Tag Archives: children

The best way to teach…

Standard
The best way to teach…

I found this in one of the blogs I follow.  I wish I could remember where so I could give them proper credit.

Anyway I think it is an awesome assessment for anyone teaching.  And not just teaching school, but teaching their kids, teaching at church, or simply giving counsel.

Use it to study, pray the verses and hang it somewhere to remind you in those teachable moments we are to point to Jesus for their correction (allow their hearts to be changed), not punish out of frustration (temporarily stop the behavior).  *note to self*

How to teach like Jesus

I find 2 things in my roles as teacher, #1-the best way to learn is teach, and #2-teaching is a gift, use it wisely.

Happy teaching!!!

The performance beast raises it’s ugly head again…

Standard
The performance beast raises it’s ugly head again…

Since reading a post from ‘Raising Godly Children’ about “raising little Pharisees” (an excellent post by the way), I have fallen under great conviction.  As I read it and my children matched up to the criteria of Pharisees and my parenting style matched up with the criteria of a Pharisee, I was stopped in my tracks.  I began re-assessing all kinds of things in our daily life.  I began to realize that although my intentions to fill them with the ways of the Lord, the way I was doing it was very wrong.  I had done the very thing that God has NOT done with me…made things of the law.  Not that I yelled at them all the time (but I am guilty), not that I sacrificed animals with them, not that I never show them love and not that I myself perform spiritual rituals with no true love for the Father.  I do love the Lord, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  But I was intensely trying to force them to obey Him because I loved Him…not teaching them in a way that they would obey because they love Him.  Now I do believe that my kids love the Lord, but my harsh teaching style when it came to life lessons was probably giving them reason to doubt, AND was not creating repentance in them.  It was creating little law abiders.  Oh they love the law!  Because they are generally good kids and are able to most times fulfill it.  And heaven knows they have learned to spot those that are NOT fulfilling it. Little Pharisees.

So I have been trying to take complete inventory of what I’ve taught them and more importantly what I’ve shown them.   The way I have let Pharisee law creep into our home is by disciplining them when I was angry.  Or disciplining them more when I was frustrated because I was wanting to do something  and they were interrupting me.  Or by telling them that those that love the Lord follow His rules, so why are they not doing that?  …By rating them on their performance.  This is hard to write and was even harder to face, because I, being raised on the principal that performance is what counts was trying so hard not to let my kids learn that wicked, never relenting message.  Yet here I am almost 10 years into parenting with 2 little Pharisees.   Prided when the did right and quick to point out those that don’t.  Hearts that were hardening to the gospel because they thought, ‘We’ve got this” since they could follow the law most of the time.

I thought I was giving grace.  There are many times I didn’t give what they would deserve.  And mercy because I gave them freedom when they didn’t deserve it.  But I was so harsh when I did give them consequences, and so harsh when they failed to perform that they were learning the disease I have been fighting against in my own mind, so hard, …all my life…performance based grace.

My inability to see it makes me cry even now.  I am so blessed that God has opened my eyes while I have time to change; albeit not much.

I see it so many times in my husband and I both…we are frustrated and will pierce their hearts with how badly they performed; instead of taking the time to teach them and bring their hearts to repentance.  Sometimes out of laziness, sometimes out of selfishness, sometimes out of bad insight on how to make them change, but always saying the same thing…you didn’t measure up and somethings wrong with you because of it.  Yeah somethings wrong…WITH ALL OF US!  It started with Adam and Eve and until my Lord comes for us we will all be wrong in our performance.  That why Jesus came.  How did I miss this?

My youngest daughter will probably struggle with this more because she is already inclined to self-righteousness by the fact that it is her nature to over-achieve.  So like me we can easily think ourselves to be the pride of the Father because we are performing so well.  I hate it.  I wished so badly I would have fought this ugly monster for her earlier.  I know in my own life how hard it is to fight after it’s taken hold.  This blog post is the very proof that I don’t even always see it manifesting itself.

And my poor older daughter that is inclined to laziness, possibly because I’ve made it impossible to achieve for her since her nature is not to over-achieve but to enjoy everything she sees around her.  Who has time to enjoy when there is so much to be done?  (my wretched motto)

I’m broken about this, but also encouraged that the Lord is shining light on it, telling me He has stepped in to change it.  I cannot change it.  I have failed to do the very thing that I desire the most…to give my girls a love for the Lord that surpasses anything else.  To make them realize their value is in God’s love for us, not our own accomplishments.

I love the Lord so much because He has been the only one in my life that did not expect me to perform.  He has been the only one I can remember that said, “I just want your heart, nothing more, because I love you just as you are.”   All those years I spent trying to prove I was good and worthy to be loved ended in the same place, heart-broken, frustrated and wondering where I hadn’t done enough.  A place that would send me into a heel-digging, overachiever, determined to do EVERYTHING PERFECT the next time phase.

Finally I picked up a bible and started reading it.  Finally I heard the heart of THE PERFECT ONE and finally He got it thru to me that I needn’t prove myself to Him.  Well I say “got it thru,” maybe getting it thru is a more honest statement.  Obviously I am still struggling with this performance beast.  But thankfully I have the Lord on my side now.  So when I end up in this heart-broken, frustrated, and wondering where I haven’t done enough place…I can repent, ask the Lord for help and have hope shine on me…love shine on me, just because He thinks I’m worth it.  Broken, sinful me is worth it to Him.  And so are my little Pharisees, to both of us.

Please read this with this in mind, God loves us freely.  He teaches us kindly.  Deals with us patiently.  And He values us regardless.  Do the same with your children.  And pray that God will heal me and mine.

In awe…

Standard

I sit here in awe of the faith building, kingdom adding, miracles of God that He has shown me in the last few months.  Sometimes I am in this place where I pray that the Lord would come back to save His sons and daughters of pain, and also those children that would be safe because they are not yet accountable.  The view from human eyes looks dim, so we focus there and forget how powerful God is.  I see broken families that I pray desperately for, sisters and brothers that fall away from their faith, pain come to those that are following their faith, children with open hearts squashed by worldly parents, physical illness hold the elderly in a prison, salvation offered and rejected and I wonder…when will You come?  When will You stop the evilness that runs wild here?  Selfishly I wonder when He will stop my pain?  My children’s pain?  My husband’s?  Oh but how joyful I am that I am not in control, nor do I make those decisions.  Because my blindness is His wisdom!  He has plans, He has people to make His children, He has lives to grow His love inside, He still has wounds to heal for some, and wounds to inflict on others so that they might grow in His grace.  He has a Kingdom to run, I have NO idea the lengths or depths of how that is done.  What I do know is this when we are faithful He will bring fruit.  And that fruit is worth the pain suffered.

Just 2 days ago I was blessed to have the Lord show up in the lives of 12 little girls and 2 big girls.  The last day of GWAP for this year was a MIGHTY ONE!!  I was prayed up, and I thought, prepared and expecting the Lord Almighty to show …and show up big, but my little mind had no idea!!!  We started class and had another awesome time of questions and answers.  And in the Sr. class they were big people questions…such as, ‘what is worldliness?’  ‘how do we not sin?’  ‘what does propitiation mean?’  ‘how does showing too much skin lead to impurity?’  and on and on.  I felt that we discussed some real “meat.”  Then it was over to the big church to worship and praise God with our voices.  Something about that many girls gathered at the altar of God singing about how His great name heals all, saves all and loves all is indescribable!!  As we sang I told them verses to apply to the songs so that they could relate that we weren’t just singing, we were praising and celebrating the goodness of God.

Now God had impressed on me that He was gonna do something big here, but what I discovered was that big to me and BIG TO HIM are two different things!!  I should back up a week.  I had two girls tell me the week before that they asked Jesus into their hearts at home…well I didn’t have the chance to talk to them one on one before they had to leave that week.  So I had been preparing to talk to them 1st, before class started.  I did, and really felt that these girls sincerely received Christ and were now God’s children.   That was my idea of big.  Here’s God’s:  As we were singing and praising girl after girl began to be stirred, then convicted and when it was all said and done 3 more girls surrendered to Christ and ALL of them were convicted and crying about something.  Some were too young to understand the conviction, some didn’t have the knowledge to apply to it, some were too scared to receive it, for some they just didn’t have words…but all were moved by the mighty hand of God!!   Including their 2 big girl teachers!!  My sister-in-Christ Eryn and I were speechless.  We were overwhelmed.

I had promised a pizza party after our worship and as I drove across the street to buy the pizza I had waiting, I was shaking and couldn’t put 2 sentences together because God’s bigness is more than we humans can handle.  We just can’t get it.  As much love as I feel for God and as much reverence as I feel for God I cannot begin to come close to giving Him what He deserves.  I can’t imagine being in His presence.  I can’t imagine His glory.  And I can’t imagine how overtaken I will be just to be in heaven with Him.

Sometimes I think our over-valued egos lead us to think we are “something.”  Let me be the first to repent right now…with the cross in the background and His work in my life in the foreground, I am so little…so small and yet still sooooo loved.   I marvel at how a God so big, so powerful, so important and so busy has time to hear the tearful, small voice of a wife/mother/teacher/friend and follower of His Son beg for His help to tend her flock.  Beg for Him to cover her mistakes.  Beg for Him to change her impurities so that she can serve Him more wholly.  Beg for Him to provide what she absolutely does not derserve…and then deliver results like I saw Friday.

In the voice of Bill and Ted…”I AM SO NOT WORTHY!”

Thank You Father for hearing me, acting on my behalf and the behalf of those children.  Thank You Father for taking the time to love me and include me in things that I could never do myself.  Thank You Father for saving eternity for 5 little girls and encouraging 2 big girls to keep fighting, praying and loving…no matter how dim it might seem.

Hallelujah!!  Hallelujah!!  Hallelujah!!!!