This past week I have learned something while working on being more GENTLE. I learned my son listens more indepth when I'm not talking in an elevated voice with my hands and arms pointing and moving around. He doesn't put up that wall of defense and tune me out. The lesson I quickly caught on to was a soft answer.
Gentleness: A Soft Answer
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
I also learned that no matter what, if my son is not taught how to do something, he is more than likely not going to do it. How could I expect him to sit down at a piano and play something, if he has never been taught? This is the same thing with obedience; our children have to be taught to obey.
We all have a sin nature; no one has to be taught to sin. But we do have to be taught how and when to obey. If we expect our children to obey immediately ~ we have to train them. Think for just a minute, the last time you were asked to do something, did you do it? Did you do it immediately? What's the difference in us and our children? There is none. If we expect our children to obey immediately, then we must be willing to PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH. We can't have it both ways.
We can stand over our children with a belt or a paddle and scream at the top of our lungs to get them to do something. But is this really working? Think about it. We are teaching our children to obey only when they are being screamed at. We are not keeping our cool so we can use a situation to help guide them into obedience. We are also teaching them to be a screamer or yeller. Yes, we are. We are teaching them that it is alright to scream at others to get their point across. We are also planting bitterness into their tender hearts. This bitterness is going to be a huge mess when it is full blown and it is not going to hurt just them, but everyone around them.
How can we teach our children about God and His wonderful love, when all they hear coming from our mouth is hateful sin? We need to remember the saying, "Like parent, like child." Our daily walk is what our children are learning from us. Are they seeing the Fruits of the Spirit in our lives? Are they seeing and hearing gentleness?