Sibling conflict is God’s training ground. Use it for their good.
I am passionate about the languages of love! But do you know there is also a language of how you need an apology spoken? Nothing is worse for me than someone saying, “Sorry!” It actually makes the offense worse for me. We have a family of FIVE, and there are FIVE languages – one for each of us. It has been challenging to speak someone else’s language, but it has allowed us to be more like Jesus in the process. I encourage you to have your family take the test, print it out, and discuss the results.
Sit with a piece of paper and ask Jesus to show you how your child is doing with each of the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Go after the areas that need some strengthening. You are sowing into character training today so that you can reap the good fruit of it tomorrow.
Moms, do you want your husbands to come alive in the home? Then teach your children to HONOR and OBEY his instruction. Picture a general in an army making a big decision, seeing the bigger picture, and having soldiers who are constantly resisting and denying his authority. It creates chaos, frustration, and hinders his ability to lead the army where it needs to go. Children need to be TAUGHT about honor, respect, and authority. Their selfish nature and ‘me, me, me’ flesh need to be trained to acknowledge that Mom and Dad are the generals in the family and are accountable to God for their job. Your husband will naturally soar higher as the leader of the family when those in his care learn to honor and respect his leadership.
Need some help learning how to teach your children? Check out our CHARACTER MATTERS resource: Character Training SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly
We can teach our children about good character to set them up for fruitful lives. If they do not learn it at home, they will learn it from conflict with their peers. If they fail to learn it from peers, they will learn it on the job with their boss. If they miss the lessons, they will learn them when they become married and have areas of conflict with their spouse. If they fail to learn it in their marriage, God allows them to learn it from their children. If they do not learn it from seasons of parenting, they will learn it from grandparenting their children’s children. Save your child a world of heartbreak and trouble by teaching them godly character, such as self-control, patience, and caring for others when they are younger! Not sure how? Character training is not an event, it is a lifestyle. In this magazine, I will empower you with fun activities to engage your child and equip them with godly character.
Parenting is an investment, and whatever you put into it, you will get out of it. You will reap what you have sown. What you go after and invest in when they are one, you will reap when they are two. What you go after and invest in when they are two, you will reap when they are three. What you go after and invest in when they are three, you will reap when they are four. Going after their heart and character and honoring God TODAY will reap fruit tomorrow.
How do you tell a strong-willed two-year-old no? Just like that, “NO.” When Lauren was still in her highchair, she would throw her Cheerios on the floor and then laugh watching me pick it up. She thought it was a game. How many of you know that getting mad at a clueless child is completely ineffective in creating change? If the behavior does not bring honor, respect, or peace, then I need to parent (verb) her in that area to HELP HER know what is and is not acceptable. Do I want her to go to a friend’s house and do that? Is it cute to throw food on the floor when she is four? This has little to do with food and everything to do with self-control and respect. I said in a loving, but firm tone, “Lauren, no-no throwing food on the floor.” If she did it again, I would repeat myself but squeeze her hand. It was done in an effort to get her attention, not create punishment or pain. No means no, and she is learning she does not have the freedom to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. She did it again, and I realized she needed more help. I cleaned up breakfast and then moved her booster seat to the floor and asked her to sit in it. I connected with her by laughing. I was not scolding, punishing, or upset with her. I was teaching a toddler how to be successful at the table. I put a Cheerio on her tray and role-played me picking it up and throwing it on the floor pretending to be her, but then said in a loving but firm tone, “No-no throwing food on the floor,” and I got her out of the booster and told her to pick it up. When she did, I praised her silly with a hug and positive reinforcement. The next time I sat her in the highchair, I said in a firm but loving tone, “No-no food on the floor” as a reminder and put a small amount of food on her tray. She decided to test how serious I was, so I immediately took off her tray, got her down and lovingly, but firmly told her to hand me the Cheerios. It only took two times for her to realize it is SO NOT FUN having to get down and pick them up. Before she had no concept of the reality of someone having to pick them up, but she learned and never did it again.
It is very difficult for a child to release the Kingdom at the store if they are on the floor pitching a fit because you did not buy them a toy. They will have a harder time hearing God’s voice if they haven’t been taught to listen to yours first. You will have a greater challenge getting them to be ‘others’ focused if they have been taught that they are the only ones that matter. Character matters!
When the kids were younger and had babysitters, I would tell her that if she was unsure about something, she could ask the kids, “What would your mom say/do about that?” Instead of the children feeling like they could get away with whatever the sitter allowed, it made them stop and think about what was right. It strengthened their muscle of walking in discernment and making good choices. I am seeing the fruit of this today in their teen years. Character counts!
Years ago, I was invited to a mom’s night out with our local twin’s club and hungered for deep girlfriend time. I had four-month-old twins and just discovered we were pregnant again. Little did I know how that evening would change my life. These seasoned moms began to share the horror stories of taking twins out in public – each story topping the next with embarrassment over unruly children in public places. One lady raised her glass to toast ‘eating out in public with twins’ goodbye. Something about this conversation was upsetting to me. Maybe it was because I have often said that eating out was my love language (my deeper confession is that I’m not too fond of cooking). Part of me didn’t like being controlled by a child who didn’t even know how to walk yet, and part of me wanted to raise my glass and toast to equip our children to not only have the character to be able to enter all places, but to be a JOY! I went home that night, determined to do just that. We would go out in public, and I used it as an intentional training ground to equip our baby twins, soon-to-be-four children under four years of age, how to have self-control, honor, and respect. Years later, I am still reaping the fruit. I saw a need to equip hungry parents in the ways of Kingdom parenting, specifically as it pertains to healthy character building that models the heart of the Father, the original parent! Character firmly plants a child to bear good fruit. Your home will be one of honor, respect, and peace when character is at the foundation. Enjoy the journey of equipping your children to bear good fruit.