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“Ten Things To Make Your Children Mind.”
One Percent Rebellion is Still Rebellion
I learned a lesson the hard way when my daughter was young. Though I was a stay-at-home mom, I worked full-time and then some from home for the first year of my daughter’s life. Later, I became committed to being “just” a Homemaker, but then I struggled to keep my busy life of serving in our church from taking over. We began Homeschooling when my daughter was about 2 years old (my son was 5-1/2). Perhaps my busyness is why I didn’t recognize my daughter’s rebellion until she was 9 or 10 years old. I didn’t deal with the attitudes.
You would not have thought her a rebellious child. But a child who’s obedient to you 99% of the time, and rebels only 1% of the time still has a heart of rebellion. They are choosing to rule their own lives, and when they don’t agree with your decision, they rebel. They just agree with you 99% of the time.
Crying, Hollering, Yelling
When my daughter was 9 or 10, and I recognized her rebellion, I disciplined her. She would scream and cry at the top of her lungs when disciplined (one swat with the spoon, or sometimes before I’d done anything). (A child’s crying loudly–hollering, wailing, yelling as though they’re being killed–when being disciplined appropriately is a sign of rebellion. I am not talking here about a child being abused by a parent. I am talking about spanking with a spoon or stir stick once, followed by opportunity to repent, prayer, sharing of Scripture. Then adding a second stroke, with time to repent and the other steps. And I am talking about seconds passing between strokes, not “beating” in any way, shape or form.) She clenched her jaw, and stiffened, and would not submit to discipline. A wise older woman instructed me to bind the enemy before ever going into her room or beginning to discipline. (This is what I would pray, “Lord, please bind and rebuke Satan and his spirits in the Name of Jesus and by the power of His blood and resurrection.”)
Put Aside Your Plans for the Day
My daughter was saved at an early age, and both of my children have a firm faith in Jesus Christ, but she needed to submit to our authority as placed there by God for her protection, provision and guidance. When rebellion began rearing its ugly head when she was about 10 years old (it had been there earlier, but we didn’t recognize it, and it wasn’t always willful), I realized I could not let it go, and decided that when she was willfully disobedient, rebellious or sassy, I had to put aside any other plans for the day and spend whatever time was needed, privately in her room, administering the “rod and reproof.” (Our “rod” was either a paint stick or a wooden spoon–these stung, but didn’t leave bruises, or marks. The discipline was never such that she felt the effects later, such as not being able to sit down.)
|photo by Aussiegall|
I would ask her, “What did you do?” (She needed to recognize her sin, admit and confess.) Then, I would speak to her from the Word about her sin, pray for and with her, give her plenty of opportunity for repentance and ask her if she was ready to admit and confess her sin, and begin by giving her one stroke on her thigh or bottom (with panties on). I would continue increasing the strokes, one at a time, repeating the steps which included letting Scripture speak to her heart, and giving her another opportunity to repent, if she was not willing to humble herself and confess her sin. Confession and repentance mean “agreeing with God about my sin.”
Sometimes we got up to 20 strokes; maybe more (this was unusual). During these times, I would cry, begging her to not harden her heart towards God and Scripture, grieving over her hard, stubborn heart and unwillingness to yield to God. I would pray and ask God for forgiveness, and to show me if there were sins in my own life I hadn’t confessed and turned from. I would cry out to God on her behalf. If she was still not repentant, eventually I would end the session, praying with her once more, and with deep sorrow tell her we were not done, but we were stopping. I would have her read passages from her Bible alone in her room before she came out. I would always emphasize God’s heart towards sin, and the consequences, but that He is ready to forgive anyone who truly repents, and asks His forgiveness.
Over the years I have told this story to many young moms, especially ones with very young children, 3 and under. I tell them, “Don’t wait until your child is 10! It’s so much easier if you discipline the attitudes now.” If I can help any moms out there avoid this painful scenario for both you and your child, it is worth it. Whenever I have told this story, my daughter has been right beside me sadly admitting, “Yes.” People can hardly believe she was ever that way. (Look at the photo below and see the results of dealing with her attitude. Afterwards she had a clear conscience and JOY!) They are astounded. She tells them “how bad” she was, and readily admits her rebellion and pride.
I am guilty for not dealing with her heart attitude of stubborn pride, an independent spirit and rebellion when she was a very little girl. We both suffered greatly for it. The process was long and arduous. It took a long time (I honestly don’t remember how many days, or weeks or maybe even months, we repeated this scene off and on. It took hours some days from our school day. But I would say that it was off and on for weeks or more). It was an emotionally painful ordeal, but finally the Spirit effected a change in her heart, her hard heart was softened and she truly repented of her sin.
A Heart Submitted to God and to Her Parents
When she finally repented, there was no question whatsoever that God had worked. We knew that God had won the victory. (Look at the sweet countenance in the face above!) Now we had the most sweet-spirited, submissive, happy little 10-year-old girl on the face of the earth! She was obedient, desiring to please us and God. Her heart was so open to the Lord, and she had a new desire for others to know Jesus. Oh, joy!
My Plea to You, Dear Moms
Oh, how much pain we could have avoided if I had disciplined her consistently when she was 3 years old (or 2, or 1 or even younger) for her attitudes. Young moms, Do Not Wait–I implore you! (If you do not think that babies and small children are capable of attitudes that need discipline, look at these photos. I have recently heard stories from moms of 1-1/2-year-olds and younger exhibiting very rebellious attitudes and behavior, and I, myself, saw it in my “perfect” first-born at one years old.)
One mom I know flicks the legs of her babies (I’m not sure what age) with her finger when they won’t lay still on the changing table. Do not spare the rod, but use it in love, consistently and without anger. Never leave out the training in righteousness, from the Word of God, and be living as an example, with God’s help. (Example, Training, and Prayer are the 3 legs of the stool of child-training.) The rod used appropriately (the key word is appropriately) very early in life will bring peace to your home—and you won’t need to use it as much later on. Always remember, you are obeying the Word of God.
(which means chastise, discipline, punish, reprove, instruct)
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*Disclaimer: I am just a mom. This is my story, but the Word of God must be your guide and give you answers–you and your husband are responsible to raise your children, with God’s help through His Word and prayer. If you need advice on specific situations not addressed in this series, I advise you to go to your spiritual authorities (your pastor or elders). If you are visiting for the first time, or for more on this subject, I recommend you read the other posts in this series. (Just click on the links.)
Training in 1st-time Obedience on Timely Tips on Tuesday
Spanking (Part 1): Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 2): Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 3): Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 4): My Story
Spanking (Part 5): Do You Love or Hate Your Children?
Spanking (Part 6): Something Really Important I Neglected To Say!
Spanking (Part 7)