Our children, whatever their age, have an image of us. We think we are projecting a certain picture of who we are; yet, their perception of us may be, and usually is, totally different! “At 4 years of age…mommy can do anything! At 8 years…Mom knows a whole lot! At 12…mother doesn’t really know quite everything and at 14…Naturally, Mother doesn’t know she doesn’t know everything. At 16…Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned. At 18…That old woman? She’s way out of date! At 25…Well, she might know a little bit. At 35…Hey, before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion. At 45…wonder what Mom would have thought about it. At 65…Wish I could talk it over with Mom.’
If I were to ask you…
“What are the five most important needs of your child…
Would you know??
What an obligation we moms have to keep the line of communication open without needlessly hindering our ability to do so! When I think back to the many positive influences in my life, I recognize that one of the greatest gifts I received was the way my mother worked to keep that communication line open so that the four of us could receive the discipline and correction we desperately needed to prepare us for adulthood.
There are, of course, common ways that parents use to hinder this process and cause children to withdraw their spirit.
Do any of these apply to you?
1) The model is anger in the responses to life’s situations? Proverbs 22:24,25
2) We are inconsistent in discipline or discipline in anger? Ecclesiastes 8: 11; Psalm 6: 1; 38
3) We have double - standards? Matthew 23: 1-4; Philippians 4:9
4) We are not living in marital harmony. Gen. 2: 24
5) We do not admit when we are wrong. Mathew 5:23-26; Job 32:2; Jas.5:16
6) We constantly find fault. Job 32: 2,3
7) We reverse our God-given roles. Ephesians 5:22-24; Genesis 3:16
8) We compare our child to others. II Corinthians 10: 12
9) We are not affirming our child. II Corinthians 2: 6-8; Revelation 2,3
10) We are calling our child names. Ephesians 4:29
11) We fail to keep our promises. Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3: 9; Psalm 15:4
12) We scold our child in front of others. Matthew 18: 15; John 21:15-17
13) We fail to take time to daily read the spirit of our child. Ephesians 5: 18
14) We’re being to strict. James 3:17
15) We’re giving too much freedom. Proverbs 29:15; Galatians 4:1,2
16) We are thoughtlessly making fun of our child. Job 17: 1,2
17) We’re not listening to our child’s opinion or his/her side of the story. Proverbs 18: 13,17
18) We are abusive physically, emotionally, verbally? I Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7; Numbers 22
19) We are having unrealistic expectations of our child. I Corinthians 13:11
All of these (and more) cause our child to withdraw his spirit and to be reluctant to communicate with us. Discipling (mentoring, teaching, nurturing, training, etc.) our children means more than just leading moral lives. It means spending time with them so they see how we live out the reality of our Christian life.
-Offering Hope by our Godly Walk and Sacrifice
-Instilling Respect for Authority
-Teaching Personal responsibility (no victim mentality!)
-Modeling Forgiveness and Respect for others
-Being the Example (or being an excuse for bad behavior!)
-Spending Time cultivating Connections and Communication?
What image of us does our child see?
“…get wisdom, discipline and understanding. The father of a righteous child (man) has great joy; he who has a wise child (son) delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice…” Proverbs 23:23b-25
Do your children bring you joy?
~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America. Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California. My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.