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Delight in Your Children: The Key to Their Hearts

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The Boyer Blog: Delight in Your Children: The Key to Their Hearts

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Delight in Your Children: The Key to Their Hearts

Homeschooling is all about relationships. It’s about math and reading and sentence diagramming and geography and all those things too, but all these things amount to nothing in God’s eyes if we don’t raise children of character ready to tackle big enterprises for the Lord. If you sometimes feel like homeschooling or parenting is drudgery, you can bet your kids feel the same way. It’s such a temptation to stress out over things like teaching predicate nominatives or the steps of division that we forget to delight in our children and make time to enjoy being with them.
We have found through our now 35 years of parenting and 30 years of home schooling that this is actually the key to instilling values that stick and building in your kids a heart for things of the Lord. Foundational to preparing your child to do great things you need to focus on your relationship with each child individually. When your relationship with your kids is right, they will respond to your attempts to make learning fun.

1. Learning to View Life From our Children’s Point of View
I have 14 children, and all of them are different from one another as I’m sure your children are as well. It takes time-quality time- to get to really know your children as individuals. I’ve always liked to “step into the shoes of another”.
It helps in raising children to do the same kind of thing. Remember what it was like to be a kid and how certain tones of voice made you feel, or being yelled at (to this day I cringe when I hear parents yelling at their kids)

I remember clearly when my son Tim was a little boy. He was very shy and when he was embarrassed he often dealt with that embarrassment in a way that appeared that he was angry. One of those times, Rick was about to spank him for displaying anger. I called him aside and explained my theory. He began to observe and we could clearly see a pattern. He wasn’t angry, just trying to save face. We needed to guide him to do that in a more acceptable manner, but would have wounded his spirit by misinterpreting his reaction as anger.

All this to say, it takes time and wisdom (skill) in learning how to handle our child’s hearts in a proper manner. (More insight is available in Parenting From the Heart)

• A good rule is to always aim to treat our children respectfully.
We always corrected our children for three things: disobedience, disrespect and irresponsibility. If our goal is to teach our children to be respectful, we must treat them respectfully. I always think, “Would I treat another adult the way I just treated my child?”
In some ways, it’s even more important to treat our children respectfully so they can learn to trust us with their hearts. Not that we need to be perfect. Of course we can’t and of course we’ll make lots of mistakes, but our kids are always ready and willing to forgive us when they sense we are truly repentant and have their ultimate best interests at heart. It’s actually a positive thing when our kids see us fail and we admit it. We are modeling for them what they will need to make use of many times in their lives too. So,don’t be afraid to blow it. You will! Kids are masters at reading our hearts, especially when they reach the teen years and learn that Mom and Dad aren’t perfect after all.

• When correcting your children, be sure to correct for their benefit, not because you’re mad

• Show them how what they did violates Scripture. Always point them back to Scripture. We have a resource that you may find helpful. It’s called Identifying and Dealing with Offenses. It is a list of Scriptures I used to show my kids how their unacceptable behavior violated a command of Scripture, and to reach them what they should have done to handle it God’s way.

• We always taught our kids why we needed to correct them. We were obeying God to do this verse:
Hebrews 12:11- “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”

• Teach your kids to use Scripture as the guidebook for their lives. The Bible has the answer for every problem they will ever face and they need to learn to become skillful in applying God’s Word to everyday situations.
For example: Ephesians 4:29- “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment that it may give grace (desire and power to do God’s will) to those who hear.
or in another version:
“Say only what is GOOD and HELPFUL to those you are talking to and WHAT WILL GIVE THEM A BLESSING.”
This verse gives some practical guidelines for teaching your child how to evaluate their speech. Was what you said GOOD?, Was it HELPFUL? DID IT GIVE OTHERS A BLESSING? If not, don't say it.
More Practical info on this subject can be found in Obedience from the Heart CD

To be continued next week....
"Delight in Your Children as God Delights in Us"

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8 Comments:

Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Wow - what a great post! I needed to read this tonight. We just moved to a new home this week and my stress levels have been high while I have been buried in boxes. We have skipped home schooling this week and the children have been acting up which is so frustrating. After reading your post I think I need to slow down and just play a game with them or do a craft. It seems like I have so much to do there's just not enough time for that - but I forget from their little perspective this big move is stressful for them too.

Thank you for this encouraging post. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

Courtney
http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com

February 3, 2010 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger laura j. said...

I prayed for wisdom today, in dealing with my kids properly in order to keep their hearts... so I actually cried when I read this post just now, because it was the obvious answer to my prayer! I thanked God for you and for his perfect timing! Thank you!!!!

February 4, 2010 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Thank you so much for these posts. My husband and I are surely seeing the fruit of parenting like this for many years now (our oldest is married and starting his family now). I will be referring others to these posts as needs arise.

Blessings to you and yours!

February 4, 2010 at 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Kat said...

We started homeschooling this year because of behavior problems with our oldest daughter. What you have said in your message here was what we were trying to do but you put it into words so wonderfully. My husband and I still need to practice and improve on these concepts. I also love how you pointed out the scriptures, that is so helpful to me. Making the scriptures applicable to life helps to remember them.

February 4, 2010 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Bill & Susie said...

Oh, oh oh, you couldn't have put it better!!! We sure have our tough ties with our 4.5 yr old, going on 17 :) but you know, I find no greater joy as a mom than watching her grow and develop, but the difference here is I let her KNOW it, too! e are always discussing how much she has matured and what she used to do and what she does now, both in development and in outgrowing behavioral issues. I think this point cannot be overrated--children can grow knowing you loved them because you took care of them, fed them, taught them, etc, but they also will come to realize whether or not they are an inconvenience or whether or not you look forward to spending time with them each day. Rejection is felt from a very early age, I believe even in infancy.

However, I think I could use to improve from using more Scripture in our children's lives for correction. Heck, we'd read the bible all day long if I'd let my daughter have that time, she loves it. But I often forget to use Scripture in those key teachable moments. Lord, bring this to mind! :)

February 4, 2010 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the advice given here. We have 5 children 3 close in age then a 5 year space and then 2 very close together. With the first three I was always correcting bad behavior. I was determined to have compliance and godly behavior, but never expressing joy during all the time I spent with them. In the teen years this led to rebellion. I have thankfully, through the grace of God, realized my mistakes and now know how important it is to delight in our children. I have seen a big difference in behavior and godly attributes with my last two children. Children are truly a blessing from God and by enjoying them we can get the godly results we desire. Thank you for sharing!

February 4, 2010 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Edwena said...

Loved what you wrote! What an encouragment! Looking forward the rest in the series of posts.

February 4, 2010 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

What wise encouragement you all have! Thank you for this post. I'm convicted and revived all at the same time : ) I look forward to the rest of the series. I've added you to my Google Reader so I won't miss a thing!

February 5, 2010 at 11:43 PM  

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