Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Modicum for Mamma: You are God's Representative

A modicum is a small quantity of a desirable or valuable thing. My hope is to post on a semi-regular basis small, practical things I am learning about parenting from the older, wiser people in my life.  Moms have one of the most challenging and important jobs in the world, so they need lots of encouragement. At least, I know I do. :)

So, here goes...a small something that is helping me in my parenting journey! The following are quotes that deal with an issue paramount to any mamma: discipline.

"Kids…need to learn that the root issue is their sin, and they need to be taught the remedy for their sin. Chastisement is not for the benefit of frustrated parents. It’s supposed to be for the benefit of the child. And in order to get the full benefit, they need to understand that the real problem is their sin – sin that offends God."
John MacArthur, The Fulfilled Family, 2005, p. 117.

"Your focus can be sharpened by the realization that discipline is not you working on your agenda, venting your wrath toward your children; it is you coming as God’s representative, bringing the reproofs of life to your son or your daughter.  You only muddy the waters when the bottom line in discipline is your displeasure over their behavior, rather than God’s displeasure with rebellion against His ordained authority."
"Remember, the issue is never, “You have failed to obey ME.”  The only reason for a child to obey mom and dad is that God commands it.  Failure to obey mom or dad is, therefore, failure to obey God.  This is the issue.  The child has failed to obey God.  The child has failed to do what God has mandated.  To persist places the child at great risk." 
 Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Shepherd Press, 1995, p. 52., p. 132

These quotes really made me perk up my "ears", mainly because I was so convicted. How often do I get my feathers ruffled because I have been mistreated or inconvenienced by my child? "And you had the audacity to disobey me again?!" 

We can so easily become frustrated over a child's misbehavior, if for no other reason than the sheer number of times we mammas must discipline and reprove in order to build character. I love the idea presented here of being God's representative. I am an ambassador, so to speak, to communicate to my children how God perceives their disobedience, not how I feel about it. How important to their ultimate understanding of offending a Holy God and their need for Christ's imputed righteousness!

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