There once was a woman named Sally. She was a wife to a great husband and three adorable children. Although Sally loved her family, there was something missing that she couldn't put her finger on. She claimed to discipline her children, but not Biblically. She had trained them to "be nice to each other" because it was the right thing to do. She didn't look to the Word for answers on HOW to train her children. They would fight constantly, but a time out and "be nice to each other" when it was over was the extent of it. She would spank her children, but not Biblically. She would discipline out of anger. She was definitely DONE having children and couldn't bare the thought if she had one more. It would put her over the edge. Children weren't a blessing to her. They were a burden. She couldn't wait to shuffle them off to school in the mornings so that she didn't have to deal with the fighting on and off throughout the day.
Selfish Sally had time during the day to do whatever she pleased and it usually revolved around her. She didn't take the time to look for good Biblical parenting books and try to discipline in a better way. She didn't read the Bible to search for answers on how the Lord wanted her to discipline. She wanted to run errands that she wanted to run. She had people she wanted to meet up with for coffee. She had friends to go shopping with.
Sally was almost worse during the summertime. She would sign her three kiddos up for every Vacation Bible School in the city. She couldn't wait until her children would be away for two weeks at a Christian summer camp miles away. And when August rolled around and it was time for school to start up again, Sally never hesitated when running into a fellow mom at the local grocery store to give a little "praise God school started up" (as her children were present).
The problem with Selfish Sally is that her "problems" are being dealt with temporarily. She may have some peace and quiet to herself during the day, but if she never learns to train her children in the way they should go, the lack of discipline will soon catch up. Her daughter's rolling of the eyes, "Whatever Mommy" s, fighting, selfishness, lack of self control and discipline will catch up with her. The little children will become big children. The little problems will become big problems. Her children will not have the boundaries that they need to become successful. Or worse, they could become good fakers who know their mother and father so well that they can mettle their way out of anything. They know to say "sorry" after an offense (with an almost meaningful look about their face) just so they can get what they want.
I know that when I became a parent, I really had to search out the Biblical way of parenting. If I'm being honest, I may have had a bunch of these same "Selfish Sally" qualities myself. However, I knew I only got ONE shot at bringing up my kids in the way they should go. In the beginning, there were so many times when I would discipline for the wrong reasons, out of anger or frustration, inconsistently, etc. But just like practicing for a marathon, studying for a test or learning a new skill, such is this of parenting. It's the MOST important job we'll ever have!!!
I remember longing to go back to work shortly after having my first child. I craved the approval of others. I was being offered the head of the English Department. I had students that loved me. I had parents that I got along with great. I loved my job! BUT as my little baby (who is now a whopping SIX years old) was growing, the Holy Spirit completely took over and convinced us of the lifestyle He wanted for us.
Ask the Holy Spirit Himself to be evident in your life. Ask Him to lead you in ways that God would want for your family, raising your children the very BEST way you can. It may not be the most comfortable way. It may not be the most convenient way. It may be a way that you're scared to death to change or tackle, but remember that God promises to give us strength for the tasks He has in store for us.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Dig deep in God's Word for discipline. I know that I have been so blessed to come across the following books of wisdom from some God-fearing writers...
As we look in Luke chapter 12 verses 49-53, Christ gives shares...
"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division."
What qualities of Selfish Sally do you have? What ones can you change. What can you do better in your discipline to glorify the Lord more with your family?