Step One In Disciplining Your Kids

A. W. Tozer explains the psychology of sin as a person who has no fear of God. When people no longer fear God, they sin against God’s laws without hesitation. Even the fear of consequences is no deterrent when the fear of God is gone.

Such is the reason we should teach our children to fear God before we teach them right behavior. It makes the process of discipline much smoother.

Fear is so much more than trembling with fright, it’s a devoted love that chooses to honor, obey and trust God and nothing else.

This fear is the beginning of all knowledge and wisdom in which a child needs to be successful and be a blessing in this life.

Choose step one in disciplining your kids: At an early age teach them to walk in the fear of God.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7).


A Wisdom Byte On A Parent’s Words

A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. Proverbs 15:1

When it comes to parenting, the stress of so much responsibility can make it hard to maintain a sense of control. Whether it’s the kids, the house, work, marriage and other duties that pull at us, it’s tempting to take it all out on the kids with a harsh word.

Our wisdom byte for today is that even in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life, we can be intentional at responding to our kids with gentleness. There are consequences if we don’t.

If we choose to allow our stress to become a fountain of fury, we are tempted to take it out on the kids. The consequences of careless callousness are devastating.

A harsh word…

  1. Provokes rebellion.
  2. Breaks the spirit.
  3. Cultivates foolishness.
  4. Tears down relationship.

Those are pretty grave outcomes of a harsh word spoken. And if a child is under that day in and day out, they become just like this. They will speak this way to others. They learn how to be by the model in front of them.

On the other hand, when we choose to slow down, think first and then respond, we gain perspective. Yes, it may very well be your kids who are creating your stress, but it is highly unlikely that all your stress results from them alone.

You may be feeling overwhelmed with life, and the easy target to release the stress upon are your kids. When we gain perspective, we can deal with the situation we are facing as it is, not as it feels. The many great rewards a parent receives from being temperate is long-lasting; they reap beyond the child rearing years of their kids.

A gentle answer:

  1. Chooses words wisely.
  2. Speaks what is edifying.
  3. Intends to bring healing.
  4. Instructs with a purpose.

Those are just a few of the many blessings of a gentle answer. They each are worth taking a deep breath, praying to God for clarity on the situation; then moving forward in gentleness.

Your children will emulate what they experience. If they experience a harsh word, they will be harsh. If they experience a gentle word, they will be gentle. As parents, we do reap what we sow.

Sow well and you will reap well.

Instead of Pay to Play…

I, Wisdom, share a home with shrewdness and have knowledge and discretion” quotes Solomon who wrote Proverbs 8:12.  Shrewdness is defined as showing sharp powers of judgment; to be astute and perceptive. It’s the ability to read behind the motives of behavior and actions and not be swindled by them.

All the words of Wisdom’s mouth are righteous; none of them are deceptive and perverted. All of them are clear to the sensible; and right to those who discover the truth.

We are called to accept Wisdom’s instruction instead of silver and knowledge rather than pure gold.

Those who “pay to play” are foolish. They lack wisdom. They trade righteousness for silver and gold; they are corrupt at heart; they deceive others with twisted knowledge. They are sons and daughters of the devil. Their only aim is to serve their stomachs and it will be by their stomach they will be ruined. For all who serve self-will one day come to an end. They glory now, but they will glory no more.

Instead of “pay to play,” let’s pray for perception. Let’s seek Wisdom; wisdom that encompasses holy knowledge and astute discretion. Wisdom is better than jewels. Those who pray for wisdom; who seek righteous insight; who fear the Lord above obtaining popularity with man – these followers are bold; they hate evil, they hate arrogant pride, evil conduct and twisted speech.

People of wisdom seek GOOD advice from trustworthy ADVISORS. They become competent as wisdom teaches them and directs their paths. They have strength and understanding that far reaches anything this world has to offer.

It is by Wisdom that kings reign and rulers enact just law. By Wisdom, princes lead as do nobles and all righteous JUDGES. I, Wisdom, love those who search for Me and find Me.

The Lord God released His very essence of Wisdom and made it available for all His creation, before His words of long ago. There is ample supply of His wisdom, and He generously gives it to those who seek it.

Choose today to #votewisdom #prayforperception

Take A Moment

“Is anyone going to heaven because of you” is the question that was asked of me this morning.

My answer, “Yes!”

I was encouraged as I began to think of the people who know Jesus because God used me. Then, as quickly the encouragement came, discouragement moved in.

I immediately thought, “But who have I not reached? Who did I miss? Who is not hearing about Jesus today? What more can I do for you, Lord?”

My soul depleted of all rest. Robbed was my hope in what God has done through me. Back to the grind. Keep working. I have no time to stop. No time to rest in God’s goodness today.

And then the Lord quickened me with, “Take a moment, my child.”

There are times we need to stop and meditate on the good we are doing for Jesus. We need to be happy about it. We need to feel the joy of just serving our Lord. We need to embrace this moment long enough to be encouraged along the way.

But we don’t take this moment in life, do we?

It’s so easy to add a tag line to the good we are doing with, “but you need to do more or you can do better.” It’s true, we do need to do more, we can improve, but we can also rest in God’s pleasure that we have done well.

Life is hard. It beats us down.

Busyness keeps us from being still.

Media berates us with anxiety, fear, and despair.

Troubles and trials make us weary.

Demands and expectations never take a vacation.

We end most of our days deflated as we reflect on what we have not accomplished.

The tension is this, we need to evaluate, we need to learn how we can do better, but we need to rest our soul from the incessant assessments, too. The cost to not resting is too great. Rest does more than just give us the time to sleep and gear up for the next big job we need to do.

Look at what we put aside when we choose not to glory in God’s work through us:

We don’t embrace God’s pleasure.

We don’t allow ourselves to feel His love.

We don’t take the time to hear how much He is proud of us.

Not feeling His pleasure, His love and His pride in us is a sure way to serve God without passion one day. We will lose our vision, joy, and purpose. We will forget why we do what we do. We will do out of duty not love. As the church of Ephesus was so acutely scolded, “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance…but I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:2-4).

You are His. I am His. Being a good Father, God wants you and me to come to Him and tell Him the good we have done. He wants to celebrate with us. Just as Jesus did when the seventy disciples returned with joy after being sent out to heal the sick and share the power of the Kingdom of God with those in need. (Luke 10:1-20). Jesus took a moment with them.

And we need to take the moment, too. We need to take a minute to reflect on the goodness God is doing through us.

Make a list of those people who are now children of the Most High God because you helped them get there. Reflect where they would be if you didn’t take the time to share Jesus with them.

Be pleased that the last church event you organized went well, or the sermon or worship set moved people to action; take a moment, experience the thrill of that one conversation you had that changed a life. Delight in the fact that God gifted you and you used that gift to bring Him glory!

Take a moment!

Be encouraged. Stay there a while. Praise Jesus! Thank God! Worship Him!

Don’t bring out that evaluation yet.

Do what the Psalmist said; “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you” (Psalm 116:7).

The time we take to rest our soul is so much more than just giving ourselves a pat on the back. It’s called taking a Sabbath. The Sabbath is a time to rejoice in all the Lord is doing in our life. It’s time to rest the soul from the “to do” list and the “evaluations” that are necessary, but not for today! Take a moment.

Run to your Father in Heaven; allow Him to refresh your weariness and encourage your soul.

Tomorrow you can bring out the evaluation. Tomorrow you can get on that ‘to do’ list.

For now, just take a moment!





Finding God’s Wisdom in the Dark

God generously gives us His wisdom if we ask for it. But only if we ask in total faith will it be given to us. Presented with a very difficult decision to make, we don’t know what to choose.  So we ask God, “Give us wisdom? Help us, Lord, to choose wisely.”

What does the Lord say to us? “Give me your faith, and I will give you My wisdom.” Puzzled by this response, we follow our usual pattern and simply seek to understand before we believe. This pattern proves to create doubt. Can God really give me what I need? Can He really provide for this impossible situation?

So we choose to be wise in our own eyes and question if God is real; can He do what He says He can do; we dig our stubborn heels in our disbelief and proclaim, “If He proves Himself, then, I will believe.

But as Tozer says it so well, “The unbelieving heart would not be convinced by any proof, yet, it is the worshiping heart that needs none.” It’s the heart of faith that understands. It’s the one who chooses to believe God first, and then, with precision, suddenly this person has the wisdom to make a wise choice. A doubter on the other hand will never see wisdom’s providence.

“An infinitely wise God cannot be improved upon by finite creatures” such as man, Tozer assesses correctly. We have got to be kidding if we little mortals think that we can tell God how to be wise. It cannot be done. It should not be tried. It’s ridiculous to think we can do better than God. But let’s be honest, we do try, don’t we?

Our persistence to know what’s ahead is certainly natural, but this natural inclination to know the future is a barrier to our spiritual growth; it gives us just enough control that we end up relinquishing God’s power and activity in our life.

Isn’t it like God to insist we trust Him while walking in the dark? His light provides a pathway for our steps, but not always a map for the journey. He desires to be the destination, while His wisdom is our guide. It is He who will go before us and make the crooked roads straight. He opens the gates of brass and cuts the bars of iron. He is the lantern in our darkness and the treasures in our chest. We find our way because it is the Good Shepherd’s role to lead us, not necessarily tell us everything He knows.

We must trust that “it is the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it…Surely we are the most favored of all creatures.” A. W. Tozer.

Yes, we must trust God with our mind, our life, our journey, but we need give Him so much more, we must trust Him with our worshiping heart.

“If any of you needs the wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. When you ask for something, don’t have any doubts. A person who has doubts is like a wave that is blown by the wind and tossed by the sea” James 1:5-6