Monday, June 7, 2010


For me, discipline is about so much more than just correction or punishment. Before I can even get to those steps, I need to train my children in the "right" way to act.

With the way we do school, my kids are home a lot year round. But summer brings a relaxed schedule and with all that free time there's been an escalation of bickering. And since we replaced our carpet with beautiful hardwood floors, the bickering echoes - loudly!

So yesterday, while Mike went to a meeting after church, I took the kids to lunch. Over barbecue, fries, grilled cheese and snow cones, we talked about what the Bible says about how to work out conflict. We've revisited our talk in numerous little conversations over the last 24 hours. It's the sermon I plan to preach all summer long.

Proverbs 19:11 - A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. When someone offends us, often we can just overlook it. As one of the kids put it, "If I'm sitting on the sofa and someone is kicking me, I could just move." Yes! Every little offense doesn't have to become a federal case!

Next we looked at Matthew 18. If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. When something bothers us so much we can't overlook it, we use our words to explain to the other person what's bothering us and to ask them to stop. Hopefully that solves the problem.

Finally, if they just won't listen, we take another Christian -- at this stage of the game, a parent. But we don't run to mom and dad to tattle until we've tried to use our words to work it out.

So that's the formula. The formula doesn't involve hitting, kicking, spitting, whining, yelling or saying, "I'm never going to talk to you again." We're reviewing this. We're role playing. We're having "do-overs" when we get it wrong. It's hard work, but I think it will be worth it in the long run..


  1. That's awesome! It reminds me of "Shepherding a Child's Heart", which I just started reading.....

    Let me know when your three 'get it' and I'll send you mine! =)

  2. Thanks for the reminder... we are in the thick of this right now.


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