Our best example of parenting, God praises, advises nurtures, encourages, teaches, and trains us. Teaching our children to live a Christian life should be done by precepts and examples. Being both reliable and trustworthy are essential because our children depend on us to be there for them. Patience and compassion go hand in hand as they mirror the patience and mercy of God upon us His children.
Communicating our expectations to our children through destructive criticism, lack of quality time, and dysfunctional marriages and families, destroys the relationships between parents and their children. It is not so much what we say but how we say it. Emphasizing the right things in the right ways. means giving them wholesome instruction and admonishing them properly. Your children do not require material things, they require time. Your children should always know that you love them.
“Sticks and Stones may break your bones but words will never hurt me” doesn’t apply to parenting. Using words that deflate your child’s self worth will have a lasting effect on their lives. Telling your children they will never amount to anything will only become a self fulfilling prophecy. You have the power of life and death in your own tongue. Speak peace, love, joy, and happiness into their lives. If, you always say that your children are bad, then what do you expect them to be. Remind your children about what God says about them. Help them to see themselves through God’s eyes.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it Proverbs 22:6
This is the Bibles commission to parents. But what does training really mean? Leading your children by faith to Christ and being a consistent example to them is the first step in training. Difficult but effective, leading by example communicates our commitment to live out the truth and reality of Jesus in our lives. Defined more by what we don’t do than what we do as mothers, we must be diligent in our prayer life, in our church going, and in the way we interact with people on a daily basis. Knowing Christian doctrine, using Christian vernacular, and appearing Godly may fool outsiders, but it won’t fool your children and it won’t fool God. Seeing you as you really are, children are in the best position to be students of your life. Having the most insight into the relationship between what you say and what you do children become the best at deciphering hypocrisy from true Christian discipleship. Gossiping, lying to the bill collector, and constantly bashing our children’s father are all poor examples of our faith walk with God. In fact, the very message that these attributes send is one of hypocrisy.
Picking and choosing our sins, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t cuss, is more about us than it is about being Christ like. Memorizing scripture is good but a personal relationship with God is the ultimate goal. Morality is not the only gauge by which we are measured. The cemetery is full of people that didn’t do bad things. The question is, was their walk with God close enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
We can’t make Christ a reality to our children if He is not a reality to us. Practice what you want them to practice. Children follow and imitate us. “Do as I say not as I do” is a poor motto to follow if you want to raise Godly children. Remember to teach them by example; your example. Learning not brought about by both example and instruction will lead to a child that does not respect the parents. Living out the Christian life through the Holy Spirit will be instruction to your children that Christ is real. Are you creating a desire for God in your children?
Understanding the difference between discipline and punishment is important as well. Punishments are given as a penalty for an offense. It is usually handed out in hostility and frustration and produces fear and guilt. The child senses this and the outcome is compromised. What the child learns instead is that we should solve problems with physical punishment and degrade the object of our anger in the process. The child’s self image is diminished.
Discipline on the other hand is used to train and to correct. Discipline must be fair. It needs to be explained to and understood by the child if it is to be effective. Discipline must also be prompt, delivered as soon after the offense as possible. Finally, discipline must be terminal; no continued reminders, assured reacceptance. In an environment of discipline the child will learn life’s requirements in the context of love and concern. At this point training can take place. This approach has as its goal the development of responsible behavior. It communicates caring to the child. In an environment of true discipline, the child understands the importance of these requirements for their future, for God, and for society.
When training is done effectively and consistently, the rod of correction is seldom necessary. Take the time to train your children in the way they should go.
A Virtuous Woman-31
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June 15, 2008 Coming from a legacy of preachers, Cheryl Lacey Donovan is walking in her destiny. An anointed woman of God, her mission is to challenge you to look inside yourself for change, to identify the strongholds in your life, and to tear them down with the help of the creator. Once you have crossed her path, your life will never be the same. Cheryl hit the scene with full force when she penned her award winning book Women What the Hell are You Thinking. Cheryl shows no signs of slowing down as she travels the country speaking to women about issues that resonate within their souls.
Cheryl’s internet radio show Worth More Than Rubies reaches thousands of women each week with educational, inspiring, and thought provoking programming that gives women a platform to discuss their issues and design a plan for change. The show will soon go into production as a 30 minute cable TV talk show.
On June 26, 2008, at 9:00am CST, Cheryl will appear on Great Day Houston with Debra Duncan to discuss issues related to child rearing practices. “Titus 2 admonishes older women to teach younger women how to love their children.” Cheryl has taken up the mantle to do just that. Her articles, “Are African American Child Rearing Practices a Direct Result of Slavery” and “Discipline vs. Punishment”, give amazing insight into the art of balancing discipline and training. Her upcoming release “The Ministry of Motherhood” delivers a bold message about responsibility and accountability by explaining the keys to the ministry involved with being a mother. Use these keys to unlock the secret and discover the real truth. It is through the gift of the written word that Cheryl ignites flames, delivering a powerful message of hope and inspiration, through faith and family, you will be inspired to change, forced to make a difference and will realize the importance of motherhood, through and through.
About The Author
Cheryl Donovan is an acclaimed author, inspirational speaker, and compelling advocate for personal empowerment. Her book Women What the Hell are You Thinking remained in the top 10 of Amazons Hot New Releases during its first two months of publication.
Cheryl believes in Psalms 11:25 which says, She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed; therefore, she tries to be transparent as she speaks and writes about her valley to mountain experiences
Cheryl has been recognized nationally for her work. She has been the featured author on radio talk shows such as Artist First, Power Talk FM, An Hour to Empower with Mo and Mickey, and Urban Echoes Voices and Vibes. Her interviews have also appeared in Empowering African American Women Magazine, AA Kulture Zone, The Book Suite, and Women’s Self Esteem. She was awarded the 2007 Literary Power Award and was nominated in several categories for the Infini Awards. Cheryl will be featured for the inaugural season of What Shall We Read, a literary program which airs on CAN-TV in Chicago. She will also be inducted into the 2008 Who’s Who in Black Houston.