Sunday, 08. February 2015 by Renee Ellison
If you are only just now seeing the big picture of raising godly seed, and a higher standard of parenting, do not despair about the years before now, that were not so well spent. It is only the Enemy that tells us we are too late to really parent well. It is never too late to bond well with our children and make a huge impact upon their lives. Never too late. You can begin afresh this very minute.
If you feel that the past has been a complete wash, start by focusing on what is most important: your own personal repentance and biblical imprinting on your children. In prayer, tell God that you are sorry for your own misplaced priorities, that you didn’t “get it” about what a high calling this was and that now you want to make better decisions with your time and need His help. Cry out to God for a turnaround in your own habits. Trying to replace destructive habits without divine help is almost impossible. Repentance opens up the heart to the working of the Holy Spirit—it grants Him permission to help you.
On a practical level, replace the inferior habit (be it long phone calls, romance novels, TV shows, the idolatry of spectator sports, excess shopping, personal projects, or perhaps over-indulging a friend or relative to the harm of your own children who look to you but can’t find you because you are always preoccupied with someone beyond your immediate family) with a better habit that entices you. If you can think of nothing else, replace all time-eaters /-wasters with family exercise. This will start to turn your huge “ship of state” around in the waters. Do it for 28 days straight and it will become a new, better habit. Even if it is just a long robust family walk around the neighborhood, do it every day. (Work up to three miles.) This gives you bonding time with your precious children—positive emotional time not spent around chores or academics—and clears out the mental cobwebs for academic work when you get home. Plus, it gets all of you into better shape.
Also, start massively imprinting your young children with the Bible by reading to them from Arthur Maxwell’s 10-volume The Bible Story and his set of Bedtime Stories. Never skip a night. Make this a non-negotiable. We heard of one family who repeated this over and over for eight years; their children turned out phenomenally godly and holy. This will serve as a third parent in its divine imprinting of your child. It’s a great use of that special hour before bedtime.
Start there. Then make to-do charts for each child and make them highly visible on a wall or door near you. Delegate lots and lots of household chores so that you can keep your eye on the big picture of what each member of your family is doing, instead of you being down scrubbing that floor. Have as many children as possible help you cook. Don’t you be working in the kitchen while your children are hanging from the chandeliers. Make them work with you. Keep the speech upbeat and happy. Pump the atmosphere with joy. You want to give them joyful memories. Was the greater bulk of the family atmosphere joy or harshness? They’ll carry this impression with them for the rest of their lives, just like you do from your own childhood.
If you’ve completely lost control of the organization of your home, send your children and hubby away to your relatives for three days (if at all possible) and you stay home to get command of the organization of your house. Work until you drop—‘til every muscle twitches—getting your house exactly the way you want it.
To recover lagging ineffective discipline with your children, start by saying the appropriate phrases and making loving comments with your own happy, cheerful voice. If Johnnie is mean to Mary, you say the words Johnnie should have said—and be done with it. For example, “Mary, I wouldn’t want to frustrate you. I’m sorry, you’re my precious sister with whom I will rule angels in the next life.” Then leave the room. Johnnie will, no doubt, be left standing there with his mouth open.
Yadidahdidah—your objective is for your children to begin to feel a different energy in the home. You, the mom, can be the example. If the children are rude to your husband, run to him and throw your arms around him and say, “You are the best hubby and father a woman could want. OHHHHHHH how I love you.” Thus you indirectly correct your children by your own amazing loving example. Start there.
The great surprise of homeschooling is that it not only conforms our children to His image, but conforms us (the parents) to His image, as well. Yup, homeschooling, done in the fear of the Almighty and by His grace, purifies two generations at once.