What area of disobedience do you find yourself nagging a child about?
It’s common to tell children to “stop doing that” but less common to take the time to tell them what to do instead or to probe into the heart issue behind the problem. Even with our own faults, it’s common to focus on the fault not on the flip side of what we could do to change it. When my kids were little, I happened upon an obedience chart that gave suggestions for replacing bad actions with good ones. It gave Biblical principles and verses of what to “put off” and what to “put on” in an easy to read chart. I used this idea over a few years, making similar lists according to the top few problem areas for my kids. This chart is still available on the internet as Wise Words for Moms. It also gave heart probing questions to ask, which are useful in the moment of discipline or as table talk conversations in general.
Many types of “if-then” consequence lists are available, but this one is great for the younger years and will help you with Biblical parenting that sets a foundation for middle years and hopefully will become personal habits of the launching years. Even as adults we should look at the areas in our life that need correction and focus on what we can put on instead of just complaining about what we need to fix. For example, the Bible tells us in Philippians 2:14 that we should do everything without grumbling and complaining. But what should we do instead? The Bible tells us to put on a heart of thankfulness and gratitude. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are instructed to give thanks in all circumstances. Doesn’t it make more sense to focus on giving thanks than to focus on not complaining?
It’s a switch of our heart attitude and one that we can focus on with our children and students. Help them find what they should put on rather than just nagging them to fix what they should put off. Training in righteousness only comes by the Word of God.
As a side note, I was humored to find this called wise words for MOMS not wise words for kids, yet it was SO true. Parents need help and suggestions for how to train up our kids biblically. We cannot just throw a chart at the kids, hand them a Bible, or drop them off at Sunday School. As we are learning and growing, we can then instruct our children. I so appreciated the biblical guidance in this easy to use chart. Ginger Hubbard also wrote a practical parenting book called Don’t Make Me Count to Three. I mentioned it previously in this book review post.
Table Talk: What areas in your own life do you need to put off? What can you put on instead? Would a resource like this help you in your parenting?