Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mommy's Moment (Again): What I'm Reading

Most of you who are around me know I'm not an avid reader. I love to read. I enjoy it when I do it but it's not something I consciously make time for. This is probably because usually when I start a good book it's hard to put it down. I read The Time Traveler's Wife a few months ago. It consumed me. I loved it..though some parts a bit racey...okay a lot racey. But all in all the storyline was great. Anyways, I read this book in 3 days...400 pages. It just consumes me. So I steer clear of novels because of this. However, one book I've been chewing on for a couple of months now is Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

It's not a novel. It's a book centered around heart oriented discipline for your kids according to Scripture. Can I just say, it's great? Lately I've found myself baffled at disciplining my kids. Before kids, I thought I had it all down. I knew what I'd do, how I'd do it and it would be simple. It was pride. And I've been very humbled lately as I've fallen on my face and eaten my own words and ideas on discipline. I realized my ways were futile. I'd heard of this book for awhile and had wanted to read it. I borrowed it from a friend but I'll be buying my own to have on hand. It's been so eye opening and refreshing. The author fills her pages with Scripture as she focuses on training the heart, not the behavior. In my own words, you're dealing with the sinner, not just the sin. Our children need to see their need for Christ. We need to call disobedience what it is, sin. We show them that through God's Word. We ask heart probing questions when they sin. We encourage them to then respond according to God's Word. We do it in love to point them to Christ. It's been so convicting for me because in looking at Scripture I again see my own sin as I deal with my kids. Thankfully God is a gracious God whose mercies are new every morning...for me and my children!

I can correct my children's behavior all day long, but if I'm not dealing with the heart, where the behavior stems from, I'm only creating a Pharisee...a person who looks great on the outside but whose heart is dirty. The beautiful thing I love that she writes is that of course it's the Lord who does all the work. All He asks is that we are faithful to obey His calling as parents and trust that He is at work in our efforts. That's all we can do for it's the Lord that changes hearts. But He does that through His Word. How do they hear His Word? Lots of ways, but for my littles...mainly through me who spends every waking minute of the day with them. Disciplining the heart opens up a huge door to speak Truth to them (and me).

This method is time consuming and exhausting. Not only does it involve a rebuke (most often in my house accompanied by a spanking) but it also involves talking with your child about how their behavior was disobedient and backing it up with Scripture...then followed by the child modeling the correct behavior. Finally praise and encouragement. Most days I fail several times simply because I run out of energy, am preoccupied with something else, or plain just don't want to deal with it. But it's worth it. The Lord has called me to be their mother. He has called me to speak Truth to them at all times. I stay at home because of invest in them. This is a priority. My prayer for my kids has of course been that the Lord would draw them to Himself and that they would have a love for His Word and that they would use His Word as a sword against the evils in this world. That it would be the standard by which they judge all things. Heart oriented discipline sets a groundwork of Truth that I pray the Lord would use to transform their hearts into a heart of flesh. And that it would transform their way of thinking. And I know that in the process it will be doing the same for me.

If you're like me and in a season where you're at your wits end in how to discipline...this book takes God's Word and clearly communicates how to apply it in disciplining your child...not so you look like you have a obedient child...but to fight the sin that dwells in his heart and lay a foundation of right, Biblical thinking that will automatically transform behavior.

Hannah still talks back, whines, hits, disobeys (as does Grant). . .but I pray the Lord is using His Word to slowly change their sinful hearts into one of repentance and trust.


Groovers said...

amen, Jessica, amen. you said it so very eloquently! I love that book (so practical and yet filled with Scripture)! I gave it to a friend just a couple of months ago and it helped a lot. motherhood is such a humbling experience, so thankful for the daily grace God gives us to deal with the challenges and ultimately our children's hearts & souls! LOVE YOU :)

LB said...

great post!! I am even more eager to read the book after reading your post. And...I am also so thankful for God's promise that his Grace is new every morning. I am desperate for it!!

Sarah and Phil said...

I just got this book a few weeks ago! I've only just started reading it, but I'm looking forward to diving in more. Glad to hear your thoughts on it!