a person named Santa Claus is omnipresent, always watching over us to see who’s naughty or nice! He’s the rewarder of those that make good choices and the punisher of those that do not.If you have any wants or desires, he’s the person to contact. The most elaborate stories are told of him and his attributes are many! Just remember that the children being told all of these stories are still cognitively struggling to discern the difference between pretend and what is reality. These are the same children who are hearing and being taught stories about the bible and God! Now think about this…Parents that have worked soooo hard to provide for their children because they love them so much just gave ALL the credit to an imaginary person! Santa did not contribute a penny to the gift fund or even wrap a single gift in the wee hours of the night seeing how exhausted you were when you came home from work! That child is going to sing Santa’s praises when all those gifts are opened and every time they are played with thereafter! By the time it’s all over with, you are going to want to look Santa up and choke him! Up to the very moment of introducing the child to dear Santa, that child never had a genuine reason to ever doubt a word the parent said! Children are so trusting! Tradition just led that parent astray and cheated them of a big blessing! I am not sharing this in order to put condemnation on anyone. My intention is to share a truth that will help promote contentment and appreciation for the parent’s hard work and sacrifice! It also reinforces another Godly principle of the blessing of giving being greater than receiving! Parents become angry, frustrated and resentful. At some point or another, the child finds out the truth and that Santa Claus was only a pretend story created to make Christmas fun. Some parents will even drag it further with the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Then the same follow-up story will be offered. Now guess what? That child, who lacks maturity and discernment, now has every good reason to doubt everything they were ever told about manners, rules, Jesus and God. Sometimes as parents, we make choices that undermine our own repore and authority with our children. The bond that could have been created and cemented by the parent telling the truth was just torn down. Life circumstances and outside influences of the world alone will offer enough of those snags. Wouldn’t it be a more preferrable thing to have that child come running up to you, long after Christmas and unprompted, to give you a hug and thank you yet one more time for the gift? Instead of telling them about Santa, we should be teaching them that God is omnipresent and how we need to live our lives in a manner pleasing in His sight. We should be teaching them to be aware of His presence and how much He loves them and is watching in order to “catch” them doing right so He can bless their socks off!

Parents and friends, we can not lose or go wrong by instilling the truth in our children! It will begat success, peace and freedom. As we approach the holiday season, prayerfully consider and even straight up inquire of the Lord. If it is of Him, He will confirm it beyond any shadow of a doubt! Brace yourself with His word and charge fearlessly ahead! God bless you!

Slow obedience is no obedience-part 2

There are instances in the bible where God gave instruction to someone and that person was not prompt to obey which resulted in consequences. With God there is no gray area. We learn and things are established “line upon line and precept upon precept”. It is a Godly principle. Our choices in life, no matter the size, will begat a blessing or a curse. We, as adults, are not afforded the luxury of arguing with God. Oh, you can try it. If you’re feeling “froggy”, jump right on out there! When God gives a “no” answer,  it does not mean that we can then manipulate, cut a deal or throw a fit! God set forth commandments and guidelines for living life. When we follow His plan and obey His commandments, we then enjoy the blessings that come with having been quick to obey with a willing heart. God also administers grace! Oh thank the Lord and move aside cause I’m claiming my measure! Every day I awake, I automatically know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I am going to make some wrong decisions. Quite frankly, some of those wrong decisions are made knowingly. Because our Heavenly Father loves us so, He gives grace beyond what we can imagine sometimes. Who are we to ask for AND expect grace for our mistakes and  not show it to others? Our children are no different. When disciplining our children, a measure of grace should be given when a genuine change of heart is evident. Not only is that child supposed to be one of your most prized possessions in this life, they are a child of the Most High God. That child is one of His most prized possessions! It’s as though they are on loan to you for you to be a steward over for a season. As parents, there is an accountability that comes with having children. The Lord is going to hold us accountable for every thing that we sow into their life! The perspective that a child has of the immediate authority in their life will forever, short of divine intervention, affect their perspective of their relationship with the Lord. If a child is always experiencing someone being overbearing, quick to anger and a lack of nurturing and integrity, they are going to grow up expecting constant hell fire and brimstone from someone that does not honor their promises! They will have a defeated mentality feeling like God is always on the prowl to “catch” them doing something wrong. God is a gracious, nuturing and loving father who longs to spend time with us and bless our socks off! He’s actually just looking to “catch” us obeying his direction, commandments and showing love and compassion on others all the way through life. He urges us to be bold as His children and step up and claim His promises! The way that we discipline our children should mirror the way in which the Lord deals with us. Quick obedience with a willing heart is a favorable end result. All involved have kept their peace, the child knows exactly where the boundries are and all can enjoy the blessings that come with being a family! Our consistency in instilling these principles in our children will alter their destination in life! The bible even says that they can bring you honor or great sorrow. Raising up our children in this manner will set them up for a successful and blessed life! Being quick to obey not only helps to avoid consequences or undesirable results from a bad decision…it begats unlimited blessings and becomes a lifestyle! Obedience promotes peace and who doesn’t want an extra measure of that in this day and age! Just saying…