I was asked by a mother, who knew our family very well, to give Child Training Tips at her daughter, Courtney’s Baby Shower. I know I am not a perfect mom. I am definitely not super mom. I cannot even multitask well. I am nothing without the Lord. Our children are not perfect either, but they were/are a joy. I felt very honored to share some helpful tips that the Lord gave me along the way. God gets the glory for anything good in my life.
This is Part 2 ~Continuation of 11 Top Child Training Tips (Part 1) I gave at Courtney’s Baby Shower. Words written in parenthesis were not said at the shower, but added for this post.
Tip #7 Enjoy your relationship with the Lord and enjoy your relationship with your children. (I found out from a doctor, after our three children were born, and many miscarriage later, that it was a miracle, I was able to carry three children to full term. I had a physical problem and miscarried easily. I had so many miscarriage, that I lost count, because it was a very low point in my life. God knows how many babies I had, and God knows each one of our babies by name, personally. I am grateful to the Lord for Him allowing me to be a mother on this earth to our three children. I look forward to meeting our many heavenly children, who I believe will be lining the streets of gold, cheering me on, when I enter that glorious place. I tell the story in “Suffering Miscarriages: Learning to See the Hand Of God!“)
Children are God’s reward to us. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3 A reward is something to be enjoyed. God meant for us to enjoy our children. I
had fun with our children. I sang praise songs to the Lord in front of my children when they were growing up. Everyday I would sing the Psalm, “This is the day which the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I start clapping and smiling as I praise the Lord and I meant it from the heart. Our children would join in. Our children knew how to spell the word, Bible before they were a year old because of the song. Enjoy getting on the floor and playing with your child. Courtney, it is obvious you are good with children. Pray together and play together. We went to the park regularly when our children were small. We couldn’t afford anything else, but our kids loved the park, and I
slid down the slide with them. Children are fun and help us to stay young at heart.
Mothers set the tone in the home. If mother is a grouch, she will train up little grouches. Children will mirror their parents. Make meals special and eat meals together as a family with the TV off. Our children should grow up with good family memories. In each day, include a “mini vacation” by doing something special together. Take a few minutes and read with expression a good book to your child. Tell them a good story. Be creative. Plan a craft or go outside and play with them for recess. Win their hearts and keep their hearts by laughing together and playing together.
(Recently, our now married daughter, Melinda sent this to me saying, “Mom, when we were kids you had so many different endearing names for us…I was convinced you had made most of them up. BUT, I was enlightened at the Fresh Market today – so that’s what a ‘bunchkin’ is!”
Hahaha! Moms, do you have cute names for your children? Our children just looked like sweet bunchkins to me. And I thought I made up the name. Mothers, keep your laugh and laugh much with your children.)
Back to the tips I gave at the baby shower…When I daily asked the Lord for wisdom, the Lord showed me that I needed to have my children’s hearts. Pr 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart.” The Lord has my heart because I daily spend time one-on-one with Him, so…
Tip #8 To have our children’s heart, regularly spend time with them one-on-one getting to know them. This is the reason Kristen (who is now a Pastor’s wife and expecting their 5th child) gave as to why she never rebelled. To have a good relationship with each child, I spent 30 minutes a day M-F one-on-one and called it “Special time with Mom”. Time is influence.
During this time:
- I praised my children’s character
- listened to them
- and encouraged them to walk with the Lord.
- I asked them how I could do better as a Mom
- and we prayed together.
- I got to know them; what they thought.
Children need lots of praise and encouragement balanced with using the rod when they disobey. Speaking of the rod, we did not have to use the rod much at all after age four, because the rod was NOT spared before that age. Our children were very obedient after the age of four. My rod Scripture was Proverbs 13:24:
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Our children knew they were very loved at a very young age.
During “Special time with Mom”, there was only encouragement given from me to our children. Our children would not look forward to “Special Time with Mom” if I planned to fuss at them. That is not very special. Speaking of encouragement, children need about seven times encouragement if we criticize them or they will get discouraged and possibly give up.
I never depended on the Pastor or Sunday School teacher to teach my children the Bible and good character. These people were an extension of the home. My husband and I were the primary teachers of Spiritual things and character to our children. Win your children’s hearts by praising them and by spending special time with them one-on-one as much as possible.
When our son and daughter went off to colleges in other states, they called home daily and told us everything on their own. We did not ask them to do so; they wanted to share with us daily what was going on in their lives. One day, at college, our daughter realized that no one she knew called their parents everyday from college to tell them everything, like she would do. It dawned on her that the reason she called home daily was because of the close bond from the one-on-one time we had together. Our children plan on having “Special time with Mom” with their children too. (To read more, see: “Special Time With Mom” Kept Our Daughter from Rebelling.)
Tip # 9 Children rebel against hypocritical parents. Melinda said one of the reasons she did not rebel was because we were real and not hypocrites. She said she would have rebelled if we were hypocrites. It is very important to read the Bible and pray in the home. Our children knew we, as parents had a quiet time with the Lord each morning. They knew our Bibles did not collect dust from neglect during the week. We read our Bibles daily together during the
week as a family and prayed together. Melinda also said that the consistency of reading our Bibles together as a family kept her from rebelling. Our children need consistency. They live with us, so they see the truth about us. Children will think we are hypocrites if we are involved in the church, have standards, but don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord daily.
(In the photo, which was taken 24 years ago, Barry was having family devotions while Melinda sat in his lap. Isn’t that so sweet? Melinda has now been married for three years. Her husband, who grew up on the mission field, saw a picture of
Melinda with another missionary and thought something similar to this about Melinda: “What a wholesome looking young lady!” He shared that he also liked that Melinda was wearing modest clothing which was so unlike most Christian young ladies. Jeremy called Melinda’s Dad, my husband… and you can read more about their courtship in my website under the title of, “I Know You Are A Prayer Warrior.”)
If we are grumpy to family members, but at church we are smiling and sweet as honey to the church members, our children see us as hypocrites. We also need to have a wonderful Sunday dinner as a family without “roasting the preacher”. Our children will think we as parents are fakes and will rebel if we act one way in church (or outside the home) and another way in the home. We need to teach our children by example to have a personal relationship with the Lord and by being positive about the church and the Pastor.
I think a big mistake Christian families make is putting ministry (or something else) ahead of their families. It is alright to say, no. I don’t like to say “no”, but I had to say “no” at times. We started, when our children were young, ministering in our church as a family. That way, as a family, we grew closer to the Lord serving the Lord together and we also grew closer to one another.
Getting God’s Word in our children’s hearts is very important. Start young-I’m talking infant young teaching them Bible memory verses. I would tell my children, “The Bible teaches that things will not go well with you if you don’t obey us.” Eph 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord…that it may go well with thee” Because of the promise attached to that verse, Melinda had a healthy fear of obeying us when she was fourteen (a critical age), because she wanted things to go well with her. That is a lot better than telling a child, “Obey me, because I said so.” The Bible is living and will speak to your children’s heart. For rebellion to NOT take place, back standards and rules with “this is what the Bible teaches.” I tried my best to live what the Bible taught within my home.
We also taught character qualities in our home to our children. We studied a different character quality each month represented by a Bible character, a hero of faith and a Scripture. For example, I may not be a woman of diligence in certain areas but by the grace of God, He works the character quality of diligence in and through me. He does the same for our children as we learn and pray. You guessed it…I am still in the school of learning Christ-like character.
Psalm 127: 4 “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” We have the responsibility as parents to point our children like arrows in the right direction. I used to enjoy archery, especially when I hit the mark with my arrows.
Tip #10 Point your child to the Lord, His Holy Word and to their Daddy. Every child needs to see their mom respect and be kind to their daddy. Work hard to have a good marriage. Scripture teaches “on her lips is the law of kindness.” “She will do him (husband) good and not evil all the days of her life.” Having a good marriage gives a child security. Continually work at and pray for a Godly marriage. I wanted to point our children to their Dad. The first word I taught our baby was “dada.” I later realized “dada” is usually a child’s first word anyway, but I intentionally worked at making it our children’s first word. Dad beamed when they said his name first.
I made Daddy’s homecoming the highlight of the day by running out to meet him, saying “Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home”. Our children quickly caught on and would try to race me to the door. I wanted their Daddy to be my children’s hero, so I tried to point our children to their daddy every chance I got.
Courtney, it is obvious that you and Daniel love each other very much. I enjoy watching the way he looks at you with so much love. I like seeing you both walk across the church parking lot holding hands. Work hard to keep that love flaming between each of you, and your children will have “Dad for their hero.” Because our grown children trusted their Dad, they followed his leadership when making important decisions. When the young men came a courtin’, I was super glad my husband had our daughter’s hearts.
Tip #11 Pray daily for each child to get saved at an early age and to love and serve the Lord all the days of their life. Child training is much easier when our children get saved at an early age, because they have the Holy Spirit. The Lord gave me the sweet privilege of leading all of our children to a saving knowledge of Him before they turned seven. Kristen was four years old when she got saved and was an incredibly good example to her siblings. What a blessing! God has equipped Christian mothers with the Holy Spirit leading them and with the best Child training manual in the universe-His Holy Word. Diligently pursue being that rare, exceptional mother who seeks God with all your heart.
May the Lord bless your every step, Courtney. May your child/children grow up to love the Lord and serve Him all the days of their lives.-ENJOY your child and future children-Children are your Heavenly Father’s reward to you, Courtney, so Delight in them. Very soon, children will grow up and fly from the nest, but you will be fulfilled in knowing that God is pleased, because you did it His Way.