Saturday, October 22, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 3

So far in this journey of learning what it means to train up a child we have looked at how important it is for us to teach our children the truth of the Word of God. We have looked at how important it is for us to be purposeful in teaching our children how to think with God's thoughts.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

When God gave us this passage of Scripture He did not give it to tell us that we could never understand Him or His ways, although often that is how many choose to interpret it. He simply is saying you, we, us, me cannot on our own think the way God thinks. We need to trust in His Word not our own thoughts or ways. Our thoughts will not be His thoughts and our ways will not be His ways, that's why He gave us His Word. His Word is filled with His thoughts and His ways. We are to line our thoughts and ways up with His and be guided by His thoughts not our own. And this is how we are to teach our children to think.

We also saw how although our children need to respect and obey us, we are not to bring this about in them through fear and intimidation. We must first be sure that our children fully understand how much we love them with true affection and kindness. This kind of love of course is not gained though giving them everything they want and desire... it is not meant to be a pampering love... it is meant to be a perfecting love. Our children must first understand that they are loved before they will be willing to obey and love back with joyful obedience.

  There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear,
 because fear involves punishment,
and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 
We love, because He first loved us. 
1 John 4:18-19

So now we move on to point 3 in JC Ryle's, The Duties of Parents

Train Up A Child Day Three

3.  Train your children with an abiding persuasion on your mind that much depends upon you.

Grace is the strongest of all principles.  See what a revolution grace effects when it comes into the heart of an old sinner, — how it overturns the strongholds of Satan, — how it casts down mountains, fills up valleys, — makes crooked things straight, — and new creates the whole man.  Truly nothing is impossible to grace.  Nature, too, is very strong.  See how it struggles against the things of the kingdom of God, — how it fights against every attempt to be more holy, — how it keeps up an unceasing warfare within us to the last hour of life. Nature indeed is strong.
But after nature and grace, undoubtedly, there is nothing more powerful than education.  Early habits (if I may so speak) are everything with us, under God.  We are made what we are by training.  Our character takes the form of that mould into which our first years are cast. 
We depend, in a vast measure, on those who bring us up.  We get from them a colour, a taste, a bias which cling to us more or less all our lives.  We catch the language of our nurses and mothers, and learn to speak it almost insensibly, and unquestionably we catch something of their manners, ways, and mind at the same time. 

Time only will show, I suspect, how much we all owe to early impressions, and how many things in us may be traced up to seeds sown in the days of our very infancy, by those who were about us.  A very learned Englishman, Mr.  Locke, has gone so far as to say: "That of all the men we meet with, nine parts out of ten are what they are, good or bad, useful or not, according to their education."
And all this is one of God’s merciful arrangements.  He gives your children a mind that will receive impressions like moist clay.  He gives them a disposition at the starting-point of life to believe what you tell them, and to take for granted what you advise them, and to trust your word rather than a stranger’s. He gives you, in short, a golden opportunity of doing them good. See that the opportunity be not neglected, and thrown away.  Once let slip, it is gone for ever. 

Beware of that miserable delusion into which some have fallen, — that parents can do nothing for their children, that you must leave them alone, wait for grace, and sit still.  These persons have wishes for their children in Balaam’s fashion, — they would like them to die the death of the righteous man, but they do nothing to make them live his life.  They desire much, and have nothing.  And the devil rejoices to see such reasoning, just as he always does over anything which seems to excuse indolence, or to encourage neglect of means.
I know that you cannot convert your child.  I know well that they who are born again are born, not of the will of man, but of God.  But I know also that God says expressly, "Train up a child in the way he should go," and that He never laid a command on man which He would not give man grace to perform.  And I know, too, that our duty is not to stand still and dispute, but to go forward and obey.  It is just in the going forward that God will meet us.  The path of obedience is the way in which He gives the blessing.  We have only to do as the servants were commanded at the marriage feast in Cana, to fill the water-pots with water, and we may safely leave it to the Lord to turn that water into wine.


I don't know about you, but I honestly can say that I do not know one parent who has ever said, "Yeh well, I just as soon my kid spend eternity in hell." I can't think of one parent that doesn't hope or even expect their child to go to heaven. But how many of these same parents are pro-active in educating their children on how to be saved?

How many choose to never teach their children the Word of God or even put them in a place where it can be taught to them by some else, yet expect them to be good and righteous enough all on their own and just slide right on in to heavens gate all on their own.
How many don't make the Word a priority?
How many don't make church a priority?
How many don't make Christ a priority?

Think about it?

How many churches have turned the children's ministry into playtime and babysitting and have not even bothered to do more than keep the kids out of the way of the adults?

Oh precious ones lay a foundation of education.
Our God is a God of knowledge and He desires His children to grow in the knowledge of Him.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
Hosea 4:6

Perhaps you are reading this and you missed the boat with your own children. Maybe you were not born again in Christ until your own children were grown... it's not over. A parent never stops teaching their children. You teach them by your own obedience to the Word. You can lead them by example even when you are old and they have children of their own.

I know that is only by the grace of God that He saved me when He did. I thank God that He saved me in enough time to teach my children His ways, because I know left to myself... I never would have. I would have just hoped for heaven like many others. Therefore, I cannot ever condemn a parent for missing the boat, but I will encourage and exhort you to get on the boat now!

Teach your grandkids.
Teach the children in your neighborhood.
Teach in the nursery or in the children's ministry.
Make known the way of salvation.
Make it known to all who will sit and listen.

then teach them the statutes and the laws,
and make known to them
the way in which they are to walk
and the work they are to do.
Exodus 18:20

Friday, October 21, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 2

Train Up A Child Day Two

2.  Train up your child with all tenderness, affection, and patience.  I do not mean that you are to spoil him, but I do mean that you should let him see that you love him.

 Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct.  Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, — these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, — these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart. 

Few are to be found, even among grown-up people, who are not more easy to draw than to drive.  There is that in all our minds which rises in arms against compulsion; we set up our backs and stiffen our necks at the very idea of a forced obedience.  We are like young horses in the hand of a breaker: handle them kindly, and make much of them, and by and by you may guide them with thread; use them roughly and violently, and it will be many a month before you get the mastery of them at all.
Now children’s minds are cast in much the same mould as our own.  Sternness and severity of manner chill them and throw them back.  It shuts up their hearts, and you will weary yourself to find the door.  But let them only see that you have an affectionate feeling towards them, — that you are really desirous to make them happy, and do them good, — that if you punish them, it is intended for their profit, and that, like the pelican, you would give your heart’s blood to nourish their souls; let them see this, I say, and they will soon be all your own. 

But they must be wooed with kindness, if their attention is ever to be won.  And surely reason itself might teach us this lesson.  Children are weak and tender creatures, and, as such, they need patient and considerate treatment.  We must handle them delicately, like frail machines, lest by rough fingering we do more harm than good.  They are like young plants, and need gentle watering, — often, but little at a time.

We must not expect all things at once.  We must remember what children are, and teach them as they are able to bear.  Their minds are like a lump of metal — not to be forged and made useful at once, but only by a succession of little blows.  Their understandings are like narrow-necked vessels: we must pour in the wine of knowledge gradually, or much of it will be spilled and lost.  "Line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little," must be our rule.  The whetstone does its work slowly, but frequent rubbing will bring the scythe to a fine edge. 

Truly there is need of patience in training a child, but without it nothing can be done.

Nothing will compensate for the absence of this tenderness and love.  A minister may speak the truth as it is in Jesus, clearly, forcibly, unanswerably; but if he does not speak it in love, few souls will be won.  Just so you must set before your children their duty, — command, threaten, punish, reason, — but if affection be wanting in your treatment, your labour will be all in vain.

Love is one grand secret of successful training.  Anger and harshness may frighten, but they will not persuade the child that you are right; and if he sees you often out of temper, you will soon cease to have his respect.  A father who speaks to his son as Saul did to Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:30), need not expect to retain his influence over that son’s mind.
Try hard to keep up a hold on your child’s affections.  It is a dangerous thing to make your children afraid of you. Anything is almost better than reserve and constraint between your child and yourself; and this will come in with fear.  Fear puts an end to openness of manner; — fear leads to concealment; — fear sows the seed of much hypocrisy, and leads to many a lie. 

There is a mine of truth in the Apostle’s words to the Colossians: "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged" (Col. 3:21).  Let not the advice it contains be overlooked.

~ JC Ryle


When I was nineteen years old I discovered myself to be pregnant out of wedlock. I had discovered this a month or so after I had finally ended the unhealthy relationship that I was involved in. I did not know what to do, but I did know who I could go to. 

I was blessed with parents that knew how to discipline me, but also knew how to love me. I have never in all my life ever doubted my parents' love for me. I have heard the angry voice of both my mother and father yet even through the few well deserved belt whippings, the multiple groundings, the priviledge removals, and the countless verbal rebukes to straighten up I always felt loved.

I hope and pray that my girls know this secure love from me as well.

At barely nineteen and pregnant I knew that the first ones I should and could go to were my parents. Now I was a Daddy's girl and I couldn't stand the thought of the look of disappointment that I knew would have to cross my Daddy's face, so I went to my Momma first and let her break the news to Daddy. She was my advocate, as she should be. That's what Mom's are for...

I remember the anxiousness that I felt when I wondered what my Daddy would do when he saw me after he had heard and processed my situation. But my Daddy loved me. He was hurt. He was disappointed, but he loved me still. 

My parents raised me with tenderness, kindness, and affection. I had a healthy fear and respect for my parents, but I was not afraid of them. So even though I had my moments of lying and not sharing all the info in order to try to get by with things that I knew they would not approve of... I never lied out of the fear of speaking openly with them about my opinions, thoughts, or questions. And when caught red-handed and called upon to give an account I didn't fear giving the truth and taking the consequences (even though I would rather have not gotten caught, lol).    

The simple truth is that the children in our lives need to know that we love them regardless.

Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
Proverbs 27:5

The children in our lives need affection, they need attention. It is not a want, it is indeed a need. It is so needed that they will choose negative attention over no attention every time. They will choose forced discipline for purposeful disobedience over no affection every time. Even worse, many children will also accept flat-out abuse over being ignored. Oh how they need our love.

Look around you. Look in the eyes of the children around you. Pay attention. Know that we adults must be sincere. We must speak and be truth to the children in our lives. We cannot fake affection. They are not stupid and they cannot be fooled, they know if you truly have affection for them or if you are just dealing with their presence. A child's spirit can be quite sensitive to the true character and motives of an adult. Love them with sincerity.

Love the children in your lives with the 1 Corinthians 13 love...
Be patient
Be kind
Be humble
Be the adult
Be unselfish
Be stable
Be forgiving
Be the example of Christ 
Bear their tantrums
Believe they can be mighty men and women of God
Hope in their future in Christ
Endure their immaturity, their personality, their lack of understanding
Love them in spite of themselves

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 1

Train up a child in the way he should go
and when he is old
he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

I came across this article by JC Ryle entitled The Duties of Parents. In it he has this to say about the Scripture verse above:

But, after all, how little is the substance of this text regarded! The doctrine it contains appears scarcely known, the duty it puts before us seems fearfully seldom practised.  Reader, do I not speak the truth? It cannot be said that the subject is a new one.  The world is old, and we have the experience of nearly six thousand years to help us.  We live in days when there is a mighty zeal for education in every quarter.  We hear of new schools rising on all sides.  We are told of new systems, and new books for the young, of every sort and description.  And still for all this, the vast majority of children are manifestly not trained in the way they should go, for when they grow up to man’s estate, they do not walk with God.  Now how shall we account for this state of things? The plain truth is, the Lord’s commandment in our text is not regarded; and therefore the Lord’s promise in our text is not fulfilled.

Reader, these things may well give rise to great searchings of heart.  Suffer then a word of exhortation from a minister, about the right training of children.  Believe me, the subject is one that should come home to every conscience, and make every one ask himself the question, "Am I in this matter doing what I can?"

I read this and I did have to ask myself if I was indeed in this matter doing what I can to fully regard this text, this promise of my God, this instruction in His Word? Because I want to. I want to be a parent who leads my child in the way God would have them go... not my way, not their way, but His way.

So I am going to dig into this verse with Mr Ryle and I invite you to join me. His article contains 17 points. I plan to dig into one point a day, because the article was quite overwhelming to try to take in all in one bite.

Perhaps you are reading this and you don't have children or you have already raised your children... well these are the words of JC Ryle to you concerning this subject:

  It is a subject that concerns almost all.  There is hardly a household that it does not touch.  Parents, nurses, teachers, godfathers, godmothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, — all have an interest in it.  Few can be found, I think, who might not influence some parent in the management of his family, or affect the training of some child by suggestion or advice.  All of us, I suspect, can do something here, either directly or indirectly, and I wish to stir up all to bear this in remembrance.  

So don't disregard this information no matter what your "stage" is in life. If you live in this world you will have an influence on those around you, especially any children who are watching you, even if you don't want to admit or claim yourself responsible for what ever behavior others see in you. They still see. Little eyes and hearts and minds are always watching and recording and processing.


Train Up A Child Day One

1.  First, then, if you would train your children rightly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they would.

Remember children are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.  The mother cannot tell what her tender infant may grow up to be, — tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish he may be any of these things or not, — it is all uncertain.  But one thing the mother can say with certainty: he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. 

It is natural to us to do wrong.  "Foolishness," says Solomon, "is bound in the heart of a child" (Prov. 22:15).  "A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Prov. 29:15).  Our hearts are like the earth on which we tread; let it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.  If, then, you would deal wisely with your child, you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity’s sake, give him not up to his own wayward tastes and inclinations. 

It must not be his likings and wishes that are consulted.  He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body.  You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he shall drink, and how he shall be clothed.  Be consistent, and deal with his mind in like manner.  Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he fancies.

If you cannot make up your mind to this first principle of Christian training, it is useless for you to read any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child’s mind; and it must be your first step to resist it.


Oh we hold our newborn babes in our arms and we look into the eyes of this precious, glorious creation of our God and all we can think is how absolutely perfect they are...

We cannot imagine that within that beauty in our arms is a cold, sinful, wicked heart that is inclined to evil and rebellion against everything good, right, and holy. Yet inside this small, weak, infant frame is indeed a decietful heart that left to itself has no bounds on wickedness. 

From the very beginning we need to begin to teach our children the will and the way of God through the Word of God. It is never too soon. I became a wholly surrendered believer when my Shelby was 6 months old. She was drug to precept classes from the time she was 7 months old. She sat in the floor and played while the teacher taught and I believe with all my heart that she soaked up as much as me. Her mind was open and her ears were listening though her hands made her appear to be occupied with toys.

When I was pregnant with my youngest I would sing to her all the time... well actually I just sing around the house all the time period. One of the songs I sang the most in my last pregnancy was "You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all..." One day, several years later, while doing the laundry I began singing this song again. My youngest turned to me and said, "Mommy you used to sing that song to me when I was in your tummy!"

Needless to say I was floored to tears...

Teach your children the way of God.
Begin teaching them in the womb, and never stop.
Do not leave them to figure things out for themselves.
I mean how easily do you understand your own wants and desires, and how and why they so contrast with what God says is right, good, and holy? And yet we expect our children to make heads and tails of this on their own?
Our children need us.
Children need us.
Teach them.

The world knows how to teach them how to think.
If we don't teach them how to think, I can guarantee you that the world, that Satan, will.

If you have any doubts of the power of the world on your child's thought process, if you choose to not be purposeful and active in teaching them the will and way of God according to the Word of God... just remember the Holocaust. Hitler knew what he was doing... he went after the children, Propaganda and Children during the Hitler Years.

We need to be proactive in teaching our children instead of just trying to unteach what has already been taught. Your children will either weigh others words and teachings against what you have already taught them or they will weigh what your countered words against what others have first taught (that is if they even think to question what they were taught or remember to share with you what all has been taught). 
If you put your children in public school you have a precious five years to fill their minds and hearts full of a foundation of truth. A precious five years to give them a plumb line. A plumb line that they will have to use to weigh, to line up, the words of teachers and friends. 

Are you doing it?

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God
and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead,
and by His appearing and His kingdom: 
preach the word;
be ready in season and out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort,
with great patience and instruction. 
For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but wanting to have their ears tickled,
they will accumulate for themselves
teachers in accordance to their own desires,
2 Timothy 4:1-3

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Remembering Priorities

We can be saved but choose to spend our lives in fruitless activity (1 Corin 3:15). On the other hand, we can understand our salvation to such a depth that every moment becomes an offering given back to God. Our works will not be tested by their appearances, our level of enjoyment, or others’ opinions. It’s the fire of God that will reveal if we have lived with this world or the next in mind.
—Regina Franklin

The other day my girls had basketball practice. I was sitting and spectating the practice. I brought my current Precept study to work on while I was there. I am better able to sit back with my mouth shut if I bring something else to focus on while I am there. The coach in me has a tendency to just rise up and I am always so thrilled to see dad's involved in things these days that I try to keep my mouth shut when there's actually a dad, a man, leading. 

Anyway I am sitting and watching and there are also other teams practicing and other kids just in the gym. I spot a mom working with her daughter on her shots and dribbles and instantly I feel condemnation. I think how I haven't worked with my girl out in the yard or in the gym like I should have. I know basketball. I played. I know the game. I have even helped coach in the past. My girls are both very athletic and determined and competitive. I think at this time that I am failing them because I am not helping them reach their potential in this area and that maybe I need to devote more time to teaching them basketball skills.

As I am feeling all this condemnation one of the little girls in the gym comes and sits beside me.

She sees my Bible open and my Precept notebook and she asks me what I am doing.

I shared that I was working on my Bible study homework and I told her how I was teaching a study on spiritual gifts. She looked at me like a deer in headlights. I then explained how God gives us all a spiritual gift when we receive Jesus as our Savior so that we can serve Him and His body.

She still looked lost and said "what?"

So I shared that a spiritual gift is how the Holy Spirit works through us and shows Himself in and through us.

She still looked lost.

I then shared that when we understand that we are a sinner and we believe that Jesus was born and that He lived and that He died on the cross for our sins and we ask Him to forgive us our sin and we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He then puts His Spirit in us so that He is always with us and our spiritual gifts come from His Spirit in us.

She then said, "oh... we don't go to church, we just don't have time, you know how it is..."

I smiled and said, "yep, it's very easy to get out of the habit of going to church, but it's really important that we find the time..."
She then grabbed her basketball and was off to play again.

I then remembered my priorities.

Yes, I could devote hours out in the yard or in the gym with my girls perfecting their lay-ups and jump shots, but in the light of eternity is that really time well spent if it means I sacrifice the hours needed to perfect them in Christ?

Yes practice on the court can make wonderful memories and yes it is good to be an active part of teaching our children in every area and aspect of life.
Yes I can teach my children eternal spiritual things and temporal things and sports are wonderful to teach our children discipline, determination, teamwork, and how to win and lose in life...
But let us always be purposeful to keep all things in the right place of priority.

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations;
and she came up to Him and said,
“Lord, do You not care that my sister
has left me to do all the serving alone?
Then tell her to help me.” 
But the Lord answered and said to her,
Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 
but only one thing is necessary,
for Mary has chosen the good part,
which shall not be taken away from her.”
John 10:40-42

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lessons Learned The Hard Way

I never really know what I am going to find when I pull out an old notebook. I am about to place a Mary Kay order and my aunt asked me to look up a color eyeshadow and lipliner she used a few years ago, so I went to my notebook that held all my MK order stuff. I kept a list of the regular products my customers used so I could keep those products in stock. I haven't kept stock for a while, so it's been at least three to four years since I have been in this notebook. As I was looking through the pages for my aunts favorite stuff I discovered a list I had made in the back of this notebook's pages titled, Lessons Learned the Hard Way. It might have been up to seven years ago that this list was made.

So I thought I would share: (paranthesis and italics not in original list)

Lessons Learned the Hard Way 

1. Parents are not stupid
2. Teenage and young adult men usually are "dogs" (yet they will rise to the bar if the ladies will set them)
3. Love is not a feeling, it is a choice
4. Your sins really do find you out
5. Actions do have consequences
6. Marriage is work
7. Sex is for one woman and one man in marriage for one life
8. Real intimacy comes through communication and trust not sex
9. A guy cannot make me whole
10. A baby cannot make me whole
11. The borrower truly is slave to the lender
12. Friends usually are not "friends forever" (but there truly can be a forever faithful few in your life)
13. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder (physical absence with present consistent communication yes, but absence with zero communication, I still think no) 
14. The love of money really is the root of all evil
15. If your parents tell you they love you and never put you down in any way count your blessings (I never realized how special my parents were until I began ministering to youth through the Pregnancy Resource Center)
16. High School is really only a very very very small part of our entire life
17. God's way is the best way
18. Labor and delivery is the easy part
19. People are naturally bad we have to be taught how to be good and then choose to walk in it
20. Abortion is murder to an unborn child and a mother's spirit
21. Dating is overrated
22. Bad company does corrupt good morals
23. What you watch and hear does affect how you think and your thoughts eventually become your actions
24. I don't have all the answers
25. I am far from perfect and have too many logs in my own eye to condemn you over the splinter in yours
26. The devil is real and he does not like me
27. Jesus is real and he forgives completely those who ask and mean it and walk away from what they asked forgiveness for
28. You cannot hide from God
29. Words do hurt

So got any hard learned lessons to add to the list? 
If so add away :-)  

Tongue Taming

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21

As I serve in ministry in the church and share with others outside the church the most common complaint against the church, the most ready reason for not attending or getting involved in church, and the most heralded hurt that happens in the church, seems to be rooted in words. 

The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels,
And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.
Proverbs 18:8

Whether it be gossip or just others using their words as a weapon or even worse taking God's Word and twisting it and using it as a weapon to hurt another person. This weapon is to be used to defeat the spiritual forces of darkness it is not to be unsheathed to defeat and destroy man or as an attempt to beat someone down. The Word is to be used in love not in spite and not in a spirit of superiority.

How long will you torment me
And crush me with words?
Job 19:2

We ladies have been given the stereotype of "gossipers", yet please know that I am well aware that men are just as gossipy. Male and female, we need to watch what we say and we also need to be careful what and who we choose to listen to...even if, no especially if, we personally know we don't believe a word they say... 

An evildoer listens to wicked lips;
A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.
Proverbs 17:4

This is the way of the world...

...we live in a day of hearsay, when few people pass along information that is precise and reliable. Do you? Are you careful about what you say? Do you have the facts? Do you offer proof that the information you are conveying is correct? While there are occasions when it's appropriate to pass along needed and serious information to the right sources, there's a growing preoccupation with rumor and slander. Half truths and innuendos become juicy morsels in the mouths of unreliable gossips. There is no way to measure the number of people who have been hurt by rumor, exaggeration, and hearsay.
Perhaps you have suffered this yourself.
Be careful what you say. Be careful how you say it. Be careful that you send the right message, that you send it to the right person, and that you do so with the right motive. ~ Swindoll

My husband and I have often discussed that one of the hardest parts of parenting is teaching our children how to discern between "need shared information" and "tattle-telling". We have tried to teach them when and as the opportunity arises because we just have not discovered another way to get the point across.

One thing we do is ask them to seek out the reason they are sharing the information they are sharing.

Is it just to get someone caught and in trouble?
Is this something that will hurt this person if not shared?
Is this something that the person asked you not to share?
And if they did why and would you want them to share this on you?
And if you are sharing it, why are you sharing it?
Is it just to show what you know about them?
Or is it because you know they need help concerning what they shared and you know you can't help?
Are you sharing up or side to side?

We try to teach them that there will be times in their own lives that they will want someone to keep a secret for them. There are times when we can address an issue with an individual and correct them and keep it all between them and us. And if they are truly sharing to help someone, they will share up, not side to side. Which means they will share with someone who has the power to help not just another "friend" who can do nothing.

We try to teach our girls that they need to be each others best friends not each others worst enemies. An enemy seeks to get you caught, a friend seeks to help you out of the trap. An enemy wants to throw you in the fire, while a friend seeks to snatch you from the fire. An enemy will reveal your secret to hurt you, yet a friend only reveals when they realize it is the only way they can get help.

There is a time to keep a secret.
I love what Swindoll says in the following quote,

There is an unexplainable air of mystery about a woman, an unpredictability that men find intriguing. Esther's ability to restrain herself only heightens the mystery---especially her verbal restraint. She knew much more than she told. She could keep a secret. Verbal restraint is fast becoming a forgotten virtue. ~ Swindoll

A woman who can control her tongue is indeed a woman of virtue.
Ladies are you a friend who can keep a secret?
Can you be trusted with the hurts and failures and frustrations of another without passing judgment or without fueling a fire?
Are you still stuck in the toddler/child cycle of the tattle-tale?
Can someone come to you and share their hurts or are you the one that causes others to cringe because they know you just saw them fail, falter, or stumble?
Can you correct, rebuke, exhort, and keep it between you and them?
Or do you always feel the need to share what you saw, what you did, what you know?

Learn to keep confidences. Come to be known for keeping secrets! It's part of having character marked by strength and dignity. ~ Swindoll

Taming the tongue...

A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4

She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26

But it's more than just speaking in truth and with kindness, it's also knowing when not to speak.
I read a quote somewhere that said something like, "never miss a good opportunity to shut up".

When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

The damage that has been done in and outside of the church, in families, in friendships, in workplaces, and even in our nation, over hear-say and over sharing information that needed not be shared... oh my it's massive.

O LORD, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.
He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
Proverbs 15:2-3

I know the hurt of words well...
I imagine most of us do.
May we learn from our own hurts and make the choice to not use our own words to hurt another the way we have been hurt ourselves.

Monday, October 17, 2011


So I have not posted since... the 12th I think, that was last Wednesday. That's pretty unusual for me. I am usually a daily poster, but the past few days have been quite dragging. I am in a place today of feeling like a weight is baring down on me. It's a strange tired. It's a tired that I usually can shake out of, but today it has lingered on.

Ever had those days?

It's not a blah day really, it's truly an unseen heaviness.

It could simply be that thirty-five is creeping up on me and I am feeling the weight of too many nights in a row of not getting in bed before midnight... 

It could be that I am still in the hormone slump of my female stuff, as I continue on. I find myself anaemic quite often...

Or it could be the spiritual oppression that always hits around this time of year. The enemy of my soul always seems to up his anty during my church's fall drama The Judgment Seat. It is well under way, opening night is two weeks from today.

Either way... I have been short with my girls for no real apparent reasons and I don't like myself at all right now. I feel tired, weary, heavy, and grumpy. My shoulders are slumped and my back is not straight and my head is not held high. I am by no means at this moment rejoicing in the Lord, or counting anything all joy, I most certainly could not be a light to anyone in this state of my flesh.

So as I shove down my second cup of coffee and pour my third in a carry-out cup, we head out the door for basketball practice...

Tonight I think I will plan to be in the bed before midnight, no matter what gets left undone.