Monday, March 23, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three! – Ch. 10

Welcome to the tenth 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.

This chapter was a more in-depth explanation of why the rod is necessary in training children.  I am so thankful that God makes it clear in Scripture. 

The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.”  Proverbs 29:15

My favorite quote from this chapter is found on pg. 108:

To heed God’s commands in using the rod is to fully rely upon His wisdom and to faithfully trust in His counsel.”

I totally sympathize with the worldly argument about not wanting to spank our children because we “love them too much.”  Spanking is not fun and it is not easy.  I don’t enjoy inflicting pain on my daughter.  However, once again, I must examine myself and realize that those feelings are selfish.  If I REALLY want to do what is best for my child, I will obey God’s plan and trust His wisdom.  To leave my daughter to her own desires will only hurt her more in the long run. 

Ginger brought up a good point about when to start disciplining.  Children are capable of learning to obey at a very young age, well before the age of one.  The first spanking that I gave Grace was on the diaper change table when she was a few months old.  (She wouldn’t be still for me to change her diaper).  When you start requiring obedience from the very beginning, they will be more likely to grow with a spirit of submission.  Otherwise, if a parent chooses to wait to discipline until the child turns 2 or 3, it will be an uphill battle because the child will have gotten used to behaving how they please. 

I chuckled a little when Ginger was talking about hereditary sin.  How many times have we heard something like, “Well that’s just the way she is.  She’s just as stubborn as me.  She can’t help it.”  It’s true that our children are going to pick up and imitate our own sin (scary!).  However, that is no excuse.  It just means we need to be faithful and consistent to teach our children self-control over whatever is their issue (anger, whining, lying, bossiness, etc.).  And, we need to show them our repentance when we demonstrate the same sin about which we are trying to teach them self-control.

I’m going to add one more reason I often hear as an explanation of why spanking doesn’t work:  “When you hit (or spank) a child for disobeying, it teaches them to handle conflict with violence.”  My response to this would be that it’s true, IF the parent spanked out of anger with the wrong motives.  God’s plan for spanking is not an act of violence.  When done with a spirit of love and self-control, spanking simply teaches that there are consequences for disobedience.  It helps prepare their heart for submission to God’s Word.

I gained the most from this chapter on pg. 113.  My biggest challenge is to be consistent.  Sometimes I’m in the middle of cooking dinner, or getting ready to walk out the door, or shopping at Wal-Mart, or just plain tired.  Those are the times that it is hardest for me to stop what I’m doing and deal with a discipline issue.  However, when I respond to disobedience sometimes and not other times, it is not fair to our child. 

What’s cruel is for their discipline to be based on the mood, energy level, or whim of the parent…..A secure child is a child that knows his boundaries and is consistently corrected when he oversteps them.”

Ultimately, I want our child to feel secure.  Secure in what will happen if she chooses to disobey.  Secure in our love for her.  Secure in God’s love for her. 

There are only three weeks left in our book study…two chapters, and then I will spend one more week on Appendix A, B, and C.  Thanks for reading along, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments this week!

1 comment:

Christa said...

I distinctly remember the first time I realized my now 4 year old was ready for discipline. He was maybe 10 months more or less. Touching the TV is a "No" in our house, and I saw him do it. I signed and said "No" at which point he turned to me and signed "no" back. I was stunned! The hardest thing to do is be consistent, especially when it is inconvenient and when I am out of energy. This chapter was a great reminder to be persistent, consistent and insistent. Persistent in my pursuit of obedience, consistent in my discipline, and insistent on repentance.