A New Way to Train Our Children
Once again, I found myself confronting my five-year-old. “Did you take some of your sister’s gum without asking?” I challenged her.
Looking down and smacking her gum, she responded, “No. I found it outside.”
“Are you sure?” I asked. “Yes, Momma,” she replied rather sheepishly. I could feel my blood pressure rise as I realized she was telling me an outright lie! This scenario kept repeating itself. We had tried all sorts of discipline for lying, but were not reaching her heart. Somehow, we were not winning the battle.
Desperately, we cried out to the Lord for help, “Please show us what to do!” God opened our eyes to an amazing truth that changed everything.
We discovered the truth in 2 Corinthians 5:16, 17: “Wherefore henceforth know we know man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”
God wants me to know my children by who they are in Christ, not by their fleshly natures. Instead of focusing on my daughter’s lying problem, I needed to focus on who she is in Christ. My five-year-old had given her heart to Jesus and wanted to follow Him. I could tell that she didn’t want to be dishonest, but she struggled with yielding her mouth to God instead of the enemy.
I began to encourage her to use her mouth for God. I explained to her that God had given her a special gift with her mouth. The same Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead was living inside of her, giving her strength to tell the truth even when it was difficult.
I was absolutely blown away by the change I started to see in my precious little girl! “Momma, can we go over to the neighbor so I can tell him how I gave my sins to God?” she asked one day.
“Momma, can I go tell the guy Daddy’s talking to how God changed my life?” She boldly used her mouth to tell even the roughest-looking, tattooed fellows of what God had done in her heart. And she began to have victory in telling the truth!
This beautiful truth changed the way I view my children, my husband, and even myself! The enemy constantly tries to distract me from encouraging my children and husband by getting me to focus on their flawed flesh, instead of the truth of who they are in Christ. When my children act out in the flesh, I now remind them, “That is not who you are! You are a daughter of the King of Kings! You have all His strength to show kindness, even when people are being mean.”
When I start feeling overwhelmed and discouraged as a wife and mother, I am now convicted that I am disobeying God’s commandment in 2 Corinthians 5:16. The truth is that my flesh is weak and not able to do what God calls me to do. However, through His Spirit living and dwelling in me, I am MORE than able to do what He has called me to do! Romans 8:37 says: “Nay, in ALL these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him that loved us.” And 2 Corinthians 2:14 says: “Now thanks be unto God, which ALWAYS causeth us to triumph in Christ.”
We are also endeavoring to teach our children to not view each other after the flesh. They often say to each other: “You are so mean!” Instead, we encourage them to speak words of life to each other: “You have Jesus’ kindness in your heart. I know you are going to show His kindness.” Or, “A friend loveth at all times.” It has been delightful to watch them grow and blossom as they speak words of life to each other.
God gives us wonderful examples of how He doesn’t view people after the flesh. In Genesis 17:5 He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “Father of a Great Multitude.” God spoke those words when Abram was childless, 99 years old, and way past child-producing years! God did not view Abram after his old flesh!
Judges 6:12 tells us about Gideon: “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, ‘The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor’. And Gideon said unto him, ‘Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.’”
When the angel said these words, Gideon was hiding from the Midianites. He didn’t believe God was with him. Yet, God did not view Gideon after his weak flesh and flawed perspective, but as who he was in the Lord! He reminded Gideon that He was with him and for this reason, he was a mighty man of valor.
Our God “calls those things which be not, as though they were” (Romans 4:17). He delights to speak life into existence by His powerful Word. He longs to use our tongues for the same purpose. Proverbs 18:21 says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Every day is a constant battle to either speak life or death over the people around us. We must choose to direct them to who they are in Christ, by reminding them of the promises of God. Philemon 1:6 says: “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing, which is in you, in Christ Jesus.”
Creswell, Oregon, USA
Printed in Above Rubies #93