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Faith's Firm Foundation

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do You Love or Hate Your Children? Spanking (Part 5)

"He that spareth his rod
hateth his son:
but he that loveth him
chasteneth him quickly (early in life)."
Proverbs 13:24

If you are visiting for the first time, or for more on this subject, I recommend you read the other posts in this series.  (Just click on the links.)
Spanking (Part 1)
Spanking (Part 2): Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 3) 

What Is A Rod?
Some definitions are in order.  The rod in Proverbs 13:24 literally means a stick. And hateth means "a foe, enemy, to be hateful."  To spare means "to refrain, restrain, to forbear, hinder, keep from, or hold back."

So, with these definitions in place, this verse tells us that if a parent refrains from spanking their children, or keeps their spouse from doing it, hindering the appropriate and Biblical application of the rod, fearful of inflicting pain on their "precious child"...then they are actually demonstrating (according to the Bible) that they hate their child.

We are so easily deceived by the world, and often we deceive ourselves. I'm sorry.  Withholding the rod is not showing love--we are actually showing that we hate our children if we do this.  We are actually disobeying God. These are hard words, but only because we have been deceived by Satan, through believing the world's lies.

Hollering, Wailing and Screaming Are Acts Of Rebellion
I shared with you in an earlier post in this series (Spanking, Part 4) that my daughter exhibited her rebellion by crying at the top of her lungs when faced with discipline.  Children do not have to make noise when they cry.  All of us learned how to cry softly.  A child’s crying loudly (hollering, wailing, yelling as though they're being murdered) when disciplined is a sign of rebellion.

If they're doing this it shows that their heart has not repented of sin.  They are not receiving the correction that they know they deserve, but rather they are hating the reproof.

"Correction is grievous
unto him that forsaketh the way:
and he that hateth reproof
shall die."
Proverbs 15:10
Temper Tantrums
This is kind of another whole subject, but in a public situation, they have learned that throwing a loud fit works to get their way.  They want attention, or to get away, or at some point in the past they got what they wanted, whatever it was--maybe just once--by throwing a fit.  They will keep on trying this tactic if they have even the slightest hope it will work.  They must NEVER WIN at this game.  Ever.

In this particular post I am mostly talking about situations where you are in your own home, and the child has committed a serious enough offense that they needed to be taken to their room for private chastisement.  If they are screaming or wailing, let them know that they will get additional and harder chastisement if they are not quiet. Do not end your time with them until they are humble and quiet.

Anger Doesn't Work God's Righteousness
Remain calm.  This is, of course, the hardest part, especially if you have a child fighting you and screaming and crying.  This is not a wrestling match.  (I hope to deal with this issue in a later post.  It's a hard one, I know.)  You must not administer the rod in anger.  If your child knows they can get you angry, or they can get out of a spanking by getting you emotional, they will do it every time.  If you're a crier like me, let me say that your tears are not necessarily a bad thing.  It may show your child your true grief over their sin.  But, it must be genuine grief.

You Are In A Spiritual Battle
Please remember that you are in a spiritual battle, and don't enter into it without first binding the enemy.  Ask God to bind and rebuke Satan and all his spirits, in the Name of Jesus Christ and by the power of His shed blood, death and resurrection.  There are times that you're going to have strong emotions, and even though it's not easy, you still have to administer the rod.  Don't assume that the fact that you feel strongly or you are crying means you should not spank them.  Ask God for help, get yourself under control, and do what you need to do.

If necessary, take a 10-minute time out, tell your child to wait in their room and be quiet, and that you will come back in 10 minutes.  Then, go to your room and get on your knees and cry out to the Lord.  I guarantee He will answer.

"Apply thine heart unto instruction,
and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
Withhold not correction from the child:
for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod,
and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
Proverbs 23:12-15
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Begun Well Is Not Finished Well

What's the Lord saying to you? God encourages us in very unique and personal ways.  It may not look like encouragement at all.  It may look like...conviction.

Beginnings Are Important
I've come to realize that how I begin the week is important, and that the week begins on Sunday.  There's a battle for Sunday.  Weekends are usually busy.  I find myself wanting to "pamper" myself, to make myself feel good, by Sunday evening, not wanting the weekend to end. (Pounding on that one note, "Me me me me me!")  Hanging on to the weekend by dragging it out, often staying up too late. I've had to work at getting to bed at a decent time.

Flesh or Spirit
I've found myself trying to artificially work up a "relaxed" and "away-from-it-all" feeling through some "experience."  (The brainwashing of the world is so insidious.)  I've tried escaping by watching movies.  Feel-good family movies, comedies, and Jane Austen romances.  Occasionally we've watched a movie that challenged us as Homeschoolers to a vision for holiness.  Sometimes I've curled up on the couch to read a good book. I've made special "treats."  A big bowl of buttered popcorn should make me feel better, right?  I've even eaten ice cream in a "special dish."  I've spent hours reading blogs and searching Craigslist.  I've played games with my family, watched Christian stand-up comedians (ever seen CPR?), laughing hysterically. (Ok, laughter is good medicine.)  I've gotten into my comfy pajamas. I've read my Bible for hours, or listened to a teaching tape.

Actually, I would have to say, when I've read my Bible or listened to a teaching tape, that has quieted my heart and started my week off the best. (Do I hear a resounding "duh"?) But, it seems that that's the hardest thing to do on Sunday.  Especially after having rushed around to Graduation Open Houses (which is what we do at this time of year), or other events which frequently happen on Sundays, and taken care of the myriad responsibilities which typically fall into Sunday's domain.

"My Time" or "His Time"
The Lord's been speaking to my heart about how I spend my "free time," which includes that "after-the-busy" time on Sunday.  He's been drawing me to spend more time with Him.  In recent weeks we've been challenged at church to do some self-evaluation and ask ourselves, "How are we doin'?"  As individuals and as families.

"Begun Well Is Not Finished Well"
This probing question was presented to parents, "Do we have the same fervor and tenacity at the end as we had at the beginning? That heart that says, 'I'm not going to let Satan steal the soul of my children!'  Many of us may be letting our guard down, especially large families."  (This said by a father of 11.)  He went on to say that it seems to be a common malady to start with solid convictions and high standards (in areas such as music we'd listen to, and dress) and to have a lot of determination and zeal for the Lord, but to get tired and slack off later on.  (I don't think it's only true of large families.)

Evaluation Time:  How Are We Doin'
How am I doin'?  How are you doin'?  This word picture really hit home for me:  We cannot say we are neither going forward nor backward, for in order to keep coasting we have to be going downhill.

The conviction came in the form of encouragement that I must pursue hard after the Lord continually, or I will go backwards. I can not let up.  I must not abide (put up with, allow, tolerate) sin in my life that God points out to me.  I cannot point at others and say, "How can they do that and call themselves a Christian?" and then blithely go along in the same old way, ignoring His Word and the Spirit's conviction in my own life, overlooking, covering-up, or excusing my own sin. Are we making excuses for our behavior and why we won't do what's right?

Glad, Rejoicing, Encouraged and Thankful
Mondays Are Great (glad, rejoicing, encouraged and thankful) especially when my Sundays are lived well, and I have spent time with the Lord...I mean really listened to Him speak to me.  When I have obeyed His command to not forsake "the assembling together of ourselves" (we're told to gather together to worship), when I have examined myself and confessed sin, and not participated in the Lord's Supper unworthily, and when I have committed myself to pursue after Him, to follow after righteousness, and to hound holiness.

How is Monday for you, my friend? Is the Lord speaking to you about anything? No link up today, but feel free to leave a comment of encouragement.  Did this strike a chord with you? Please share with me.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Change Is Coming!

Photo by Twice is Nice books
I have an exciting announcement to make about Faith's Firm Foundation.  Remember a while back when I said, "I'm finally going to do it"?  I was referring to redesigning my blog.  Well, due to circumstances, I was not able to completely redesign it at that time, but I did make a few changes, my header being one of them.  I've had to wait on the Lord's timing in the changes I've made.  Well, there are more exciting happenings coming!

I think of my blog in much the same way that I think of my home.  As a Homemaker and a Stay-at-Home Mom, I love to rearrange things from time to time.  Furniture, pictures, everything.  I am one of "those people."  I want my home to look nice, but also for the Lord to use it as He sees fit.

There are two kinds of people: those who like to decide exactly where they want their furniture, and they put it there, and never look back.  They are perfectly content!  And then there are people like me.  I rearrange furniture often.  I purposely buy furniture that will look good in either the family room or the living room (or maybe a bedroom or two!).

That is how I look at my blog, too.  The changes I make here, though, are always with the goal to make it not only more appealing to the eye, but also to make it really worthwhile for you to take the time to read.  Really Biblical and really practical.

The next big step I'm going to take is actually several steps.  Still not going to do the major redesign right now, but I've been working for some time towards the goal of moving from Blogger to WordPress.  It didn't work out as easily as I'd planned.

But, I'm finally making the move to WordPress, Lord willing, next week!  Hurray!  The move, for me, is a big change.  For you, I hope, it will be no big deal and that there will be no unpleasant changes.

However, if you do not continue to receive my posts in your inbox or reader after Thursday, June 16, 2011, please come over and re-sign up!!  Resubscribe!!  I want to continue to be a part of your life, and I don't want you to miss out on a single post.

Over the last 2-1/2 years that I've been blogging, I've continually looked for ways to improve, to learn new things.  I've thought of this blog as the Lord's blog, and I've asked Him to grow it, to expand its territory, even as I deepen the message by spending time with Him in His Word, among other things.  A little over a year ago, I switched to my own domain name:  I've "redecorated" now and then.  Now, I'm migrating to WordPress.  There will also be some minor changes in appearance, and the placement of blog elements:  so keep coming back next week to see what will be happening!

I want to give you a heads up, though, that on Thursday, June 16, my blog will be "down for the day" due to work related to this exciting move!  But, please come back Friday!

Also, on this coming Monday, June 13, I will not be having my usual linkup associated with "Mondays Are Great!"  Please check in all week.  You never know what you may find.  I may be posting some special things in light of the exciting changes being made!
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