Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Word in Child Training

There is no shortage of child training material based on behavior modification. Here's the problem with behavior modification strategies: Children have a sin nature.
Modifying behavior and ignoring the attitude of the heart will produce a child who behaves well, but has a heart of rebellion. If we don't use God's Word to correct the sin in the heart, we accomplish nothing in child training.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul
-Psalm 19:7

The law was our schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ
-Galatians 3:24

How this works in real life:

Scenario 1:
Lydia pinches Chloe, so Chloe pinches Lydia back. Chloe is quick to tell me that she didn't start it.
I pull Lydia aside and say: Were you being kind? Love is kind.
Then I pull Chloe aside and say: Were you responding with grace or did you repay evil for evil?

Scenario 2:
Maya is making Daniel's sandwich. Daniel whines: I told you I want LOTS of peanut butter!

I pull Daniel aside and ask: Are you being thankful? This is God's will for you.
Or I might say:
What were you doing wrong?
-Complaining (this is a common offense among certain Clarks, so this script comes up a lot)
Right. What does the Bible say about complaining?
That's right. What do you need to do now to make it right?
-Apologize to Maya and be thankful.
{smile} Great! Go do that.

Scenario 3:
Elena makes a joke using potty words.

I say: It's not appropriate to make jokes like that. Ephesians 5:4 says that foolish talk and crude joking are out of place for believers
(This is a new one we're learning, so I don't ask what it says, I tell them.)

Even when Julia fights to roll over when I'm changing her diaper, I quote God's Word to her. I sing: "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1"

God's Word will not return void. It will accomplish His purpose.
-Isaiah 55:11

*Image taken from cover of Shepherding a Child's Heart, a book I highly recommend.


Servant of the King said...

Ginger, I concur, I concur, I concur. Love that book, and am thankful for resources pointing individuals "back" to God's ways. Yeah! I have been challenged in this very area much of late, this was a blessing today. I have decided to open my blog. If you stop by, let me know.

Hebrews 10:24

Graceful Threads said...

I liked SACH but think sometimes a *knock it off* may be better than a long explanation. Im lazy like that.

Also am very leary of using scripture as punishment or conveying God as an Ogre, not saying its not a good resource just not completely my style. :-)

Ginger said...

"Knock it off" may temporarily change the behavior, but it doesn't change the heart at all. That's the point.
I do not advocate using scripture as punishment. If I were to have the child write out: "All liars will have their place in the lake of fire" 100x-- that would be using the scripture as punishment. What I am advocating is using scripture for "reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness". 2 Tim. 3:16
If God says it's profitable for all of that, that's good enough for me. :)
God's Word changes hearts.

NewKidontheBlogg said...

I love how you are shepherding their hearts!