Monday, February 23, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 6

Welcome to the sixth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

Chapter Six was, to me, the “meat” of this book.  The power of God’s word is the ultimate authority to guide us how we might discipline our children.  Once again, I was challenged to the call to know and speak the Word of God so often that it is done in a comfortable and conversational manner.  The only way I can do this is by studying God’s Word myself, then translating it into a language that my 4-yr-old can understand. 

I loved Ginger’s challenge to view every discipline issue as a means to showing our children their need for a Savior.  We are like “mommy missionaries!”  Instead of getting angry and impatient, we should be thankful for the opportunity to point them to Christ.  Wow, that’s easier said than done, and definitely something I need to take to heart.

I appreciated Ginger’s slight detour into the land of excuses.  We’ve heard moms make excuses for their kid’s behavior (hungry, tired, bored, sick, etc.), and I’ve fallen into that trap myself.  The bottom line is that sin is sin.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with extending mercy or grace to our children under challenging circumstances, but we shouldn’t make the mistake of ignoring or excusing bad behavior.  Consistency is key, even when it’s tough.

Training our children to submit to us as parents prepares them to submit to God as a Christian.  I’ve never thought of it quite this way, but it makes sense.  The quote from the book (pg. 75) said,

“When they accept Jesus and surrender to His Lordship, they find it easier to heed His commands because they are already in the habit of obeying.”

Of course, it is the Holy Spirit that convicts their little hearts and God that ultimately opens their hearts, but think of the spiritual benefits that our children will have by beginning a Christian life with solid biblical teaching from childhood!  What a gift that is to our children, and my prayer is that God will use it to gently lead our daughter into His flock.

I hope that many of you will join in and comment on what particularly struck you in this week’s reading.  Even if you didn’t read, feel free to comment on the topics raised…I look forward to reading them!  Stay tuned for a post next Monday on chapter seven.


Christa said...

I too loved the idea of viewing discipline as an opportunity to point our children to Christ. Thinking of it that way helps to lessen the frustration. I also found p77, where she discusses when to reprove, to be very helpful guidance. This was another wonderful and encouraging chapter. I have found I am able to take things from each chapter and apply them immediately. One of the many nuggets from this chapter is from p72 "When they sin, what will you do about it?" I have found this question to be very helpful in keeping me accountable to not ignore behavior or excuse it.

Joanna J. said...

I agree with you that I can take ideas from each chapter and apply them immediately. My challenge is to remember everything in the heat of the moment! It definitely takes lots of practice and prayer on my part. That's one reason I think it is beneficial to read this book several times.