I love when I’m able to wake up in the morning before my kids when the house is nice and quiet. I pour my cup of coffee and you mix in a little flavor before sitting down to spend time reading and praying.
This doesn’t happen often lately. My littlest one is teething something fierce and nights seem to be especially hard for her. So this mama has a lot of Sleepless ones right now. But I strive to remember that during those sleepless nights I can sit with her and we can sing and to pray and read.
This morning though as I was reading I was struck by a painful truth. Let me say I’ve been reading a lot about child training because honestly my oldest is 11 and most days I don’t know what to do with him. My younger son is 7 and starting to become a rather stubborn and brooding young man and my two girls…. I don’t really know what to do with girls. So it’s really been on my mind and in my heart to spend more time understanding what God’s word says about training our children.
This morning though and something that stopped me in my tracks. I have to admit I groaned when I read it. Not just a bit either.
” you will never be able to govern your children effectively if you cannot govern your own Passions and you won’t be able to teach your children sobriety and temperance and self-control if you yourself are not a model of sobriety and temperance and self-control.”
Okay that’s a mouthful. And it’s something that really made me stop and question my sobriety and temperance and self-control.
I know that most of us think of sobriety is something related to alcohol but as I prayed on this I was shown how it is so much more than that. When we are sober we are clear-headed. Our judgment isn’t crowded and we are not easily influenced or swayed. Rather we are fully aware of what is right and what is wrong. And we are wise and how we behave. Am I calm and collected?
I have often been told that I am very passionate specifically when it comes to God and home education. I always think of that as a good thing but after reading this I wondered…. how do people know that I am passionate about things?
This leads me back to sobriety and temperance and self-control. Three things of which I fear I may not always be a great model of. And three things that matter so much more but I may have realized before.
Remember how the scriptures say but others will know us by our fruits. I also remember how the Israelites we’re promised many things throughout the Bible. Yet every time they had to choose to act. They had to take it by force. It wasn’t something that they were simply given.
So it is with these things. I think sometimes we forget that we are daily in battle with our own flesh. Can we deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow Him? Can we deny and control those things which tempt us really?
The way is narrow and the Bible says there are few the find it. We have to really work to make it along that narrow path. As long as we have to work even harder because what our children see matters so much more than what they are told.
When I lose control and yell at them or grumble and complain…. when I speak those are kind words and anger or when something upsets me and I throw something ( and yet I discipline my children when they behave this way) or just end up acting impulsively and break something or put a nick in the wall…. perhaps I was not aware of my surroundings or paying attention to where I was going. Whatever it may be the reaction to the action… is it a right one?
As much as I wish I could just train my children according to God’s word the truth is that there is so much Within Me that needs to be changed and transformed first period Well we are all imperfect and God is working in everyone of us certainly that cannot be excused. We must strive for greater and higher within ourselves.
I cannot completely trained my children until they see what I want from them being lived out consistently by me. And it’s hard to admit. And I think of how the Bible says if your right eye offends you you should pluck it out and cast it away for it is better that one of your members perishes and not your whole body cast into hell.
It’s never comfortable looking closely at ourselves and looking for those imperfections and of those areas that keep us from a closer walk with God. But we have to focus and how great I’ve got it. We need to focus and remember what we are truly called for. How can we truly serve the kingdom of God if we are allowing these secret sins to hide within?
I think of my garden and how right now it looks pretty clean. No weeds so far but come spring they will appear. I know this because I didn’t really take the time to dig them out. The roots are still there. And so it is with us. We cannot just become self controlled. We will not just wake up one day and be temperate but we must really work at it digging out the roots within us.
I think of her we are told that if we love Him we will keep his commands. I remember how it is said but whatever we do if we do it without love it just doesn’t matter.
We can’t just teach. It is so much more than that. Let us know not be that clanging cymbal but let us love in word and in deed. All for His glory.