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"Help! My Kid is Driving Me Nuts!"
by Barbara Smith

Ever thought this?

Has God blessed you with a bundle of busyness who bucks reasonable bridles? Do clerks and nurses grimace when they see you approach, quiver in tow because they know, soon they will be the targets of your little one's irrepressible zingers? Do babysitters become very busy when you call, asking for relief?

Are you starting to detach emotionally from this child because he or she is draining you of the reserves to cope with other members in your family? Well don't unplug from this child; connect with the only willing and able Power source!

Have you prayed for this Child?

Have you asked God how to integrate all the sage advice that Proverbs offers to perplexed parents? What character defect is driving you crazy -- Proverbs addresses it; will you make time to read what God says?

We must USE the word to overcome spiritual battles -- because raising kids *is* a spiritual battle -- and this goes triple for raising compliant children. (Who sometimes just go along to get along . . . but that is another matter!)

Now, if you are praying and studying and still frustrated, will you confess your frustration and resentments to God about this dear little soul? Ask Him to fill your heart with a love and a passion to serve your child by disciplining to him or her to fear God and obey His commands.

God never promised any of us perfect children. Yet, He trusts us with children whose brokenness will build righteousness into our character. Your Father especially designed that whirlwind to blow through your heart and mind and forcing you to your knees!

Do you believe that God is that intimately involved in your life? What we believe about our Father's Character transcends our parenting.

It is no mistake your child can get to you; it is no cosmic joke that you want to want to avoid training this child. But remember: God is going to build something in you and him or her through this experience that will be bring Glory to Himself. You may not look like the parent of the year while you are doing it, and you may cry bitter tears because of that little one's resistance rebellion but get busy now! Because "later" is just around the corner, and rebels do not outgrow rebellion; they either submit or they are destroyed.

Renew your covenant promises to God to raise this young child for HIS glory, and pray fervently for his or her salvation because if the Savior does not corral that wee heart, your wild one is in for an AWFUL ride!

"School" may solve short-term problems -- and it may eventually be where he or she should be. Your child may *do* better for strangers that is true. However, if these character "defects" remain untended, it is just a matter of time before your rebel gets into trouble with the new authority in his or her life.

Putting children in school for *our* personal peace of mind is unwise Tempting, I grant you but such choices beg the question: How am I going to raise this child for God? Do not adopt a mode of academic teaching until God directs your path how to train your children's character. Academics will be burned up. The heart is eternal.

Dad's are not exempt from these decisions. This is not just women's work here, for Dad's must be leading the family in character training. If not, this is another avenue to begin praying at once!

Please remember, we are Christ's ambassadors to our children they will learn the Gospel by first "reading" their parents. Also think back to how God has disciplined you has the Savior ever chucked you into someone else's lap to train? Has HE ever done what we tired parents do when we face opposition?

When was the last time Jesus told you He was sick of *you* and your silliness?

Reclaiming Lost Ground

  1. Pick one area and begin training, asking God for leading and support.
  2. Be sure you keep the lessons simple, Scriptural, and your discipline righteous and swift.
  3. Ask temporary care-givers to notify you with the first whiff of raucous behavior.
  4. Watch out for tattlers. If you did not "see" the disastrous conduct remember to consider the source. Sometimes other children silently provoke a "weaker" sibling just to divert. Sometimes the "good" kids must be held accountable for their parts in brouhahas.
  5. Do not telegraph unwittingly your frustrations to your other children! You assuredly don't want any child to think that you will cast them off if they don't preform!
  6. Do not bluster, even in your minds. It is a bad use of time, for those thoughts might pop out of your mouth!
  7. Ask for wisdom to know how to discipline.

    Discipline, ideally, should give our children (AND us) a foretaste of heaven. IT *is* a delight to obey and feel God's pleasure. This is the positive side of discipline. However, "it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of an Angry God!" (All parents should read Jonathan Edwards' little tract, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God *especially* if they are blessed with compliant children. Or if they imagine they're doing "just fine" spiritually!)

    So, our discipline should be calculated to give our children a foretaste of the wrath of God (from Gary Cox, Walkersville Christian Family Schools)

    "A foretaste of the wrath of God" may sound antediluvian, or bordering on child abuse BUT God never sanctioned screaming and out-of-control spanking as appropriate tools of discipline NEVER.

    If parents are out of control emotionally, they must never discipline children because when we admonish kids, we are representing Jesus Christ.

  8. *Ask* Him for an insight into how to HELP your child suffer the consequences of disobedience or willfulness or obstreperous behavior, now while there is still time to hope for his or her soul. And don't quit asking pound on the door until God answers.

Use these prayer tips from Elisabeth Elliot, (from Donna Otto's book, The Stay At Home Mom, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene OR 97402, 1991)

Pray that your children will fear the Lord and serve Him (Deut. 6:13)

Pray that your children will know Christ as Savior early in life (Ps 63:1)

Pray that your children will hate sin (Ps 97:10)

Pray that your children will be caught when guilty (Ps. 119:71)

Pray that your children will have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships (Dan 6:3)

Pray that your children will respect those in authority over them (Rom 13:1)

Pray that your children will desire the right kind of friend and be protected from the wrong kind (Prov. 1:10, 15)

Pray that your children will be kept from the wrong mate and saved for the right one (2 Cor. 6:14)

Pray that your children and their prospective mates will be kept pure until marriage (1Cor. 6:18-20)

Pray that your children will learn to submit totally to God and actively resist Satan in all circumstances (James 4:7)

Pray that your children will be single-hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus (Romans 12:1,2)

Pray that your children will be hedged in so they cannot find their way to wrong people or wrong places, and the wrong people cannot find their way to your children (Hos 2:6,7)

Pray that your children will have quick, repentant hearts (Ps. 51:1-3)

Pray that your children will honor their parents so all will go well with them (Eph. 6:1, 2)

Pray that your children will be teachable and able to take correction (Isa. 54:13; Proverbs 13:1)

Pray that your children's lives will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23)

Pray that your children will live by the Spirit and not gratify their flesh (Gal. 5:16)

Pray that your children will trust in the Lord for direction in their lives, including their occupation (Prov. 3:5,6)

NOTE, Please: Sometimes He delayed in answering me because *I* had some major LOGS in my eyes and I could not see to help remove the specks in my child's eyes. God has taught me that my children's willfulness is often a reflection of some behavior I am insisting in keeping. But that is another story!

© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
Permission is given to reprint any of Barbara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and Web site address.

Please send a copy of the publication to:
Third Floor Publishing
PO Box 827
Arnold, MD 21012

We hope our thoughts encourage you in the Lord Jesus Christ who has enabled us to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could have asked or imagined -- please let us know what YOU think. E-mail us at workbook@toad.net. (Please don't forget to include your e-mail address with in the body of the message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient e-mail addresses.)


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