Is there anything worse than seeing your children fight?It hurts me like nothing else and makes me wonder how much it hurts God's heart to see us...His children...fight with one another.Maybe that's why the angels said...Luke 2:14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."We're working on peace and love in our home between two of our boys.Heather
I hear you. We don't have "fighting" that goes on, so to speak, but rather situations that cause hurt feelings. One goes off with friends and won't let the other go with him. That crushes me when I see the crushed look on a face. That raises the question: Is it ever o.k. to exclude another one? Is it o.k. to say, "I let you go yesterday, but today I just want to hang out with my friends." I really don't know the answer. Melodi
I know.I'm sitting here today thinking that maybe, so much of what I'm allowing is wrong.Maybe this is another area where I have been deceived.Maybe I'm not really teaching them to have patience...to love a weaker brother, to be considerate. Maybe I intervene too often, and prevent fruits like long suffering, learning to love an enemy or be wronged to grow in them.So much to think about.But I truly am asking the Lord to show me where I'm allowing these boys to be robbed of all the goodness God wants to grow in them through their relationships with each other.Am I pointing them to Jesus and encouraging them to imitate Him in every way, or am I jumping in and promoting things like "fairness" when really their hearts aren't right at all.It's brought me to my knees today...and perhaps that's where I need to stay.Heather
Ok, so you said you're working on peace and love with your boys but in what ways? I feel like when I sit the boys down to deal with how they're treating each other, which is usually the way that they are talking to each other, the oldest talking down to the youngest or to each other in rude and angry voices, I try to use scripture and talk with them about how it hurts God and myself to see them acting this way to each other but I really feel like it doesn't reach their hearts. I feel like they have the head knowledge that it hurts God and disappoints him but it doesn't truly make them want to change they just know that it should make them want to....is that b/c the Holy Spirit isn't living in their hearts yet? This is a question I've pondered since having children...how do I reach their hearts not just control their actions....any suggestions?Carrie
This is an area that is an ongoing struggle for us.Alex so desperately wants to be 'just like Michael' and this frustrates Michael no end. He does not understand how much Alex looks up to him. He just wants to be his own person, but how much of that is selfish and how much of that is figuring out who he is, I don't know.It is so hard because my boys can be so loving and playing so well with each other and then one thing or one word can set them off. I try very hard when they come to me for help to ask them if they tried to work it out themselves first, sometimes it works but sometimes their efforts to do so are half hearted at best. It is our nature to want to fix it. We just keep praying.
Kathryn...That happens here too. One small thing and everything goes yuck.We try to get them to work it out themselves too, and definitely talk to one another first before coming to us, but still...we don't want this to merely be about problem solving or making everything nice and fair for everyone involved. More than anything, we just want them to love each other. I find myself asking them constantly...how could you show your brother love right now? What would please the Lord?Carrie...Um...I don't know.Ha!No really...here's my best guess from what I think the Bible is saying, and what I read from Shepherding a Child's Heart.I think at first, all you are doing is controlling their actions, teaching them God's standards, holding them accountable. This has lead our kids to say things like..."I just can't stop doing that," or "I know I shouldn't do it, but I still do."We say..."Amen."Apart from Christ, we are destined to do awful things.We need a savior!For Anson, since we know he is a believer, we can encourage him with the hope found in God's Word.We are more than conquerors.We are no longer slaves to our sin.Christ came to free us, to transform us and teach us a new way to think, react and live.And just lately, we've had to be very honest with Anson about how to love a brother who right now, may be incapable of reciprocating.Anson is having to learn how to suffer, how to deal with things being unfair, and how to love even when the other person isn't trying nearly as hard.It's hard as a parent to watch that.For Hayden...Well, we're not sure if he is a believer. He seems to know all the facts, but we are waiting to see consistent fruit in his life.And so we pray, knowing that salvation is the ONLY thing that will actually change him and help him to truly love his brother.Until then, we keep the standard the same...obedience to the Word of God for them both, even though one may not be a believer.Shepherding a Child's Heart teaches this in such a great way.We hold out life for them...teaching them all that God desires from them and for them.For our lost kids, that means we also constantly remind them that without the Lord, obtaining the things of God will be impossible.We can't will ourselves to love others or to be kind, or be selfless. We just can't. That dark spot is there...and unless God removes it, that spot will stay there.But I have seen in Anson that it was presenting that standard, over and over, and reminding him how we fall so short on our own that eventually led him to understand his need for a savior.So I don't want to grow weary in teaching good in this home.We've also talked A LOT the last few days about what we need to take off (malice, selfishness, conceit, greed, meanness) and what God wants us to put on instead...(love, humility, kindness, generosity).We are praying for those things, for God to set our minds on the things above.We're seeing some good...but it is slow going, and some days in some moments I want to hide in a closet until Aaron gets home.Heather
My son is exactly the same. He is the child that no one can believe has spent any time in time out, much less had a spanking. So many times I can just see this smirk on his face as he throws a toy at his sister, etc. I see his flesh finds way too much pleasure in bring her pain. I hate it. We have lots of talks about what does and doesn't please God...you're not alone and I'm not making excuses either. It is just plain sin! Yuck!
I think this post is something that we can all relate to! I know, for me, every time I think to myself "How many times have we been through this? You know what to do! Why do you continue in this sin?" (particularly towards a sibling) that God covicts me and says "How many times do I say this to you, Jenny?"I hold on to His truths. He does not want us to grow weary in doing good. He wants us to teach our children His ways. We must continue on in the race. His Word does not return void. We can do this parenting thing! And, we can glorify God in the process! Thank you for encouraging us! Thank you for reminding us that we are all dealing with the same thing.
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