Defining Discipline: part2

Genesis 6:5 “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
“The heart is the foundation of behavior,” says Plowman (though God said it first). She presents three truths of the sin nature in relation to children (though all of us fit into them).
1. Your child is born sinful.
2. Sin is bound in the heart of your child.
3. Sin is not a laughing matter.
The third point really struck me the most. Joanna’s a cute kid and when she backs away from me when I call her or drops her food on the floor, it can be really cute looking. But I have to remember that when Joanna disobeys me, it not just her breaking some little rule, her disobedience is a sin. I can’t laugh when I witness my daughter sinning. And I see now, as we’ve let things slide (i.e. not coming when we call her) she falls into the sin even more. Now, when we call her she’ll stomp her little foot down, walk backward away from us, or the more discrete “get distracted with something else.” And now, we suffer for our sin in not disciplining Joanna and it’s harder work to get her to obey.
Outward behaviors are merely a reflection of what is in the heart. It’s easy for me to fall into teaching Joanna to behavior correctly (especially in public in order to impress people with my awesome mommy skills) but that’s not the heart of the issue (no pun intended). I have to somehow, thankfully with God’s help, teach her heart to be pure before God, to desire to do good, to obey, to serve and love others, etc.
Which reminds me of something else…I’ve also been reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp (another awesome book) and he says something that has really influenced me in how I view obedience. He says that obedience is not obedience unless it’s done without challenge, without, excuse, and without delay. Wow!

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4 thoughts on “Defining Discipline: part2

  1. Outward behavior is a reflection of the heart-true- the passage about good trees producing good fruit comes to mind. Please God help us to be woman, and mothers producing good fruit. I know. I know. I’m not a mom yet, but that part of the prayer is for when I am. 😉
    P.S. Ah if obedience means you have to do it without delay I’m not doing so well in that department.

  2. Oh, I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated that Tripp definition of obedience with the girls… I’m sure it makes their hair stand on end at this point! And it’s sooo haaard to enforce!!

  3. Great reminders, Sarah. I remember those days of chuckling at “cute disobedience”. You are right, it only makes it worse. I’m ordering that book for Nicky, partly due to your comments about it. Thanks for writing these things on your blog. Love, Mom

  4. Great points, Sarah. I’ve been thinking a lot lately “what will this behavior look like in 5 or 10 years if left unchecked.” It gives me more motivation to deal with Coriena’s tantrum at age 1 instead of 4, or Lauren’s sassiness at age 4 instead of 15!!

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