Proverbs 31 Woman – Chapter 23 – Making the Children Mind

As one wise man said, “Parenting isn’t for cowards!” Parents are afraid to spank their children because of all the false teaching from those who do not fear God and do what is right in His sight. They fear the laws of men. They fear that they will be arrested for properly disciplining their children the way God says to. It simply comes down to whether or not you believe that God has the power to protect your good parenting, and His overruling authority to prevent anyone from removing your children from you. Fear God, not man.


Courageous parents expect God to uphold them as they train up their children the way God tells them to. They love their children more than they fear what man threatens them with. They stand on the promises of God, even if they find themselves wrongly standing in court. God is their Judge!


Gutless parents buckle under their child’s demands afraid of what their child will think of them. Cowardly parents want to be liked by their children. They do not think ahead and consider the outcome of such foolish parenting.


Our four children were born within six years (1977-1983). When they were little my husband would come home from work and the kids would go at him to play. I wanted to go at him too, but with a complaint from out of my day with our children, but I had a house rule: Leave daddy alone and let him take a little nap to unwind from his day. Then he’ll play with you later. When this happened our evening was more enjoyable. I wanted the children to understand what it meant to their daddy to come home each day after his hard work.


There are six words I hate to hear: “Wait till your father gets home!” I know I’ve said it without thinking how it would affect my husband’s homecoming. Making the children mind is mother’s responsibility. Why should dad have to come home and do what mother should’ve done while the children were in her keeping?


Little children are not meant to be away from their mother all day; it’s not natural although common today because of divorce or both parents working. This has become so common that the family is no longer the strength of society that it should be.


Little children become unmanageable when left with other people day in and day out, whether they are left in pre-school/day-care, public school or with hired help. (Excluding grandma or auntie of course; those who truly love them. ) It’s not the child’s fault if he/she is unmanageable when living under different sets of rules. Their little minds weren’t meant to handle diversity of parenting; it confuses them, makes them angry and resentful.


Children were meant to be at home with their loving mother during their formative years. I wish I had had that wisdom when I was raising my four little ones. God did try to show me this but I was too into myself then to see it. Now that I do see it, I humbly teach young mothers this truth and pray for them.


Parenting is much harder when children are put under the authority of others whose values are different and who do not love your children in the way mother (auntie or grandmother) does. When I had to help my husband in the office with his business, his mother and sister took care of our two little ones. What a blessing it was, accept when they didn’t want to leave. That hurt a little, but I was still thankful my children were with the ones who love them and who I know I could trust to teach them biblical godliness.


Leaving your children regularly with others to rule over them causes an attitude of disrespect and rebellion in little children. Even when I left my two little ones with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law I had to discipline my children for their attitude of disrespect towards me. If you are going to leave them with others routinely, you’re going to have to suck it up and not give in to them trying to get the same spoiled treatment at home that they get at grandma’s or auntie’s house.


Most parents today are simply in the dark about the real needs of children. There are all types of books on parenting but very few give “faithful instruction.”


It is ‘extremely’ important for children to trust their parent/parents to be present in their lives, to be truthful and courageous on their behalf. They figure out whether you really care about them or not.


Children are confused and frustrated when forced to live in two different houses, as it is in a divorce. They keep that deep wound of divorce. Children take on inward struggles that a child is not prepared for. No matter how much attention or counseling they get they will always struggle with it, and even have it affect their own marriage one day. Jesus Christ is the only One who can set us free from the past and open our eyes to a bright future!


I can remember feeling fearful about marriage the first time Mike said he loved me, and then when he asked me to marry him – because I did not want to end up like my dear mother, divorced with 3 little girls to raise on her own.


In a divorce and remarriage – a child has to figure out how to live with a stranger or with many strangers if other children are in the mix. Children are pretty much left on their own to find a way to make sense of it all, and no matter how much time is spent trying to help them make sense of it, the deep wound of resentment remains and waits for the only One who can heal them: Jesus Christ.


Children were not meant to have two or more daddies, two or more mommies, brothers and sisters of all ages that all of sudden show up in their lives. My heart goes out to children today. I watch children with their parents when we go out to eat, and I can tell you which ones have divorced parents and which ones don’t – just in the way they all behave and talk to one another.


I am the only one of my mother’s four children that has not divorced and it’s only because my husband and I have committed our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and to upholding our vows to each when we were married. You work through the problems; you go to God and you remain in prayer to Him, working on yourself – while you wait for God to work in your husband. (Or, if you are a man reading this, you wait for God to work in your wife.) Children need to see and be a part of this work of faith, hope and love; it will stop the curse of divorce from being passed down to children and grandchildren.


Children lose more in a divorce than their parents do. Only by the mercy and grace of God can a child grow up to overcome the deep wounds of divorce and abuse. Jesus saves and heals! He is a father to the fatherless; home for the homeless; husband to the husbandless; He sticks closer than a brother. There’s no one else, no organization, no system – that can do what our Lord God can do.


Children don’t know how to express what they feel deep inside from having been abandoned, abused or simply denied what little children need as they grow up. For most children, they are not allowed to buck the system (of parent or school) without being punished for it, so they lash out and are labeled “unruly.” As parents who put their little ones in places they should not be – what are we really teaching our children? What are we expecting from our children that is false?


As parents we are to encourage ways to open our children’s eyes, ears, minds, hearts and hands to the Lord, and not put them in places where this is not allowed to happen. Public schools today shut children down who love the Lord and want to express it their way. Is this what God told us to do for our children? Until a child is able to defend his/her faith in Jesus Christ, and stand up to those who would try to silence and shame them – they need sheltering at home as they grow in faith.


Parents, even Christian parents, have been brainwashed into thinking that they ‘need’ to have their children in public school, or worse, pre-school. The government is wanting our children earlier and earlier so they can raise them to think a certain way. Don’t be fooled.


Children basically have no say in what situation they end up in that their parents put them in. They can only bear it, but it will take its toll on you when you end up bearing the grief, and even your own shame, of their bad choices and behavior. Children who grow up unable to deal with disappointment, bad news, loss of privileges, and with those with opposing beliefs – is rooted in bad parenting.


You and your husband both brought a child into this world and so you both are responsible to raise and protect your child. If there is something wrong in your marriage, fix it; it CAN be fixed. (Not referring to what can’t be fixed as with extreme evil.) If you are thinking of breaking your vows, get over yourself and start thinking right by your children and right by the God who witnesses our vows. Get with the Lord in His Word about relationships, marriage, family and prayers of faith in God. Listen to what the Holy Spirit says instead of what a divorce lawyer says. Then do the right thing and watch what happens. You won’t regret it.


A parent should be courageous for their children and the best way to show courage is to do what is right to do, no matter what.


Parents affect their children when they choose the wrong solution for their problems; when they choose to go the way of world instead of the way of God. Then we get upset with our children for not minding us. We can’t believe how our children turn out with shameful lifestyles. Going the way of the world affects more than ourselves!


A child knows when he has been left out and the only way he may know how to express it is by angry disobedience, and the older he gets – the further away from you he’ll go (in heart mostly) because he has never been made to feel valuable or secure by the very ones that should make him feel valuable and secure: his parents.


God has not hidden or held anything from us that we need to know or have. It’s not anyone else’s fault, not God’s fault, not even your child’s fault that you have issues with your spouse or why you can’t make your children mind. Do what is right by what God tells parents to do, and when your children grow up they will be your best friends. Ours have! And they are each other’s best friends too.


When we are tired and cranky, resulting in bad attitudes and choices, what does our heavenly Father do? Does He get angry and punish us? No, He understands this weakness of our mind and body, the physical needs that we have for rest, security and a good future. He opens His arms to us and invites us to come to Him so that we can get the rest we need that only He can give, and the truth we need that gives us hope and guidance.


The Lord invites us, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28


We need wisdom to know when our child is being rebellious, not wanting to mind us, or if he/she is simply warn out and tired as little children get. When we expect more from them than what they are capable of we can rightly expect some resistance from them; this is NOT rebellion at all. So often we don’t understand the weakness in children or what is in the heart of our child. We punish their result of our lack of understanding why they acted that way. God does not punish this way; He extends mercy and strength. We can learn from our Father God how to be a good parent, and the Holy Spirit is in us so that we can.


A mother’s discipline with her children is to be like the old saying: “Nip it in the bud.” She needs to correct the thinking in her child before it takes action. You don’t want your child’s rebellious nature to grow bigger than what you are able to discipline.


When your child is a toddler it won’t do you any good to try and reason with them, they learn more from feeling pain on their bottoms. Be consistent with self-controlled painful discipline so that it will reinforce what you are teaching.


I see mothers simply ignoring the rebellion and outbursts of their children as if it will go away, or as if children are supposed to correct themselves as mother (and/or father) ignores them.  All this does is make your child resent and hate you, and it’s only a matter of time before they show you just how much. Outbursts (lack of self-control) and rebellion won’t go away by you ignoring it, it will only grow bigger and louder. Threatening your child, or trying to make deals with your child, or waiting for their father to come home and deal with it – is not the way to make your child obey you. It will only cause them to disrespect you. Take courage and do the right thing for your children.


There are not two kinds of children; those who mind and those who won’t. A motto I have is: If it doesn’t hurt – it doesn’t work. Why would God put these verses in the Bible if they were not true, or if it only works for some and not for others?


“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” Proverbs 29:15


“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15


“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” Proverbs 23:13-14


“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24


I don’t care what you’ve been taught, “time-out” is not the kind of discipline the Lord is talking about. Some kids need less or more painful discipline to break their stubborn resistance to your authority – it depends on their pain tolerance, or their fear of pain, or the condition of their heart towards you. Time outs do NOT break a child’s rebellion; it just holds it off. You need to use discipline that is equal to a rebellious nature.


With one of our daughters all we needed to do was raise our voice, but with the other three children we needed to leave some welts. Knowing how to break their will but not their spirit is a good skill to develop that produces good fruit with your children.


Cowardly mothers and fathers won’t go the distance with physical discipline that the child needs them to go.  They say spankings don’t work when in fact it’s their own spankings that don’t work. They are just afraid to inflict real pain on the child’s seat of learning.  They spank just as hard as their own feelings will let them. It becomes all about the parent’s cowardice instead of the child’s good.


When we wait till the righteous anger in us (over our child’s terrible behavior or words) has subsided we can easily make the mistake of either spanking too lightly or not at all. Do not let anger be the driving force of physical discipline; it’s about love for your children and the kind of person they will become. Be angry, but do not sin against your child by abusing them.


To ignore the problem till it begins to ANNOY you personally is just self-centered. When we wait for the problem to annoy us we can become very angry and overact with abuse. Take action quickly so that the child fears doing it again.


I grew up with a mom who thought discipline was about yelling and threatening because she grew up that way. So when I started having children I naturally behaved this way too until my husband started disciplining me for it. Yelling at your children (or at your husband or wife) is not what brings peace and harmony to the family and home-life. We should expect our children to mind us the FIRST time we ‘say it.’ This comes by inflicting pain when they don’t.


We need to show people that God’s wisdom is right; right by the way our children grow up to be responsible, productive and caring human beings. God has a much higher court where we will all be judged. So I ask you, “Whose laws and standard do you want to live by, the world’s laws and standard, or God’s?”


Mom and dad both need to be united about their form of discipline because the children will know how to work between them to get what they want. We saw it with our children and it will happen in all families. As parents, we need to be united and consistent with our discipline otherwise we cause them to become manipulators, liars, sneaks and back stabbers.


There is a time when mother SHOULD rely on father’s stronger arm. When my children were almost as big as me I was not strong enough anymore to inflict physical pain to their seats of learning. I’d catch them laughing to themselves when I tried to whip their BIG behinds. This is when I started warning them that their father would make sure they never ignored or spurned my instructions again. And they didn’t. Dad liked making them wait for his painful spankings. He’d take his nap to unwind, maybe even wait through dinner. It worked true humility in them.


Assuring your child of your love afterwards is most important because it completes the act of disciplining your children. Oh how they need to feel your loving acceptance AFTER they’ve felt your righteous anger. Today, all four of our adult children love and honor their father in how he backed me.


The same is true with us and our heavenly Father. When we ignore the quiet voice of Holy Spirit’s gentle ways of prodding us along – then the strong arm of the Father comes after us with painful life experiences to teach us to obey. Sometimes an early death is the result of ongoing rebellion, having refused to be changed by the Father’s painful discipline. Left to ourselves we will not only ruin our own life but the lives of those around us that we influence.


My children have each called me “mean” sometime in their childhood, and more than once. I would respond, “Yes! And I’m proud of it. I graduated with honors from the Mean Mothers School!” Hoping to make me feel guilty when they called me “mean” – they would then walk away with a look of defeat on their face.


Truth is, sometimes we ARE unnecessarily mean to our children. We don’t always treat them with respect, as we expect them to do with us. We want them to listen to us, but we need to listen to them? I know I’m guilty of not always listening long enough until they can get what they feel out with words.


Sometimes I would act like I was listening to my children but wouldn’t be fully listening because what they were saying wasn’t important (in my opinion), or it took them so long just to say it that I’d lose interest. We tend to have short attention spans too! When your child sees you stop what you’re doing to listen, answer a question or help them with something – they won’t seek somewhere else for it.


Sometimes they will unintentionally d-r-a-g out what they have to say simply because they are hungry for you to show interest in them. They need your full attention more than you realize. Sometimes they will do the wrong thing just to get you to show strong emotion for them. So give them the time and understanding they need from you. You’ll see that those trade-offs were profitable; what you gave up for them, even if it’s only a minute or hour of your time. Your adult children will know and fully appreciate the sacrifices you made for them.


As a grandmother I’ve learned: not to belittle those simply thoughts and questions children have; to not ignore their ideas because I know more than they do. They need to have a faith venture/journey of their own, and children are full of faith, says the Lord.


Be careful not to miss those precious tender moments with your children that are so meaningful to them and that will strengthen their pride in you as their parent. Children only care about the time their parents spend with them that unites their hearts in love.


“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” Proverbs 17:6




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