Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When Children Mess Up...

This is so hard and no parent wants to deal with it, nor admit it, but kids raised 'right' can still do wrong!

I was given a wise warning from a Godly woman many years ago, as we were discussing raising children. I will never forget her words: "Don't fret so much over the child who occasionally gets into mischief, but rather beware of the one who might be thinking 'I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside'". Just brilliant words of wisdom!

The Bible even deals with that kind of a spirit that can get on a child;
1 Sam 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD....
Josh 22:22 The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD,...

I have found all of this true. I have found that the children who are 'rowdy' by nature are not the ones who cause grief later, but rather those that obey outwardly but inwardly are very stubborn.

But what do you do when they mess up? ....Ouch!
Yes, I know, it seems impossible that they EVER would, but what about if and when they do? First, you keep loving them. There can be a temptation to distance yourselves from anyone or anything that causes you any emotional upset- but you would do better to do the opposite. Yes, draw near that child. Talk, listen, and sometimes just sit quietly. ...I heard a story where a father distanced himself so much from his daughter that he became very bitter, even name-calling her. The poor thing grew up and began a very painful 'search for acceptance'- with men. Very sad.

Once the initial shock of offense has worn away, days, maybe weeks- then what do you do? Well, then the child must deal with the consequences AND you must let them! This will be the hard part! Oh to see that child suffer! It will be hard and it will hurt so much, but it will be best.
This is the MOST important Scripture on this:
Prov 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

Don't give in to his crying and don't allow an outward bad spirit from that child. You see, he can be angry but he better SIN NOT! My DH says, its okay to feel certain things but its not okay to act on them! He adds to that: You may not always be able to control how you feel but you can control what you do with your feelings!

In the short, they can't take it out on other people! Nor pout!

Teaching that one can control themselves is the high part of the lesson at this time. If a child has done wrong, his lack of self-control is likely what got him into his or her current state. Therefore, part of the lesson from the mistake needs to be that they cannot act out in spite of how they feel. Feelings must be controlled and brought into subjection and submission. Again, this is the height of the lesson! After all, they will have to learn to obey God, whether they feel to or not.

Sin is still sin- whether it feels like it or not.

1 Cor 15:31 ... I die daily.


  1. Good post. Too many parents just don't deal with their children at all. They scream at them and argue, but don't train them. A little time spent training a child will go a long way.

  2. Great comment!
    Thank U 4 posting!

  3. Donna,
    I didn't know you had this blog too, now I can stalk you here too. hehe.
    I am so happy to have found this post. I did not grow up in a Christian home. I did not learn from example how to 'train a child in the way he should go'. I know that my parents did what they could but I want to do what God tells me I should. It is a daily challenge. Some days better than others. I appreciate a post like this that tells it like it is.

  4. Millie,
    I've tried to respond to your post a couple of times but this type of comment block is tricky for me- for some reason.

    I'm glad U found this blog and feel free to follow me around- I enjoy the company! ;-)

    I wasn't brought up in a Christian home either, and my past is very ruff (to say the least), but thanks be to God for the shed blood of the Lord, for NOW my sins are covered!