Monday, December 6, 2010

Challenge Week 3: Parenting

(This picture makes me smile. Such classic looks from both of them!)

Last Week
I would love to know who participated in last week's challenge!! Did anyone daily pray for their husband, serve him in some way, and do something special for him? If not, I encourage you to make him a priority in your busy week!! They are off working hard for the family (as we are at home working hard raising the family!) and we need to remind them that we see that and appreciate them! Focusing on intentional marriages is so important. Pursuing our husbands. Making them feel special. Doing things that are important to them and letting them know that we can stop what we're doing and listen to them without folding laundry, checking emails, and unloading the dishwasher at the same time. These are our lovers! Let's preserve our marriages!
This week
Parenting. Not for the weak at heart. It takes everything we have. Every ounce of patience, every bit of time, every emotion imaginable, every little piece of our heart. And you can't even fathom what it's like until you become a parent. The huge amount of responsibility coupled with concern for your child and love that spills over for these little beings that came from your womb. It truly is a huge blessing and miracle that we get to experience here on earth!
With all those emotions, love, and amazement at these little beings comes the huge responsibility of training them in the way they should go. Those are not light words. I am at this stage with Maddy at 4 years old now, and she definitely needs some major training and discipline. It's tough work, let me tell you. Maddy is not easily corrected. She is strong-willed, hard-headed, and not easily swayed (not like anyone I know!) So I have a huge job!

Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul. Proverbs 29:17

Intentional Parenting

I really like the idea of intentional parenting. That might sound really dumb but it is so easy to fill our time with a myriad of other things and convince ourselves that they take top priority in our day. I have found that it is so easy to get so distracted by things that aren't the main idea. Our main, number one job is to raise our little kiddos in the admonition of the Lord. To disciple them. To lead them along this journey of life and point them in the direction of the Savior.

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Lately in my reading on parenting in To Train up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl, they talk about "the rod and reproof give wisdom" and how we often discipline our children, and then fail to take the time to correct them. To talk about what they should have done, what the Bible instructs them to do, and how they should act in the future. I was really challenged by this and how too often we discipline them to "get them off our back" so we can get back to what we were doing (i.e. washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning floors) when our MAIN JOB is to be training them up in righteousness. We need to remember our main reason for staying at home with our children! It's not so we can have spotless homes!!!! It's so that we can use our time most effectively to train and disciple our children!!
I often miss this all too important point.
In Proverbs for Parenting by Barbara Decker, she states, "Clearly, instruction in God's Word is to be an integral part of a child's daily life, and not something that is limited to a special half hour of the day or reserved for a formal fellowship." We must be training them up in the ways of the Lord throughout our days, that is, being intentional to use Scripture as we teach our children how to act, respond in situations, talk to people, serve others, etc.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26


Let's be mothers who are conscious of the short amount of crucial time we have with our kids. These years pass by so fast! This week, let's make an effort to faithfully train our children. Each day, let's all commit to praying over our children, as we cannot ourselves carry out the duty of training our children without God Himself guiding us, our tongues, and giving us wisdom in each situation. Again, a prayer card for each child will remind us to pray over specific things for each of them daily. My grandparents and parents have been such prayer warriors throughout my life, such examples of what it means to faithfully pray for their children and grandchildren! We can pray for their friends, salvation, interaction with others each day, their learning to resolve conflict, their future mates, schooling decisions, etc. Talk to your husband about what you would like to pray for them.
Let's take more action to train them in the instruction of the Lord. When disciplining, let's bring out the Bible, or a Bible storybook, and show them what God's Word says to do in the particular situation. You can even write down 5 main verses for different trouble areas (forgiveness, kindness, good attitude, serving, obedience) that you consistently go over with your child when the situation arises. You can get a little creative here. Put verses up on the wall. Use the Bible after discipline. Just be more conscious of bringing the Word into your daily lives.
Spend more time with your kids. Get the basic stuff done, but show them that they are important to you. What do they like to do? What do they ask you to do all the time? What do you refuse constantly because you always have something else to do? They know if you are too busy for them! How can we encourage their little hearts and show them that Mommy thinks they're special and wants to spend special time with them?? It will make their day.
I know that this may sound like it will take extra time this week, but if we can't find some extra minutes focusing on our kids, then what does that say about how we value our kids and our responsibility as mother in the home? I want to raise kids who love God and I want to look back and say that I was intentional about raising my kids and not too busy cleaning my house to raise them sufficiently.
I don't want to shrug them off.
I don't want them to feel like I'm too busy for them.
I don't want to discipline them to "get them off my back."
I want to discipline them so that they learn and become more obedient, respectful children, understanding more and more about our heavenly Father.

Here's a recap:
  1. Write out a prayer card for each of your kids and pray for them daily!
  2. Use every opportunity to point them to the Bible for instruction!
  3. Spend focused time with each of your kids, filling up their love tank and making them feel special!
Join me next week for Challenge #4: Our relationships with others.
Remember, if you are participating in this 6 week Being Intentional Challenge, I'd love to hear from you!! Accountability is encouraging! And new ideas, breakthrough moments, and growth are what it's all about, so don't be shy to leave a comment or email me at!


  1. I stumbled upon your blog. The recipes look so yummy! But I just was concerned when I read that you are reading "To Train Up a Child." The Pearls teachings are very dangerous, and I hope that you will be very careful implementing their words. Here's a link with some information about the theology in "To Train Up a Child": Another excellent website is

    You seem like an intentional mother....PLEASE throughly research the Pearls and this book!

    Rach - a fellow Moody allum

  2. Thanks for your insight. I didn't finish reading that book, but was already aware that their training techniques were pretty intense as I was reading through them. I appreciate your concern, and just know that I read parenting books with a grain of salt and pick the things I think will help in our parenting, and see what things actually work. I was given that book, so I wanted to see what his methods were. He does have some good things to say about discipline though!!