Category Archives: Christian parenting

Punishment or Consequence

Today my little KJ got in trouble about 30 minutes before nap time. His consequence was that he was no longer allowed to play and had to go to bed. He cried and screamed, calming down only to hear my decision and apologize. Then he asked me for cuddles.

 Cuddles?! Little boy don’t you know you are in trouble? Don’t you know what you did was wrong and you made me mad? Though it was just a moment, it was at this moment I had a choice to discipline or to punish my son.

See he already was informed about the consequence of his actions and he was experiencing that hurt but would me withholding my physical affection be to further add to the lesson or would it be in retaliation. A response based out of my anger rather than my love. So I caved…..

As I held him in my arms I began to think of how familiar this situation is in my life. I’ve made decisions and suffered consequences but God has never withdrawn his affection for me. Two scriptures whispered in my heart as I held this sweet, growing boy in my arms.

 “I will never, leave you or forsake you…” Heb. 13:5
Even when I mess up, even as I am experiencing the results of my decisions?
“I will never, leave you or forsake you…”
Even when I scream and yell with my life, or when I throw a tantrum with my actions?
 “I will never, leave you or forsake you…”

 The other scripture I was reminded of was Romans 8:1 “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”

To condemn someone means to sentence them to punishment. My boy who has not yet decided to live his life in Christ sees first my example of God’s love. Through his 2 year old eyes, he cannot discern discipline from punishment. So, I must teach him. Though his actions may cause some unpleasant reactions God’s love wont fail, and this must be demonstrated through both my action and reactions.

New Shoes

These shoes, these very cute shoes belong to Summer and they are two small. At the ripe young age of two years old SJ loves shoes especially this pair, which she’s outgrown. 
I’m sitting here watching her try to squeeze into these too small shoes. I’ve tried explaining they’re too small, they will be uncomfortable if she gets them on and though they’re cute they are no longer good for her growing feet. This is when God tapped me on the shoulder. 
Have you ever been in a comfortable place to long? Have you felt God prompting you to move? To go into a new season? To grow into something means you grow out of something. I, like all of you, have a comfort zone. This place is cozy and comfortable but every now and then things get too tight and then things change.
The Israelites had a comfort zone and they were pushed way out of it. Cool thing is where they were going was greater than where they’d left. They were in slavery but had gotten comfortable operating in bondage. In the same way we get comfortable operating in sin. When they’d reached a point of discomfort God created a way of escape and gave them the opportunity to obtain something better. Some of us are operating in relationships, jobs, or seasons we’ve outgrown but we try to remain there because it’s comfortable. 
God doesn’t want you comfortable, he wants you thriving. He doesn’t want you in bondage He wants you to operate in freedom. He doesn’t want you to be a borrower, He wants you to be a lender. God doesn’t want you where you are, He wants you to thrive in His promise for your life. 
Unfortunately, the Israelites that were freed from captivity didn’t enter the promised land, they could not let go of their comfort zone enough to go in; but you can. You can decide now, today to leave where you are spiritually, physically, relationally, emotionally and decide to walk into Gods promise for you. 
You can decide to accept God into your heart and make a decision today to leave the comfort of sin and walk instead in the freedom of love. What God has for you is so much better than what you can get for yourself. Take off those uncomfortable shoes, Gods got you a new pair. 

I hurt!

“I hurt! I hurt! I hurt!” My two year olds screams echo through the house as she begs for a bandaid to cover…a scar. She is doing this to put off nap time but it made me take a look at myself. See this is an old scar, from a self inflated wound, it’s a small scar, but to her its huge especially when a challenge arrives. 

How many times have we screamed to God that we’re hurting over a situation He has already healed? How many times do we use the excuse of past pain as a reason to disobey what God is telling us to do. We yell, “I hurt! I hurt!” While God is prompting us to walk in our healing and obey. Scars serve a evidence of a past offense but they also serve as a reminder of God’s grace and our overcoming a hurt. That place where the scar is, is stronger and it’s mark serves as a badge of triumph. So stop screaming it hurts, suck it up, and obey. 
1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 
Romans 5:3-5 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 

Shine Through

This week my husband spoke at his first leaders conference. Despite being nervous he did an excellent job. Later we talked about steps he could take to be more comfortable on stage when he expressed this very humble concern. He wants to be comfortable enough to effective but he doesn’t want to be so comfortable that he presents himself more than he shares what God is using him to say.

As I prayed and thought about this conversation I realized, not presenting yourself in any situation is very hard to do. Especially with parenting. Our children know more about us than anyone else, save our spouses. They know what makes us happy or sad. They know if we have a temper or if we use harsh language. Our kids see us at our most comfortable, in our most vulnerable state. They should see through us, the love of Christ.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “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. 
Our love for God should invade our lives so much that it seeps into our conversations with our children, that it’s evident in our dealings with them and around them. They should know our love for God and more importantly Gods love for them. 
Father, 
We love you. Thank you for being the wonderful parent you are and for showing us how to be parents through your word. Shine through us and touch the hearts of our children, use us to show them your unfailing love. We love you, we thank you, and we can’t do this without you. Amen.

Annoyances or strengths?

Yesterday my husband and I talked about our differences and though they cause annoyances at times they are often a blessing. For example, I am very creative, Kristian is very efficient. Well, creativity is a process and being efficient doesn’t always yield my desired results. Creativity is also very spontaneous so Kristian doesn’t always know what to expect from me, which is frustrating for someone who doesn’t like surprises. These differences are a great blessing in our lives, family and marriage. I need security and knowing my husband is diligent and willing to go the extra mile provides me with a sense of security. It also gives security to our children because they know that daddy always comes home, and that he will drop everything and play with them. My creativity helps make our family fun. I love finding new ways to explore things with the kids and new approaches to teach them the things they need to know. 
This got me thinking, what are some things about the kids that are challenging but a blessing to our family? Summer is unrelentingly persistent. I know it’s redundant but if you met her you will agree, it fits. She in unwavering when she wants something. She makes us stop and analyze our interaction with God. She teaches us to stop and play, to color outside the lines and to dance in the grocery store aisles. She brings us such joy.
KJ is so calm and peaceful, no matter what. We’ve been having really rough nights so we haven’t been getting much sleep but when he wakes up and I go into his room he looks up at me and smiles. Teaching us though life gets hard, joy can prevail. At 4.5 mos old we are still learning his personality but he is a great blessing. Defiantly a calm in the midst of the storm of life. 
I just want to encourage you today to look at your child(ren)’s personality even the things that annoy you and how those traits bless your family. It’s not by accident your child is in your care. Acts 17:26 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,” God picked you to care for them, he trusted you with their little souls to raise to be who they will be. 
Thank you God for these little people who come equity with such wonderful lessons of your love. Please continue to equip us with the knowledge of your word so we can use wisdom in raising our children. Please send people into our lives that will call out the best in us as people, parents, and your children. Help is be a blessing and to raise blessings. In Jesus name, amen.