"Good Job, Well done, You Rock"

As a parent of four amazing children I have come to learn that life is a roller coaster. As each one develops into their unique giftedness, that has been instilled in them by God I must learn to encourage their development and not squelch it. I am learning that I like certain seasons of their development more than others. I am also learning that their development will also cause some level of change in me.

My oldest son has become a teenager, he is taller than his mother and he is quickly approaching my height. He is very intelligent and is now becoming more independent. I catch myself in this new season of development being stern and short tempered. I point out the mistakes and failures and definitely catch the attitude that flairs out at times via the rolling of the eyes or the blank stare that is really saying are you done yet?

As parents we may be justified in our counsel and or discipline, I know I have thought along these lines and convinced myself that I was right in how I handled things; if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit nudging my heart. I began to ask God what I am missing, the realization that this wasn’t indigestion but actually the Spirit trying to get my attention. As I began to seek Him I realized that from the moment I got home from work to even on the weekends I was pointing out every flaw that my son was doing. Every mistake or unaccomplished task was becoming a lecture or harsh correction. The Lord brought me to two passages the first being Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate (provoke, come down hard on) your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LORD.” Even though I knew of this text the Holy Spirit brought it back to my memory for that moment. The second passage was Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” As I began to ponder this text, The Spirit brought back to my memory the years of ministry when then children and now adults who had turned from the church and at times God due to harsh or at times misguided rules and regulations.

In conclusion, the revelation of these two scriptures revealed the problem but what was the solution. How do I just stop and change my behavior. The Lord then gave me Matthew 3:17 “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Have you ever thought what that moment was like for Jesus? I know the Lord prayed and meditated on the scriptures. I believe that he had heard from the Lord at times throughout his development but I don’t believe it was always an audible voice. Upon this moment though the audible voice of God says I love you and am pleased with you; the encouragement, edification, empowerment and excitement that must have gone through Jesus. The parenting guideline that the Lord revealed to me was to speak blessing and encouragement more often as opposed to harsh words which can crush the spirit. Discipline is important and it sets boundaries and does help nurture children to adulthood. Yet discipline should be more instructional than anything else. Filter your discipline methods through prayer and the Word and allow God the opportunity to teach you. Thank you God, for the correction and loving guidance you show me in life.

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