Our Mission Statement

As a family of servants of God, we seek to Glorify Him by offering our lives as living sacrifices, being intentional about engaging people with Christ and the Gospel, and using the talents and training He has given us through grace to proclaim the Gospel of Grace to those near and far.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two Books that Have Changed Me This Summer

My good friend, Emily, suggested several parenting books to me. I have read 2 of them so far. And they have utterly changed how I think about raising my children.

My children are well-behaved. We have been consistent and started early. Before we go into a situation, we talk about what is appropriate behavior and what is out of bounds. Our children are expected to speak when spoken to and to wait their turn in conversation. In fact, many people have asked me for parenting advice.

However, despite having well-behaved children, my parenting was still lacking. And these books pointed out what I was missing: their hearts.

I was addressing their behavior believing that I was doing my job in "disciple-ing" them. And in a way, I was. They were discipled into being appropriately behaved children. But I was missing the opportunities to guide their hearts and disciple them to Christ.

The first book, Shepherding a Child's Heart lays the foundation for Heart-Centered discipline. It pointed out that I discipline in anger as if I am the one who has been offended instead of God. I have spanked in anger. I have made my children feel that they have to behave perfectly to win my love. I have sinned against them and been unrighteous in my parenting.

This book redirected my attitude about who is really being offended by my children's disobedience. I now realize that God's command for "children to obey their parents" is the offense. My children are not at odds with ME when they disobey. They are at odds with God because of their sin. This makes my role of discipline a "rescue mission" to show them the error of their ways and to point them back towards Jesus and being back in the safety of a right relationship with God the Father.

Hello, new attitude! This thought alone wipes away my anger at being disobeyed and allows me to address my kids with love and concern.

"The Rod" is used as a corrective tool in hear-centered discipline. It is mandated by God. And while JR and I have never had a problem with spanking, this book lines out a proper way to spank that brings the parent and child closer together instead of tearing a rift in the relationship.

The second book I read was the perfect follow-up. Where as the first book was more theory, this book, Don't Make Me Count to Three! was a practical, how-to guide complete with a flow chart of behavior, bible verse, and consequence.

It focuses on using scripture (esp. the Proverbs) to train your children in righteousness. (Man, did it make me realize how much I rely on my own wisdom instead of God's word when I rebuke my children!)

Also, Ginger has a motto for discipline that we are adopting in our family. Discipline is:

I cannot recommend these 2 books enough. (I also have "Instructing a Child's Heart" in the dock to read after I finish the book I'm currently reading.)

Please, read these books. It will not only change how you parent, but it will change how you deal with other people you encounter everyday.



LeeAnn said...

Thanks Daisha for posting this! I had jotted down "Shepherding a Child's Heart" previously but haven't read it yet. So good to hear a great review.

I am struggling with trying to figure out if Salem is old enough to understand any of this yet though. She's not quite 14 months. When did you start with disciplining? I don't want to wait too late but then I don't want to expect too much out of her either...

Thanks, and I always enjoy your posts!

Rachel said...

Thanks for the tip! I just ordered both books on Amazon.