When the rain comes

These few months of “winter” here in southern California have proven to be a struggle for me and my kids. Between cold viruses and rainy days, we have been inside more than I would like.

Looking to Valentine’s day, I see more rain on the way, and I am super tempted to pout and complain.

Again? Really? Lord, do you know how hard it is to have three kids 3 and under in a two bedroom apartment? And now we can’t even go outside? I just know they are going to act out.

I’m tempted to not believe that God is good.
I’m tempted to not believe that God is sovereignly providing for me.
I’m tempted to not believe that God’s grace.
But! God is good. God is sovereignly providing. God is abundantly gracious!

Our Rainy/Valentine’s Day Plan:

1. “Mommy, let’s make a sheep.” My son has been asking this for a week, and I have been putting it off. He knows all the materials we need, I already checked, and we have all of them.

Sheep craft – materials:

  • Sheet of paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Markers

2. I received an email from Education.com asking if I would be interested in sharing a Valentine’s day word tracer worksheet on my blog.

Here’s a note from those at Education.com :

Celebrate friendship all month long as you practice your writing skills with this Valentine word tracer. The fun can continue at Education.com with more learning activities.

Education.com has a ton of resources and ideas on Pinterest as well!

God provides! Usually in unexpected ways from unexpected sources.

When it rains or snows, even when we doubt, even when we disobey, God is still good, sovereign, gracious, and steadfastly faithful to love us.
God is the perfect Valentine.
Sounds a little cheesy, but it is in essence true!
God not only loves perfectly, God is love.

Be reminded of this sweet truth, friends, as I remind my own heart.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Anxiety, the gospel, and potty training

Today is Day One of potty training for me and my son. He’s 3 and 1/2. He’s plenty ready, but I’m a nervous wreck.

Why am I so anxious about potty training? I have 3 kids: a 3-and-1/2-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 2-month-old. All are (obviously) in diapers. You’d think I’d be ecstatic about getting one if them out of diapers!
But I’m not.
I’ve been dragging my feet.
I’m forcing myself to do this.

You wouldn’t guess it looking at me! (Unless you’re my mom, or my hubby, or my sister ūüėČ) I grew up performing, so I know how to “fake it ’til you make it”! On the outside: I’m excited, motivated, encouraging, and confident. All for my son’s sake!

On the inside: I’m nervous that I’ll fail. I’m afraid my son will have a bad experience, and be upset with me. I’m sad my baby is growing up! I’m also excited my baby is growing up! (The inner turmoil of a mom, right?!)

He’s my only son (so far ūüėČ). He’s my first born. He’s the spitting image of my husband. I’m in a constant struggle between wanting him to become a grown, godly man, just like his daddy, and wanting to hold him forever. ūüíú

I think he’s barely a year old in this, maybe not even a year yet! Oh, be still my heart!

Potty training is just bringing all my anxieties and fears to the surface, I think. They were there the whole time, but didn’t have a chance to really show themselves. The heat is bearing down now!

I see my heart’s tendency, to be anxious, so today I am clinging (with all my might) to God’s grace, because I need it!

These are the Truths I am holding fast to:

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set your hope on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:13

This should be the theme verse for all of babyhood and toddlerhood. So much of parenting at this stage is preparing ourselves for intense action! Midnight feedings, continual diaper changes, tantrums, potty training… the list goes on. These are all activities that require immediate action and continual readiness to jump right in! I love that this verse points to the future, to what is ultimate: Christ’s return, when all things will be made right. I need this reminder when I’m in the thick of things with my little ones. Especially today with our new adventure in potty training.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

This is my go-to verse in my current stage of life. What a comfort this verse is! The promises here are so rich!

  • God’s love is steadfast.
  • God mercy is renewed for us each dawn.
  • God’s mercy is never ending.
  • God is always faithful.

These promises also highlight the reality that we are broken people and are none of these things.

  • Our love is fickle and short lived.
  • Our patience wears thin, and we are harsh rather than merciful.
  • Our mercy ends, or fails to even show up.
  • Our short term memory, and frail frame make us a faithless people.

BUT GOD!

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved-“
Ephesians 2:4-5

I am holding fast to the gospel!

Mommies need the gospel. We need it in our hearts and minds everyday. It’s incredibly practical! Because it puts every diaper change into perspective.

Let me say it again, not just for you, reader, but mostly for my own heart:

The Good News that we are sinners saved from punishment and death through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, paying an eternal debt to an eternal God that we cannot pay, and saved to life “together with Christ” as Ephesians puts it, now in this earthly life by the ministry of the Spirit, and forever for eternity in heaven through Jesus with God the Father, makes the mundane tasks of each day not just worth it, but I am also able to glorify God in them because his Spirit enables me to serve others and God rather than my sinful self.

Read that again. and again. and again.

Remind yourself (and myself) everyday of this reality, believer. This is your reality. This is your life. This is why you can say “no” to being anxious, and “yes” to trusting in God in all things.

But before you or I begin to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, or wash our face and put on the make-up of self-righteousness, let’s take a look at Scripture verses that tell us how we say “no” to anxiety, and “yes” to trusting God.

1. God is, powerfully, at work in us

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6

2. God has given us instructions

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man [or woman] of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17

3. God has given us a family. Don’t go it alone.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:24-26

Reading to his 2-month-old baby sister. He loves his sisters sooooo much!

Let me conclude with this:
I am anxious about potty training. It is a challenge!
Parenting is hard! Having three kids as young and as close in age as I do, IS HARD!
But! God is in control. God is good. God is faithful. And, God is with me.

Deep breath.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.”
Psalm 28:7

Soli Deo Gloria

Persuasion – When it hit a little too close to home

I picked up (or rather downloaded it to my Kindle) Jane Austen’s book Persuasion because, although I have read it before, I couldn’t remember anything about it. I tell you anything about the book or even who the characters were or anything! I either didn’t finish it before, or I really didn’t like it. So, I decided to read it again.

Well, I just finished it, and now I know why I didn’t remember it from before. Before getting married, I identified a lot with the main character, Anne. I identified with her personality, and her heartbreak. This made this book painful to read, and it’s happy ending unfulfilling and unbelievable.

During this second reading of the book, I did the hard work I didn’t want to do the last time I read it. That is, examine my heart. Why did this book bother me so much? Why was it so painful to read? Why was I letting this pain bother me so many years later? Certainly I am “over it”! (Spoiler alert: I wasn’t really over it in my heart.)

Find this book on Amazon

A quick summary of the book (so we are all on the same page):

Anne is the middle daughter of a baron. Her father and elder sister are obsessed with rank and status. Her younger sister is married, but her husband has no rank, only money.
Anne had been “attached” (that’s Austen-ese for “courting”) a man eight years prior to the book’s opening. He had no rank or money, but was just a low ranking officer in the Navy. Due to her youth, and his uncertain ability to provide well for her, she was persuaded by a dear friend to essentially break up with him. The friend believed that Anne was not worthy of him, and that being so young, a better offer would be coming her way soon (i.e. someone with equal or better rank and fortune to her father).
Anne never gets over the break up. She truly loved the man, and he loved her. She never gets a better offer.
When the book opens, she is living normal life when low and behold! HE walks back into her life. Drama, and emotional turmoil ensues for the entire length of the book, ending in a happy ending of Anne and HE getting together, engaged, and wed.

The first time:

In my original reading of the book, the emotion turmoil Anne experienced and the way she internalized all her thoughts, feelings, and pain, resonated with me deeply. I had done this. My own heartbreak was very different, there was never any attachment in my situation, my HE never felt the same way towards me that I felt towards him. Like Anne, however, I let it sit in my heart, fester, and ruin all other “possible happiness” – as Austen would put it – for several years. Our situations were different, but reading Anne’s feelings brought my own feelings to the surface again.

The second time:

This second time reading it (I just finished it yesterday), instead of remembering the plot, but I remembered how I felt before. This time, I could see through the fog of those deeply rooted, nasty, painful feelings.

I was bitter.

I had let heartbreak – a real, painful, unfair situation – dig into my heart and rule me. I let my feeling of bitterness towards this person for not loving me, rob me of the joy of loving others, harden me so as to keep me from being compassionate toward others, and keep me so focused on me that I would forfeit my college education – which my parents were paying for – to feel loved.

Reflecting now:

After reading, and enjoying, Persuasion, I see my younger self, and I am so sad. I am sad I let my feelings rule me. I am sad I wasn’t trusting God with my situation. I am sad I hurt so many people because I was focusing on myself.
But, I am also amazed. I am amazed my husband kept dating me even when I revealed my hurting, bitter heart! I am amazed that he married me! I am amazed that I am not that girl anymore. I am amazed that I didn’t do anything to deserve the love that helped me change. I am amazed by God’s grace that changed my bitterness into forgiveness, love, and joy. What He has promised to do He will do!

Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

I hope you are encouraged too!

Soli Deo Gloria!

The youngest Young

So so so thankful for the arrival of Kristen Pearl ūüíú

Safe and easy delivery, born in the afternoon of November 17th. Big brother and sister love her lots, and we are all adjusting to our new normal.

It’s chaotic, but also beautiful.

I cried about it last night actually. Sleep deprived + post partum hormones? Maybe, but also this reality hit me: she will never be this small again. This is a very special time. I can hold her this close, in this way for only a very short time. I remember holding Warren this way, and Eve too, thinking that same thought, “you will never be this small again”.

Every mom knows that pull between wanting to see your child grow and thrive, but also the longing for time to stop. Little hands, little cries, little worries, little blessings ūüíú

“The days are long, but the years are short”

I don’t know who said that first, but they are right. 9 -10 feedings in 24 hours makes for a long day, not including all the attention and demands of the two older kids too!

“But God…”

The two most beautiful and powerful words in the world! In these long days, I cling to that promise of God’s grace, mercy, and unthwartable plans are for my good and His glory.

Amen! Hallelujah!

Soli Deo Gloria

Trusting a Big God with Daily Details

“It’s just been a stressful week. I need some me-time.”
“It makes me a little anxious when I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
“It’s finals week. I’m so stressed out!”
“I’m always worried about my kids, especially when they are sick. It’s a mom thing.”
“I’ve always been a worrier, my mom was too.”
“My in-laws are coming for the holidays. I’m nervous about what my mother-in-law will say about my food.”

Chances are you have heard or have said all these phrases, and others like them. They seem so natural, so normal, just something we feel – and say – without really realizing it. These situations and feelings are normal, they are a part of life, but I’m willing to bet that these feelings never stop at just a passing feeling.

That’s a problem.

God gave us our emotions. Fear and anxiety, therefore, are given to us by God and are meant to be used for good to glorify Him. This is the reason He gives us anything in life, for His glory.
So, where does the problem arise?
The problem is when the anxiety rules you.
God knows how prone we are to be ruled by things that are not Him, and that ultimately will not satisfy.
So, God has given us commands about anxiety in the positive and the negative.

The negative command: 

“Do not be anxious” – it’s a command, and it’s very simply stated in Matthew 6, Luke 12, and Philippians 4. Do not do it.

Here’s the cool part, God does not give the negative command without a positive one, that is,¬†something to do instead of being anxious.

The positive command:

Matthew 6 and Luke 12 say: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 – emphasis added); “Instead, seek his kingdom…” (Luke 12:31a)
Philippians 4 says: “… but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

These passages give us real, practical ways to fight those anxious feelings when they arise.
We are to seek God’s kingdom, seek God’s righteousness, and pray.

Seek God’s Kingdom

What is God’s Kingdom? The phrase is used many times by Jesus in the gospels. It’s used in reference to eternal life in heaven with God, or to belonging to God’s people, the only way to attain eternal life in heaven with God through Jesus. In a nutshell, seeking God’s Kingdom is seeking the gospel. Preach the gospel to yourself! Remind yourself of who Jesus Christ is, the life He lived, the death He died to purchase your salvation, and His resurrection that is your hope!

Seek God’s Righteousness

What is God’s Righteousness? This is the action we make, the heart change we pursue, the path we take in light of the gospel. This is Sanctification, the pursuit of godliness, Christ-likeness, holiness. We need to continually pursue it. We fail, we forget, we sin. God is faithful, gracious, and merciful to His children. I find so much comfort then in the word “seek”. It has the idea of continual renewal, not in the thing being sought, but the seeker. We often need to be refreshed, reminded, to get back on track. It reminds me of the words from the hymn¬†Come Thou Fount: “Bind my wandering heart to Thee… Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love”.

Pray

Countless pages, articles, posts, and books have been written on the importance of prayer. Here in the very Word of God, we have the direct command to pray rather than worry. Paul, through the gracious inspiration of the Holy Spirit, doesn’t stop at “pray” either. He says that those very things that we are anxious about we are to present before the throne of our Heavenly Father through prayer. The verse is very detailed about this prayer. It’s not just a prayer about the big things, no, it says “in¬†everything“. Everything! Big, small, short-term, life-long,¬†all of it! Pray to the Father about all your worries! With thanksgiving. What can a worried heart be thankful for? The fact that the God of the universe longs for you to trust to Him about your daily struggles, because He loves you! Prayer should not be intimidating. You have nothing to prove before God. He loved you, chose you, and sent His Son to die for you before you were even conceived! You did nothing to attain the position you have as His child, so your humble, mumbly prayer isn’t going to mess it up. Pray!

Need more convincing?
Let’s look at Philippians 4:6 & 7

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Verse 7 is a promise. It isn’t magic. It’s not saying, “Pray and God guarantees peace forever, no more anxiety for you!” No, not the case.
This is what the promise says, “Pray, trust me with this completely, and I will give you peace in this. This peace will guard you from anxiety, as you abide in Christ Jesus, through whom you come before my throne.” That’s a much richer promise than the magic-prayer version. This promise has a condition, we need to trust Him completely. When we worry, we are taking back some of that trust. We are telling God that we can’t trust Him fully, but need to keep some of this issue for ourselves. This is how anxiety rules us, because we try to be God, and we are not! We will fail every time.

Why can God promise us peace? Because He is sovereign and He is good.
God is perfectly in control of all things. Big and small. He’s got it. We can trust someone like that.
God is perfectly good, and as His children, He is working out all things in our lives for our good.

Why does God do all of this? The answer for this question is found in those last three words of Philippians 4:7, “in Christ Jesus”. Why did Christ come? To glorify God. It wasn’t about us! It’s always been about God’s glory. Thank goodness it’s not about us! If it was, these commands, and subsequent promise of peace would fall flat. Since everything is rooted in an eternal God, who is orchestrating all things to glorify Himself, these commands, and – more amazingly – this promise of peace is concrete.
It’s trustworthy, it’s guaranteed, it’s as good as done.

The next time you feel stressed out, worried, nervous, or anxious, think about this reality of promised peace, pursue obeying these commands, and actively put your trust our good God.
Feelings will come and go, but our God is steadfast and faithful.

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Soli Deo Gloria

When Mommy Says “Yes” But Daddy Says “No” – Teaching Authority in the Family

“Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself it’s Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their own husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that in he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without sport of wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church because we are members of his body.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

Ephesians 5:22-6:1 (emphasis added)

 

If you glazed over that Scripture passage, I urge you to stop and read it again. Really read it, and take in the significance of those sections I italicized.

This topic of authority, and family structure can be difficult, especially for women, and even more so for the culture at large. Here’s why I bring it up: It is massively theological, Christological, and so vital to our practical day-to-day living. Don’t believe me? Here’s a real life story of this biblical truth coming into play in our family, and a beautiful moment God gave me to teach my son about submitting to my husband’s authority.

 

The story:

My son loves to show off his physical abilities. He’s three, so it usually consists of how fast he can run, or how far he can jump, or how high he can climb and then jump, or how well he can throw and catch a ball. This day, it was how well he can jump off of something, anything, in our house. First, it was the arm of the couch. I told him no. Second, he tried jumping off my favorite comfy chair, which is situated up against our front windows. I told him no, again. Third, he got up on the piano bench and looked at me with that question in his eyes, “Is this a no too mom?”. I told him that one was ok. His sister was out of the way, and there was nothing that he could hurt himself on if he landed weird, just clear floor. He was very proud of himself, and insisted I watch every jump off the bench.

Then, my husband came home. I went to finished getting dinner prepped. I hear my son say with delight, “Daddy, watch me!”. Daddy responded with, “Oh, no, buddy not off the bench.” Instantly, my son is crushed and starts bawling. My husband is confused at why he’s so upset. He tries to pick up our son to explain to him that Daddy didn’t think it was safe, because the bench creaks and wiggles a bit too much for that activity. Our son would not even listen, but insisted, “I need Mommy!”

Alright, I had to make a choice. Do I defend my son’s confusion? Do I get defensive over my parenting decision that my husband suddenly comes in a deems unsafe? Honestly, I took two seconds to wash the potatoes off my hands and pray.

This is what, by God’s grace, I decided to do instead: teach my son about God.

I took my son aside, sat him on my knee, and told him this:
“Hey, buddy. I know this is confusing. Mommy said yes, but Daddy said no. You know what? Mommy and Daddy don’t always agree. When we disagree, we go with what Daddy says. Let me tell you why, because God made Daddy the boss. Mommy is the boss while Daddy is at work, but when Daddy is here, God says Daddy is the boss. God is the big boss, so what God says is what we do. God gave Daddy the job of boss because God loves us and wants us to be safe. That’s Daddy’s job: to love us, and help us stay safe. That’s why we do what Daddy says when Mommy and Daddy disagree.”

God softened my little boy’s heart! He listened, he understood, he went and hugged his Daddy, and he didn’t jump off the bench any more.

It was a “wow God” parenting moment. Only by God’s grace did 9-month-pregnant me have the brain power to come up with all those words. Only by God’s grace did my three-year-old boy stop crying and listen to my words. Only by God’s grace did my son then choose to obey.

As parents, and as a couple, my husband and I are NOT perfect. Not even close. I’d like to tell you that the rest of our night went wonderfully, but that wouldn’t be true. With kids as young as ours, every minute is brand new, and often unrelated to the last minute. They are incredibly forgetful, but so am I.

I forget I’m called to live for the Lord, which is why it’s hard to submit to my husband. I forget God is good, which is why I worry about tomorrow’s struggles. I forget that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning…” (Lamentations 3:22-23a), which is why I dread the morning after a hard day of parenting.

Pray with me that we don’t forget who God is, and remember that His ways are best.
Pray with me for opportunities to talk to our children about who God is, and instruct them to walk in His ways with us.
Pray with me words of thanksgiving for the steadfast love, mercy, and grace God gives us as we parent our children, love our spouses, and serve Him in all things.
Pray with me words of praise to our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ for who He is, and His work of redemption that sets us free to obey Him.

Submission in the Family - Blog

 

Soli Deo Gloria!

Discipling a 3-year-old

Today was youth Sunday at my church. Youth lead worship during the service, high school and college students shared testimonies about how God is growing them, our youth leader preached, and during the Sunday school hour the whole church met together for coffee, donuts, and a Q&A session with all the pastoral staff (who have all served as youth pastors at our church). It was really special.

The passage our youth leader preached on was Matthew 28:16-20, commonly referred to as “The Great Commission”. The central command in that passage is make disciples by going, baptizing, and teaching.

The idea of making disciples was the main thrust of the whole morning, and it got me thinking: As a parent, my first job is to disciple my children. That is my call, it’s the biblical model, and particularly as a stay-at-home mom it is my 24/7 occupation. So, how do you disciple a 3-year-old? God has given parents clear instructions to follow, and examples to imitate from Scripture.

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1) Teach them who God is and what pleases God.

  • “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
  • “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4

This is key. Parenting is not about us, it’s all about pointing our children to God. His Word, and obeying Him is what matters. God gave us our children, but we don’t get to keep them. They are not our possession, they are His, and this is what we must teach them.
We are to train our children up in His Way, not ours. We pray diligently that they would conform to His Way, not our way, because only God’s Way can redeem them.
Our children will be provoked to anger when¬†we deviate from God’s Way too! We need to stay on His Way too, “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”. If we are¬†not pursuing the discipline and instruction of the Lord in our own lives, how will we hope to teach our children? We will not be able to do it.
This leads to the next point…

2) Model what it looks like to live for God.
We will not be perfect in this, but the work of the Holy Spirit is to be continually transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ. This is sanctification, and our children need to see this! This is the power of God practically on display in everyday, normal situations. We aren’t supposed to show our children how great we are, but how great our God is. How much more is this on display than when we mess up? It’s hard, it can be embarrassing, we may even need to apologize to our children, but what a clear illustration to our children that everyone needs a Savior! When we show our children our daily need for the truth of the gospel, and God’s grace we can agree with Paul when he said:

“I¬†do¬†not¬†write¬†these¬†things¬†to¬†make¬†you¬†ashamed,¬†but¬†to¬†admonish¬†you¬†as¬†my beloved¬†children.¬†For¬†though¬†you¬†have¬†countless¬†guides¬†in¬†Christ,¬†you¬†do¬†not¬†have many¬†fathers.¬†For¬†I¬†became¬†your¬†father¬†in¬†Christ¬†Jesus¬†through¬†the¬†gospel.¬†I¬†urge¬†you, then,¬†be¬†imitators¬†of¬†me.”¬†– 1 Corinthians 4:14-16

Here Paul points to how he has been, and continues to be, an example of the gospel to these believers, through his teaching and through his life. That’s why he can urge them to imitate him! What a challenge! Live in such a way, parent, that you can say to your child, imitate me not because I’m great, but because I am imitating Jesus, and He is the Greatest! (1 Corinthians 11:1)

3) Discipline and correction. This is the not so fun one, because it’s hard!

As parents, we want our kids to be happy. When we discipline our children, they typically don’t express the emotion of happiness. When we do discipline our children we need to do it completely and biblically.
First, let’s remember that the two above points are the “why” behind disciplining our children. We discipline to point our children to God, and to expose how they are not doing what God would want them to do.
Second, let’s take a look at the perfect example of how God disciplines His Children. David’s life gives us a great example of this, especially in conjunction with his writings about God’s character in the Psalms. This is what David says of God in Psalm 103:

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so¬†the¬†LORD¬†shows¬†compassion¬†to¬†those¬†who¬†fear¬†him.” – Psalm 103:8-13 (emphasis added)

In this same passage David speaks of God chiding and being angry, and showing deep, fatherly compassion for His children. Remember the story of David, Uriah, and Bathsheba? Yeah. Bad, sinful, messy. David was definitely NOT doing what pleased God. Selfishness, deceit, adultery, and murder! Not good.
God’s discipline of His beloved child, David, was also drastic. The child conceived through his adulterous act with Bathsheba became sick and died. Yet, David says that God is:

  • gracious
  • merciful
  • slow to anger
  • abounding in steadfast love
  • removes our transgressions far away
  • compassionate

This is the example we need to follow as parents. Discipline, yes. Exhortation, yes. Correction, yes. Follow through in consequences, yes.¬†In conjunction with grace, mercy, compassion, and a love that is steadfast and “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV). This is how God disciplines His children, and how we should discipline ours.

 

 

This is discipleship.
This is parenting.
This is what I am called to do. This is what you, parent, are called to do.
Yes, this is how to disciple a 3-year-old, and a 6-year-old, and a 11-year-old, and a 15-year-old.

 

Soli Deo Gloria!