Monday, January 16, 2012

How to Have a HEART For Your Kids - Chapter 1

HEART Book Club Banner1 How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids   Chapter 1

Have a Heart for the Things of God 

Ever feel like a broken record with your children? 
"Don't fight"  "Bring your plate to the kitchen" "Put that back where it belongs" 
Homeschool moms are pretty much on 24 - 7 so the list gets even longer. 

To my own horror - in a house full of boys -I have even found myself saying things like 
"Don't you dare spit in the house" "We do NOT hit each other" 
"No hitting, kicking, spitting, biting, fighting" 
"Do NOT throw things in the house!" 

Well, as tiresome as it may seem - I don't think we are completely off track with 
this whole "repetition" thing. This is what the Bible says: 

Deuteronomy 6: 7
"And thou shalt teach them diligently to your children, and shalt talk of them 
when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way,
 and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." 

That's a lot of teaching. It's a round the clock kind of thing when you are training children. 
Now, verse 7 above isn't actually talking about teaching them "not to fight with your brothers" 
Verse 5 before it reads: 

"Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, 
and with all your might" 

Now, I try to remember this on a regular basis, but I seem to be suffering from some 
strange for of amnesia - I call it "momNesia" - If I could just stop myself ahead of time I'd be better off
because when I stop myself from the usual
"Don't hold your brother down on the ground until he screams" 
kind of instruction - and remember these verses - I am reminded to focus on 
"having a Heart for the Lord" 

Then my instruction - the words from my mouth - change to something like this:
"Are you treating each other the way God wants you to?" 
"How do you think Jesus feels when He sees you do that to your brother?" 
"I'd like y'all to stop and pray and ask God to help you do this the right way" 

It's amazing how that can affect my children't attitudes immediately! 
I'm still a broken record. 
But somehow these words which mirror God's heart for my children 
wax much more poetic from the tongue than do the
"I said STOP NOW" variety.

Funny Story - Implementing This "Strategy" :
I just have to share this funny story with you from one of our experiences
 The two younger boys - then 4 and 5 years old - were "having a fighting moment" 
Instead of breaking it up with time outs or raising my voice -
I simply told the boys they were not in trouble- that I'd like for them to each have a seat
facing each other (again more reassurances they were NOT in time out)
I didn't want to hear "but HE did this , and HE started it"
I calmly said "Boys, I'd like you each to remember how God wants you to talk to
each other - how He wants you to show respect for others"
I went on to explain that they could speak to each other and work it out and then
they were free to get up and go play again.

As hubs and I ducked around the corner to listen - This is what we heard:
Walker said, "OK, Spence - you can go first".
Spencer said, "Thank you! OK, well, Walker - I really hate it when you toot on me!" 
Walker - "Yeah, but you've gotta admit- it's pretty funny!"
Spencer - "But it's terrible"
Walker - "Yeah, but then you chase me and it's fun!"
Spence - "Yeah" 
They shook hands and got up to go play
My husband and I had to call the paramedics because we were going into convulsions in
the next room laughing so hard and trying not to be heard! 

No matter how much fun that experience was,
It can be easier said than done on a regular basis. 
In order for me to take charge and lead my all boys household along this path of love
I had better start my day focused on the things of God. 
You can bet, that it's my attitude that makes the difference around here!

I must have a Heart for the things of God - and go from rising up until lying down 
living the example of that love for my children to really learn it! 

There is so much more wisdom to be gained from Rachel's book: 

It's too late now to get in on the facebook group discussions, but you can join in here and at Amanda
Pelser's blog link up here on "The Pelsers"   - One way or the other, I highly recommend the book - and
I'll be sharing posts weekly here as we read our way through as a group and in an "official" capacity as
a contributor for chapter 4 "Release them to God" - Please join us in this study! We'd love to have you.

*There is so much more to Chapter 1 than I could possibly fit in this post - you can read about how
God is working in the hearts of other moms from the links at The Pelsers 

Counting my blessings to #1000:

#122- For new friends and words of encouragement
#123- Freedom of speech and to write :)
#124- God's affirmation
#125- Quiet time of reflection
#126- Washing machine/ dryer
#127- Freedom to worship Him as I see fit
#128- Seeing the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts of my children
#129- Grace when my heart isn't right
#130- A new day and a fresh start
#131- A child's perspective

Linking with: 

Mustard SeedsThe Pelsers    


Lynn said...

what a great post. I love your story about your boys. I got a little giggle out of it.. but it's awesome to see the ways God truly wants to bless our family. Little things like that. Thanks for sharing..

k balman said...

Great post and story. I feel like a broken record everyday and often that leads to mommy loosing her patience and yelling something I am working on.

MomLaur said...

Sounds somewhat familiar! Love what you shared, not preaching the sermons is something I struggle with! Don't this, don't that, don't, don't, don't! Like you said, I need more of a focus on what God requires and how he wants them to treat each other. I sure hope we can connect in Florida, I'd love to meet you and your lovely boys! ;0)

Rachael Carman said...

Thanks for sharing your story about your boys-now that's real life. Keeping our focus on God is the key! His grace is sufficient and His love amazing-r.

OrdainedPraise said...

Two of my three boys are in college now. When they were younger, I remember going through similar situations with them. They certainly keep us on our toes! It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job.

Amanda @ The Pelsers said...

I feel like a broken record too. I'm trying so hard to focus on building character and explain certain behavior is not acceptable rather than constantly yelling no. I try to ask more questions to lead them to the truth rather than making demands of them.

Meredith said...

Oh my goodness.
That was really was a funny story!!!!

Oh -- how I can relate to changing the way that I say things -- and to the results! It is amazing how receptive they are to the presence of the Holy Spirit... all we need to do is be reminding them!

Rebecca said...

Hard words to hear and read all starts with me...with my heart towards God.....Love your post! Love you! And TOOT!

Jen said...

I've started infiltrating my house with "my word" for 2012 -- cultivate. I now ask my kids, "Are your actions cultivating an environment of love?" they are actually starting to get it!

Carrie - young living oil lady said...

Great post! I love reading your personal story.. since I know you and the boys, I was totally able to picture your boys throughout the entire scene! The key word is attitude!!! Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouh speaks! That is the verse that rings in my ears all the time.. in what I say and what I hear others say. It is a very true word!! (but aren't they all)
I am enjoying being on this homeschool book club journey with you all and allowing God to give us a greater heart for our kids!
Much love and blessings!

Jen G said...

Very cute boys Kelli! Loved the boy story too. I have two girls close in age and they fight too. I've sent them on the front lawn to "figure things out" when they were little. We laugh about it now. Thanks for reminding me of that. :-)

Jennifer @ said...

That is a precious story. Too funny!

We've adopted that same strategy toward sibling spats here in our house. We set them across from each other, leave the room and let them work out the details. When they get their junk sorted out, they're free to play.

For girls ... this sorting-out sometimes takes a looooong time. :)

Natasha said...

It always amazes me how well the children are able to solve their own problems. And then I wonder why I always feel like I have to solve their problems. Enjoyed the story! Sounds so much like the boys at my house. :0)

Jennifer said...

Those verses from Deuteronomy 6 too. Thank you for the practical application and funny story! You are really putting those verses into action. I'm going to borrow a few tips from you!