I am amazed that we could be at a turning point in the history of our country. If Bill Clinton is re-elected, he stands to have appointed over 50 percent of all the Federal judges in our country, not to mention the ones on the Supreme Court. In addition to the appointments are the ideologies that he appears to stand for and will push to implement.
What is most incredible about this situation is what it reveals about the soul of our nation. A salesman I was speaking with the other day very honestly summed it up. He said, “All I care about is what he (the President) is going to do for me and my family.” Honest, yes, but what an indictment. It appears the average person is most interested in how big the handout is going to be for him. What has failed in our country?
Instead of people being horrified over the multitude of allegations of wrongdoing, they accept them as normal, or part of one’s private life, and not important. If even 5 percent of them are true, this president would make Nixon appear “squeaky clean.” Does character not count anymore?
There may not be a group of people more passionate in caring about these issues than the home-educating community. One of the top reasons for home educating is that we can raise children of godly character who know how to work. To us, the consequences of the current direction are only too obvious, but it does not ease the anguish of our souls as we observe the slide. But what can be learned from this situation?
I feel the lesson is for us dads. You see, I believe the failure can be placed squarely on the backs of dads in our nation, fathers who did not seek God. Fathers who believed money was more important than time with their children. Fathers who valued their wives more when they were earning a paycheck than raising children. Fathers who wanted their own entertainment, relaxation, and pleasure more than they wanted godly children. I don’t believe God will listen to excuses when fathers are held accountable for the lives they were entrusted with.
Is there anything we can glean from this mess our country is in? YES!! May we bless and appreciate our wives for the daily sacrifices they make for us. May we be zealous for being the godly fathers we are called to be. May we purpose to use every last bit of energy to train up children who love the Lord and want to serve Him, children of godly character who know how to work and enjoy it. I believe the children who are raised according to this recipe will be tomorrow’s leaders.
Recently I began to play back in my mind how I interact with my children, especially when it comes to discipline. This is an area in which the Lord has been teaching me, so I have been aware of it over the past few years. I could picture the stern look that sometimes comes to my face as I interact with an offender.
I have brought this before the Lord, asking Him to teach me how to discipline without becoming emotionally involved. Steve has likened this process to a policeman giving a speeder a ticket. This is just part of his job. The policeman isn’t angry with the motorist; he isn’t frustrated with having to give a ticket; he doesn’t have an irritated tone in his voice; he just does his job. As a mom, that is how I have wanted to handle my discipline situations. My job is to teach and train my children. There will be times when this will involve discipline. If I expect my children to learn from training and teaching situations without ever needing discipline, then I am setting myself up for disciplining filled with negative emotions. If, on the other hand, I expect that discipline will also be a part of my mothering job, then I can have a better chance of handling it as the policeman does his job.
I have realized that I not only want to discipline without being negatively involved emotionally, but also choose to go a step further and be pleasant through the process. As I have tried this over the past two weeks, I have seen some positive results. One of my children even told me the other night that they liked it much better when I was happy when correcting them. There are some reasons why I think this may be. A pleasant attitude on my part while disciplining eases the tension of the situation. It relieves me of any negative feelings that I might take away with me and carry into the next interaction with that child. It shows honor and respect for the child. If Steve has to correct me on something, I want him to be pleasant with me; I owe my children the same courtesy.
Proverbs 16:21 says, “. . . the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.” During discipline, we want our children to learn from our instruction. Therefore, it would benefit us to heed God’s Word and choose to use sweet words. Our attitude and tone can cause our words to lose their pleasantness.
We often will not feel pleasant, so we have to choose to act pleasant. The Lord has been showing me this is a choice I can make. I do not have to act according to negative feelings. This choice is a part of taking my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells me to do. When I do make the choice to act pleasant despite feeling negative emotions, I find my feelings will begin to become positive too.
What about you? Can you think back to your recent interactions with your children? Are you looking at their faces? Are you smiling at them? Are you being pleasant with them? I pray each of us will choose to make our homes pleasant places by our pleasantness even when it is necessary to discipline. May God make us women who build our houses up rather than tearing them down with our own hands (Proverbs 14:1).