Mileina, who turned 2 last October is such a jolly little girl. She brings so much joy and laughter in our home with all her antics and crazy dance moves. Her sister, Matilda, thinks she is the funniest little girl in town. I mean, you have to see what she does at home. How she does pretend-play is most of the time so hilarious!
You know, I wish I could say it’s like that all the time. Come on! That’s impossible. Although Mileina’s behaviour is most of the time joyful, it can also be very unpredictable. Let me first describe her best side. She is sweet, like REALLY sweet. She smiles when she sees me, kisses me when I am asleep, helps me with cleaning the house, and gets stuff for me without having to ask her twice. She loves to serve mommy!
Here’s the catch though, like any other kid her age, Mileina loves to test limits with all of us in our household. She LIKES to disobey. Aha! I knew you’d see that coming. As in really likes it, and even laughs about the silly things she does!! No child is perfect, and they are mostly like that. Yes, got that right!!
Just to share, I really believe what the Bible says that we are all born sinners and it is in our nature that our hearts would often choose to sin. Think about it, no one actually taught your child to grab and yet why are kids SOOOO selfish?? I’m sure your child has at least once looked you in the eye, did not even bat those lashes, and yet, with ALL confidence disobeyed you on the spot! They lie about the smallest things and sometimes even get angry when they don’t get things their way. How in the world did they learn to do those things?? Grrrrr. (End of rant).
Well, let me help you figure that out…
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23, ESV)
I’m sure you understand what ALL means.. and then you’ll argue that this may be talking about people who are old enough to make decisions, so let me share another verse that says otherwise.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalms 51:5, ESV)
Therefore, this means, even before we were born, we have already inherited the sin of Adam and Eve. I would not go into the details about the Doctrine of Sin, but if you feel you want to know more about it, please do send me a private message!
Having said all these, we so far have established one main point: We are all born sinners, even those CUTE little babies. It’s really hard to deny how accurate those Bible verses are, together with the examples I presented. And now that we know this fact, we can finally learn how to address the root of their disobedience and defiance, which is the heart.
The way children behave is a product of their sin nature. Sometimes, we analyze things so much, we forget that these things are actually not personal. Your kids DON’T hate you, and they dislike hurting your feelings too. It’s just really how people are, because this is an issue of what’s in our hearts. Getting to the heart of our children is supposed to be our mission.
Understanding the sins bound up in our hearts, even with us parents, will help us get to fix the root of the issue of disobedience and disrespect. — This is the answer!
Since we know now that their actions actually stem from what’s in their hearts, we can now look into having a much more concrete (and hopefully a permanent) solution to the problems we normally encounter in the home. This then leads me to another very important point:
CHILDREN MUST BE DISCIPLINED.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15, ESV)
For one, let me share the usual. Selfishness. Which manifests in grabbing toys from siblings, or by being manipulative in trying to get what they want. Like when they cry if they want or don’t like something? Oh yes, that’s selfishness. Because they want to get things their way, on their own terms. Sounds familiar? Told you. We’re all sinners! So with this kind of behaviour in our kids, spanking is warranted. We remind them of the sinful behaviour they committed, and then we swiftly spank them on their butt. We AGAIN talk to them as to why we had to discipline them, and process how they can behave correctly next time. By doing this, we impart wisdom to them as they begin to understand right from wrong.
Let me just emphasize this part, it is important that we discuss these issues with our children. They MUST understand that you are the authority God has placed over them and you are in that position to disciple or teach Godly ways to them as well. We are doing this because we love them and we want them to learn to obey us, until they make it a habit, and then eventually find the purposes and reasons behind it as they grow older.
Parenting is NO JOKE and it takes a whole lot of yourself, especially when it comes to Biblical discipline. We spank our children out of love to teach them right from wrong and to bring them up in the fear and instruction of the Lord. It’s not for our benefit, but it is ultimately for them, so that they will not go astray. I’ll say it again, disciplining children while they are young is for their benefit. Hey, I can let them keep on sinning for what it’s worth. But my conscience and my heart won’t allow it. God hates sin and as parents, we cannot in any way tolerate it. Sin is sin, and even in young children WE SHOULD NEVER SUGARCOAT IT.
But is it all bad news? What hope do we have knowing we are sinners? How do we all move forward from this? The answer is in CHRIST!
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)
Now that we know Christ has paid for all our Sins in FULL. Past, present and future sins all paid for, we can now look past our sinfulness and have hope that we have forgiveness in Him! All we need to do is repent, (be sorry and turn away from sin) and search the scriptures on how we can do His will. This is great news as it is said,
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1, ESV)
Our children must see their NEED for a savior which is Jesus. He is the only way to heaven and by believing in Him, and following His commands by being the Lord of our lives, will we avoid unnecessary pain and mistakes through making bad choices and decisions in life. Following him will give us the joy and peace, he alone can provide.
God has also given the Bible as a life manual. He has given us HIS Word, so we get to know who He is, his attributes, and how we can live a life that is pleasing to Him. Part of this is by being good parents who teaches our kids diligently about His word and His truth! It is true, my life is a testimony of how the Bible can transform our lives. And as parents, we should study it and put it in our hearts.
Doing all these things I shared with you is not a 100% assurance that this will change the attitude and heart of our children. Disciplining and teaching them is a process and it involves a LOT of prayer (and patience) for their hearts to bear fruit and be transformed. Sometimes, it takes much longer and it is only through prayer where we can hope that one day, God will touch their hearts and reveal Himself to them, so they too can have an intimate relationship with Him.
We are still in the process of teaching and correcting. This applies not only to Mileina and Matilda, but to me as a parent as well. As they grow older and they comprehend better, discipline gets lesser and lesser. It may take longer for Mileina to actually get it, but I cling on to God for mercy as we journey on through the years of childhood.
I hope this will encourage you to search God’s truth in scriptures. May you also find a Bible-believing church that teaches sound doctrine to help you in your walk as a follower of Christ. May this post also help you find new meaning and new ways in parenting your children.
PS: Please do send me a message if there are some things you want to clarify, or if you want to know which church we regularly attend. Let’s all help each other become better versions of ourselves for our children, by the grace of God!