Today my kids lost the privilege of ... each other. For the last few days they have argued and bickered incessantly. And so today (thanks to the Holy Spirit for the idea) my kids lost the privilege of being able to enjoy each others company. Let me clarify the rules here: no hugging, no talking to each other, no playing together, zero interaction with each other. And it was painful.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. (Hebrews 12:11a)
Sarah and Ellie cried alot. Andrew went to his room to be alone. Eventually I found myself standing in the kitchen hugging 2 little girls brokenhearted over the fact that they couldn't hug each other.
...Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Heb 12:11b
Shortly after, Ellie (3) asked me if they could pray to God. Sarah seconded that immediately. So we let them pray together, but the consequence still stood. Andrew cleaned the bathrooms, made my bed, swept the garage and then... wait for it... made his sisters' beds. Within 30 minutes, I had helpers in the kitchen cooking dinner and all 3 kids had changed their attitudes from grumbling to gratitude.
Tough love. That is the Tuesday Tool for today. As parents, how many of us have avoided the proper discipline, training, consequences and correction? I have. Most of us have - be it fear or laziness or just not having any idea of how to handle the situation our kids present to us. But "dropping the parental ball" occasionally is no excuse to continually give in to our childrens' sin. We have to take the bull by the horns, get off our rear ends and seek God for wisdom on how to handle these precious children He has entrusted to us! You know, God doesn't hold back His discipline on us The Bible says that He disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). And "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. (Job 5:17-18)
I recently watched a show where a 5 year old girl was allowed to run the house. Both parents admitted that they "let her do whatever she wants." Within a few minutes I turned the program off. Why? Because the girl was so out of control that I started getting stressed out watching her act so poorly.
So let's discipline our kids. And if you have no idea how to do this, look at our Heavenly Father - He is a perfect example to follow. By doing this, not only will we train our kids to make good choices, but we will also train them how to follow the Lord in complete, unwavering obedience.
Hebrews 12:10-11 (NASB) "10 For they [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."