Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Club: Ministry of Motherhood: Chp 3-4

Chapter Three: The Grace of Encouraging Words

This chapter for me was a reaffirmation and remembering of things that are easy to forget.  How soothing and energizing encouragement can really be.  I know how I feel when someone encourages me.  Even when it's in correction.  

In a world that can seem so big to a child, how important our encouragement is in the home.  When our children are constantly hearing, "Don't do that," "Why did you do that," it can be wearing.  I know that I want to raise kids who know the line, but can also know joy in their day.  

*The last night Jesus had with his disciples, he called them "little children" (John 13:33).  Does this tell you anything about his attitude toward these grown men who were his most devoted followers?  Read John 14:1 and see what his continued response was to Peter after he had confronted him with the fact that he would deny Christ.  How does this show the loving grace that Jesus extended to his disciples?  How does he want you to extend it to your children

Chapter 4: The Grace of Forgiveness in Action

Confession... the ability for our children to come to us in any given situation... any time they've made a poor choice... who do we want them to come to?  We want them to come to us.

Often as Mothers we have this vision of quiet moments with our children where they crawl up in our laps and confess the sins and the desires of their hearts.  But in the day to day reality of parenthood, it's too easy to get caught up in the correction of wrongs.

For myself, it's easy to jump to the correction part of the process.  Too often I forget to take a deep breath and see if my children are getting there on their own.  There have been situations where I jumped too far ahead when I should have taken a moment to hear my child out.  I have ignorantly caused a bigger issue when my child just needed a moment to continue processing and vocalizing the situation.

*The Bible makes it clear that we are to discipline and correct our children when they do wrong.  How do you do this faithfully while still giving them the gift of grace?

There's an absence of anger when extending grace.  I can feel when discipline is about what's best for my kids and the difference when I'm disciplining 'cause I feel I've been wronged.  Grace allows us to discipline in a way that searches for the best benefit of our children.  Discipline, when done for the kids, is grace.  It's teaching and passing on wisdom.  As I said for me, part of that is going to be in trusting my kids and not jumping so far ahead of them.

*Write down what tends to irritate you about each of your children and sometimes keeps you from showing God's gracious love.  Pray for each child he has given into your hands and make a plan for how you will respond more graciously to him or her, especially in those irritating situations.

Out of respect for my children, I'm going to pass on sharing with this question.  But I would encourage all of us to do some soul searching on this question.  Share your responses with your spouse and pray together about how you can continue to extend grace, in partnership, to your children.  How can you begin changing your response in those tough situations?

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but this book is already overwhelming me and reminding me how important our example is to our children.  It's been a great read and I can't wait to start reading about  Inspiration!

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