Sister to Sister: About that Spanking (Part 2)–A Sneak Peek from “Women of Scandal”

12642739_10154934105087588_4663197017850762678_nRespect for God’s authority is not nurtured in an environment in which there is no respect for parental  authority. This snippet (part two of two short posts about child discipline) is taken from a lesson about Mrs. Phinehas from I Samuel three and four from the new book Women of Scandal, and gives four things not to do when encountering situations in which your kids need to be punished.   The target date for the book’s release is late March. Many thanks to Publishing Designs (www.publishingdesigns.com) for the excellent and tireless work they are doing at the moment to publish this and so many other books for the family of God.

Don’ts:

1. Don’t yell. You do not want your children to obey you because you are loud. You want them to obey you because you are Mama!

2. Don’t abuse. We really do know the difference between anger induced lashing and gentle, but firmly administered discipline. We know that one is of God and the other is a sin of the devil. Never leave any red marks on your children that will remain there for over fifteen minutes. Never bruise, burn, squeeze or immerse in water. I suggest that you use your hand to pop your children when needed rather than other objects. You really know the force with which you are touching them when you use your hands (plus your hands are always “handy”…right there when you need them).

3. Don’t lie. Whatever the good thing you promise your children, break your neck to keep your promises. But make the same commitment to your word when you promise a spanking “…if you touch that again,” or “if you say one more word about that.” This gift of  your word’s reliability is huge in developing trust and respect in your children. It is also huge in the development of their own integrity as they travel to adulthood.

4. Don’t count. I was recently speaking with a grandmother who spanked her small grandson when he blatantly disobeyed her. He whirled around to her and exclaimed, “Why Grandma! What are you doing?” She calmly explained that she was spanking him because he did not obey her. “But Grandma!…” he wailed, “…you didn’t even get to one, much less two or three! What are you thinkin’?” God doesn’t count for us when He commands. He expects our immediate attention and obedience. That’s respect. Sometimes mothers teach counting and even fractions (“two-and-a-haaaalllf…”) during attempts at discipline, but fail to teach respect.

 

Sister to Sister: About that Spanking (A Sneak Peek from “Women of Scandal”)

12642739_10154934105087588_4663197017850762678_nToday I am in prayer for more than one friend who is doing battle in some arena in our permissive society for the children. There are many children who are literally suffering due to a lack of  parental discipline. This problem is exacerbated by “professionals” in fields of social work and psychology who are touting “new” methods of dealing with behavioral issues that involve taking the authority from the adults and “talking out” the offenses and any consequences with the offenders…basically letting the rule-breakers and their peers set the standards of behavior.

Respect for God’s authority is not nurtured in an environment in which there is no respect for parental  authority. This snippet is taken from a lesson about Mrs. Phinehas from I Samuel three and four from the new book Women of Scandal. The target date for the book’s release is late March. Many thanks to Publishing Designs (www.publishingdesigns.com) for the excellent and tireless work they are doing at the moment to publish this and so many other books for the family of God.

Now, about that Spanking…

He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24).

Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction (Proverbs 19:18).

(Under the law of Moses, consistently rebellious children were to be put to death, so in this proverb we see that parents were not to give up hope for rebellious children too soon; they were to hope and trust in the effectiveness of corporal punishment; i.e.. spanking.)

I suggest that spanking is one appropriate and very Biblical method of discipline. While I am sure it is not the only good method and that positive reinforcement for good behavior rather than punishment for wrong doing is smart and effective under certain conditions, I still believe that spanking, administered lovingly and in measured doses, is, hands-down, the simplest and most effective form of punishment. May I offer, from the realm of judgment, some do’s and don’ts of effective punishment?

Do:

1. Be consistent. Whatever was wrong yesterday needs to still be wrong today (no matter if you are stressed or experiencing PMS today). Whatever exacts a spanking at any particular time needs to always exact a spanking.

2. Spank for outright disobedience or verbal disrespect every time. Be sure you understand completely that there was intentional disobedience or disrespect. Once you determine that, a spanking is in order.

3. Practice discipline. You are probably thinking, “What does she mean? Isn’t that the whole topic of this part of the lesson?” By “practice” I mean practice like a drill or a repetitive exercise. When you give your young child a command—say… to stop playing with the kitty and climb in the high chair for lunch—and the child continues to play with the kitty, you may, in the hurry of events, want to give the toddler a swat on the bottom and pick her up and put her in the chair yourself. That’s not a terrible choice, but a more effective choice is to give that child a swat, and then say, “Now let’s try again. You play with the kitty.” She complies and then you give the command again. Command-swat-repeat…until you get the desired result. This is both laborious and loving. I once did it for forty-five minutes with a strong-willed 13 month-old. Let me just say that it was both excruciating and rewarding.

4. Be sure that you, as parent, always win in any war of the wills. When you begin this very effective battle of the wills on any occasion, you have the potential to make great progress in the long-term molding of your child’s view of authority. If you surrender in the middle of the battle and let the child have his way, you are eroding, rather than building respect for authority.

(Catch the next Bless Your Heart for the “don’ts”.)

 

Sister to Sister: Questions and Answers–Marital Insecurity?

imagesTonight, when I sat down to write, I had several messages in my inboxes that needed responses. One was from a young wife in a far-away place who has begun to lack the confidence she needs to feel like she’s “good enough” to be in her husband’s circle of friends or to be at his level of competence. She even has feelings of jealousy toward another woman, who actually is not a threat to her marriage; more like a small part of her husband’s life before marriage. She knows that her husband is a good man, but still, she’s struggling with being what she wants to be in her attitudes toward him. She asked for my advice. Now I know I do not have all the answers and we all struggle at times with insecurities, but perhaps this post, even to an anonymous writer, can help someone else who’s feeling not-quite-good-enough in a marriage that’s good, but can, like almost all of our marriages, be even better with a little work. The irony of an imaginary threat is that, given the expanse of mind to grow, the perception, though false, can cause some real pain. Let’s be careful not to cut each other with imaginary knives.

Here’s the response:

Of course, you are all he wants. You are beautiful and, just from the short time I observed you, I know you are funny and the center of his attentions. I am so glad he made the decision to become a Christian and I am so thankful that you both want the marriage to be a God-directed union. That is the way you can spend eternity together. 

From what you have told me, I do not believe you have any threat to your marriage to worry about at all. The threat is only inside of you. Here’s my advice: 

As your husband is a new Christian and growing in the Lord, he will become less and less impressed with people who are worldly and more and more enamored with the beauty of holiness. I would like to see you put all of your efforts into being the kind of woman who wants, with all her heart, to follow the Lord. Tell him that is what you want for your marriage; to grow in the Word together and be all you can be, as a couple, for the Lord. 

Then, let me send you a copy of our marriage book, “You’re Singing My Song”. Ask him if he will commit to reading a short bit of it each night together…just a page or two. It will draw you closer  together and I believe it will strengthen your sense of intimacy with him…to know that you are the woman who is in the most intimate circle that he has. 

Then, I want you to intentionally grow past this. You believe that the only threat is inside your imagination. I do, too. SO realize that your life is short and that you would not want to be treated this way if the shoe was on the other foot. Follow the golden rule and treat him the way you would like to be treated. In fact, when those feelings of insecurity rise to the surface, MAKE yourself do something your husband really loves…a back rub, a note on his bathroom mirror, a meal that he loves….whatever he likes…INSTEAD of confronting him about what he might be thinking. You will be surprised how this will draw him to you and you will grow in your confidence. 

I believe your husband wants to be a man of God. You are so blessed in this way. Praying for you! Now, to what address can I send this book?

Sister to Sister: Mama’s K.I.S.S. #39–The Gift Closet

target 75As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been presenting installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” This is number 39 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to have servant hearts. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.

The Gift Closet

It’s been fun to watch my daughter transition into her own home with her own family and continue the “gift closet” tradition. Throughout the growing up years of our kids, they always knew there was one closet that was always stocked with little gifts for those times when someone needed encouragement: a thank-you, a prize for winning the family devotional Bible game, a welcome gift, a good-bye gift, or when your whole Bible class had earned a reward. Everyone needs a gift closet, pantry, or cabinet.

Right now, mine contains some Valentine vases, an Easter bunny book, some Bath and Body 75 percent off items, some monogrammed Christmas ornaments, some candles, some clearance toys, some bed linens and some made-to-order graduation gifts personalized with a popular university logo (bought in bulk)…just to name a few things. The plusses of a gift closet are obvious: 1)You save money because you buy at deep discount prices and save gifts for when you need them. This is good stewardship. 2) You can give more because giving is easier. 3) You can have fun Bible Time rewards for spontaneous games. 4) Your kids start to think in terms of the joy of giving because they see it happening so much. (They start asking if they can have something from the stash to give to people who can use encouragement.) 5) Your kids grow up and continue the tradition.

My favorite gift closet memory includes a Saturday when two well-known preachers were unexpectedly visiting in our home, along with our collegiate children. Our kids had been expecting to have a little holiday celebration for some minor holiday. (We celebrate everything!) Well, we just went on and played our holiday game (“Let’s Make a Deal” as I recall) with the whole gang. It was the best time ever, to watch those guys trying to win those little prizes from one another. One of the folks there had just attended the funeral of a dear family member who had passed away in a tragic accident and I remember him saying “This has been fun. It has helped me to think about something other than the horrible events of the last few days.”

If I’d only had the closet for just that one day, it would have been worth it!

 

Sister to Sister: Battlefield Heroes–Teen Boys Protecting Purity

12494653_651034511389_5979043142628718031_nFinding quality programs that help our kids to stay sexually pure through the teen years is not as easy as finding activities that encourage impurity these days. Finding a seminar that encourages both sexual purity and purity of heart is an even more formidable challenge. To locate a venue that offers both of these things in a doctrinal context that you’d feel good about is almost unheard of. And to find one that’s for boys…well, if you have teen boys,  that’s something you don’t want to miss. Finding all of this at no cost, with free food and lodging to boot…well…go ahead and make it a road trip or even a plane trip.

It happens once every four years at West Huntsville and THIS IS THE YEAR! The devil wants to overexpose your boys to sex in all the wrong contexts and under-prepare them for his assault on the family as we’ve known it thoughout our American history. We can and must do battle with him to enable our boys to courageously defend virtue and honor in all of their relationships.

So go ahead. Make the small investment to be sure your husbands and sons make this happen. Send your congregation’s boys, with a mentor, on the church van. Bring a big group to spend the night in a godly home and then attend the sessions. Finding resources right now are so much better than finding you have regrets later. Help your boys to happiness. I hope you can help those boys get their driver’s licenses. Maybe you can enable them to score so high on the ACT that they get great college scholarships. Maybe you can purchase all the right equipment and make sure your son gets the training to excel in his sport of choice. Maybe it’s an elite education or an internship that you can provide. I hope you can maximize talents and minimize obstacles. But remember: None of these can prepare your son in the most important way. The most important preparation is wrought in his heart. I hope you can put in some extremely valuable hours toward the protection of your son’s most valuable commodity. Here’s what you need:

Battlefield HEROES

–Protecting Purity–

A Seminar for Young Men

6th-12th Grade

Saturday, 30 April 2016

0830 – 1430

Guest Speaker: Jeremy Hall

Minister, Millview church of Christ

Agenda:

• 2 Lessons by Jeremy Hall

• 3 Breakout Sessions

Q & A session with Jeremy Hall for all attendees

Submit your questions today!

Light Breakfast and Registration begins at 8:30 am in the lobby

Lunch will be served

Click Here to Register

Sister to Sister: Guest Writer–Seventeen and Sanctified

1459053_1056971667657927_2195731218135519110_nRecently, while visiting a congregation in Memphis, Tennessee, I met (or even re-met, I think) Kaleigh Barringer. Keleigh has a lot of renewable energy about the gospel, about putting the Lord first, about the challenges of coming nose-to-nose with the temptations to sin in ways that are so accepted in our modern teen culture that they make teen life in the Lord seem an everyday exercise in extremism. Kaleigh submitted this to “Bless Your Heart”. It did bless mine.
Seventeen and Saved : The Challenges of Sanctification When Everybody Just Wants To Have Fun.     
Picture this! You’re on a chair or table and your friend is on the ground. You reach your hand out to pull her up, but it’s easier for her to pull you down, than for your friend to pull you up.                           
It’s hard sometimes being a Christian when we have people around us who party all the time, curse, and go against everything thing we believe. Often we call these people our friends.
We want to try to be good influences on our friends because we love them. Sometimes, though, if you don’t agree with what they’re doing, they’ll say you’re not being very loving or say “Judge Not”, or maybe just stop being friends with you all together. It’s important to know that all you can do is plant the seed.
” Dear friend we stand here
After a life of friendship as deep as the sea
But As I stand here at His throne, I wonder
Why you never mentioned Him to me.
You held this knowledge in your heart
You knew I was lost in sin;
And as I ask you why you said nothing
You say you were afraid you would offend.
You kept this saving secret
Of love beyond compare.
If only I had known…
If only I had been aware…
You could have told me something;
Could have shared this gift.
You watched my every mistake
Maybe you didn’t realize how life could so quickly drift.
“I never knew you” is what He said to me;
But I never knew Him either;
You never mentioned Him to me.
As I look back on my life
I wish I would have seen
How different my life would have been
If I knew He was my king.
I wish you would have taught me.
I wish I had lived differently.
I thought you were my friend
But you never mentioned Him to me.
Now that life is over
And He has sealed my fate,
Maybe you thought about telling me
But now it’s much too late.”-S.E.L.
Being a Christian may not be the most popular thing, but in the long run, it’ll be worth it.