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Rules without relationship equals rebellion.

The Israelites were rebellious while Moses, and later Joshua, obeyed God. Why?

There are so many religions and “religious” people in the world; yet many live in deep sin. Why?

The difference is a relationship of love!  Moses and Joshua had a relationship; they loved God. But the Israelites only feared God. They wanted Moses, and later, Joshua to intercede on their behalf. It caused them to murmur, complain and sin.

The best thing you can do for your child, and for yourself, is to build a strong “love relationship” with the Lord and then with your children.

Love Your Child 

It was only recently that I lost my mother. She, too, was the mother of seven children and she ADORED her children as much as I do mine! It was from watching her example that I learned most of my techniques for expressing love to my children.

One day about a year or two before she died, my mother spoke to me urgently pleading with me to teach the mothers to “LOVE THEIR CHILDREN!”

It broke my mother’s heart to see so many little children desperate for love. Instead of being loved, they were shunned, pushed away, reprimanded, shamed, threatened and abandoned. Now I feel absolutely the same way. WHAT A WASTE! What a horrible tragedy. To think that these women (maybe even you) have children who are sitting right under their noses desperate for love, but they are oblivious or indifferent to their needs.

Let me also explain that the “little children” that she referred to could be over six feet tall! My mother loved CHILDREN, period, and she “mothered” me until the day she died. She always gave me love, attention and encouragement. She always showed me THROUGH her actions and attitude that she LOVED me! I was devoted to her, just as my children are devoted to me.

Where do you begin?           

As always when building, we need to build a foundation. We need to build our “foundation” of love. As parents, we must decide to love, and then discipline ourselves to build a strong foundation of love for our children. If we fail to invest love in our children, we will not only miss out on the joy of motherhood, but we will face major consequences. When unconditional love is withheld, our children exhibit resistance and rebellion. We then face opposition to our teaching, training and correcting them. Therefore, unconditional love MUST be our foundation.

Rules without relationship equals rebellion!

We love, because He first loved us. The foundation of love is found in 1John 4:19: “We love, because He first loved us.” We are loved first by God; we, in turn, love Him. Similarly, our children cannot give love without being loved first. When I am the first to give love to my child, my child in turn will learn to love.

An example. The Lord gave us an example that we are to follow. “For you have been called for this purpose…leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.” 1Pet. 2:21. It was the love that the Lord had for His Father that resulted in His obedience to His Father’s will. “And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt.’ ” Mark 14:36. Love motivates obedience, even to the point of death and to the point of dying to self.

Isn’t it true that as we grow more in love with our Lord, we are motivated to righteous living? Our children will do the same in obedience to us as parents and in obedience to the One we serve, Jesus Christ.

I had always wondered why children of godly parents (parents that without a doubt followed God's Word on discipline) still went astray? Could it sometimes have to do with an inadequate expression of love? Of course, most parents love their children, but does it show? How do they look at their child? Do they express loving words? How much time do they spend with their child? The bottom line is: does their child feel loved?

A blessing or curse? In Lesson 12, “Fruit of The Womb,” in A Wise Woman Builds Her House, it shows that God's Word tells us that children are a blessing. However, our society tells us differently. What do you believe? Do you parrot the worldly comments of those who practice feminism? How do you respond if someone asks if you want MORE children?

What you say in front of your children and what you say behind their backs determines what results you will obtain. You will need to ask yourself “What does my attitude toward my children convey to them? Do I say one thing to my children, say something else to others, and, at the same time, dread the thought of any more children?”

“For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:7-8.

What then is love? We are told about love in our books, movies and media. Everyone tells us what they think love is. But shouldn’t we go to the Author of love for the true description? “And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the Truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1Cor. 13:2-8.

Love Is....

Many years ago, the phrase “Love is...” was popular. As we read in 1Cor. 13 love is many things. It is quite clear that love is…more than just a feeling as we have been told. Love is an action or reaction we make toward others. Let’s look deeper into the words that are in bold in the preceding Scripture and apply these when dealing with our children.

Patient. Patience is a reaction. Patience is definitely more than a necessity when dealing with children. We only need to look at the parents we see in public with their children to see that patience is in very low supply today. If these parents are this fed up with their children in public, how do they act in private?

So many women belittle and sound exasperated when talking to their children even when they KNOW they can be overheard by others! Many children feel unloved and unwanted. The following verse is a perfect prescription for a mother to use with her children: “And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.” 1Ths. 5:14. “And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged….” 2Tim. 2:24.

Kind. Kindness goes a long way when dealing with children. Sometimes, however, we seem to forget. “And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged….” 2Tim. 2:24. “…sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be dishonored.” Titus 2:5.

We must speak kindly and gently with our children. When training your child, it is important to get his attention first by calling his name. Then take the time to look at him lovingly in the eyes and speak kindly to him. This does not mean that we are to plead or beg for their obedience; it is merely the difference between speaking gentle words and barking out commands.

Many women tell me how AMAZED they are when they hear me talk to my children. They are overwhelmed and in awe of how I speak so sweetly and patiently to them throughout the day. They have even questioned my children alone to ask if I always speak to them in that manner. I deeply love my children and it shows by the way that I stay patient and kind with them.

Not jealous. We should be keenly aware that favoritism can cause jealousy between siblings. If one child exhibits unfavorable habits, mannerisms or the like, it may cause you to favor his sibling(s). Instead, love your troubled child enough to work with him on his weaknesses. Or have you forgotten the discord in Joseph's family caused by favoritism? It resulted in a notorious jealousy! “And his brothers were jealous of him….” Gen. 37:11.

Does not act unbecomingly. Acting unbecomingly has become commonplace in too many of our homes, as well as in public. Major “scenes” or “ranting and ravings” go on all too often instead of the gentle and quiet spirit God says He loves so much (1Pet. 3:4). Love your children enough to control your spirit and temper. Then control theirs until you can teach them to control their own. “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Prov. 25:28. “But let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1Pet. 3:4.

Seek its own. We women are bombarded every day to “do our own thing” and have “our own life.” Only a few years ago, we would have called that attitude selfish and self-centered. Regardless of the popularity of this new concept, selfishness will reap only sorrow and regrets. God’s Word says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself….” Phil. 2:3.

Not provoked. How short is your fuse? Are you quick to fly off the handle? Is most of what you say in a raised voice? “A hot-tempered man [or mother] stirs up strife, but the slow to anger pacifies contention.” Prov. 15:18. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” Prov. 16:32. “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.” Prov. 19:11.

We must learn to be discreet when we are offended or disappointed by our children. “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.” Prov. 11:22. Women in royalty are taught to control their feelings in public. Ladies, we are children of the King! We should therefore act accordingly in the presence of all others (in our homes and in public), and teach our children to do the same by our example and our training.

Bears all things. The burdens of a mother can sometimes seem unbearable. However, with God's help, He expects us to bear these burdens. This is an opportunity to run to Him, not fall apart. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah.” Ps. 68:19. “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.” 1Pet. 2:19.

Believes all things. To follow Scripture when training, disciplining and correcting our children, will take faith. But praise God! We have His promise that we will not be disappointed! Phil. 1:6 says,  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Authors and manufacturers tell us that following their directions or buying their products will change our lives. Trust our Creator and the Author of life to receive His Promises!

Hopes all things. Our hope for our children must be in the Lord. As we follow Him in obedience to His Word and have faith that He will complete what He has begun in us and in our children, we know He will complete it. This is our hope! “The hope of the righteous is gladness, but the expectation of the wicked perishes.” Prov. 10:28. “Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future, And your hope will not be cut off.” Prov. 24:14.

Endures all things. Motherhood is sometimes very difficult. When we feel we are at the end of our rope, God encourages us to hang on to Him. “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.” Matt. 24:13. “And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.” Mark 13:13.

Love never fails. This is our greatest promise: His love for us and our love for others, especially our love for our children, will never fail! “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.” Prov. 10:12. “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed.” Prov. 27:5. “Who is a God like Thee…He (God) delights in unchanging love.” Micah 7:18. Whenever I am unsure how I should deal with my children, I choose to react with love since I have the promise that it never fails!

How do I convey my love to my children?

Many mothers give their children material possessions, but children need something else. They need you!

Your time. The most important thing you can give to your child is your time. When we like someone, or love someone, we want to spend our time with him or her. Where is your time being spent most? Where does your child fall in the level of importance to you? If you wait for there to be time for your children, they may not be children any more! Then they will show their gratitude to you by having little or no time to spend with you. What could possibly be more important than that little boy or girl? We know we waste so much precious time on things that will mean absolutely nothing years from now. There is such a great reward in spending our time with our children. It is the greatest investment you could ever make. You will be investing in their future and your future too.

Make eye contact. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Ps. 32:8. We need to teach and instruct our children with our eyes. But how can we do that when most of our time is spent dropping our children off at a multitude of activities? Even if we do stay to watch, many times we are in deep and lively conversation with another mother. Our lives are hurried, stressful, too full, and much too tiring.

If our children are never around because of sports, music lessons and other activities, how can we possibly instruct or guide them? We must make the time to look into their eyes, to show our love for them and to instruct them. They must know that they are the apple of our eye! David asked, “Keep me as the apple of the eye….” Ps. 17:8.

All the activities and talents that seem to keep us so busy are usually temporary; therefore, they have only temporal value. “…while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2Cor. 4:18.

Your touch. Your touch is very important. It has healing powers as well as comfort for your children.

“And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He might touch them….” Luke 18:15.

“And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them….” Mark 10:13.

“And they brought a blind man to Him, and entreated Him to touch him.” Mark 8:22.

“And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.” Luke 6:19.

“But Jesus said, ‘Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.’ ” Luke 8:46.

Medicine or your comforting touch? Many mothers quickly turn to a drug or medicine when their child is in pain. I learned from my mother’s example that when a child has a headache or stomachache often he is hungry or tired. She would usually offer us something to eat or encourage us to lie down and take a nap rather than offering us a pain reliever.

If we were really sick, she would sit with us, sometimes all day. I remember laying my head on her lap while she would smooth my hair or rub my back. The loving touch of a mother is truly the strongest medicine for relieving pain. Studies even have proven that the human touch can relieve pain and even heal the body. However, most of us are too busy to sit. Our lives are in constant discord, and therefore our children’s only relief is found in a bottle of medicine.

Because my mother allowed us to do without pain medication or other medicine for other ailments, she taught us to be able to handle and endure pain. So many children, who are not allowed to suffer the pain from teething or from other ailments as they grow, are unable to handle the pain or suffering as it increases later in life.

My husband’s mother was one who used every sort of medicine. When we were first married, my husband had two of his wisdom teeth removed. It was so difficult for him; he refused to go back. Unfortunately, the two that remained grew in and crowded his “perfect” teeth. When he began having difficulty with them, he finally decided to have them out by being put partially to sleep. However, when he took the medication that usually knocked people unconscious, he was not affected one bit. The staff asked me privately if my husband had been a drug addict!!

Not running to the medicine chest, but using comfort instead, also teaches our children to seek relief from God’s comfort, a relationship, rather than numbing the pain. If we don’t allow children to experience pain, they are not prepared to deal with it as adults because they have never been allowed to grow with the pain.

But to sit and stroke a child’s head takes time! But God’s ways are perfect. Usually God uses my sick child to MAKE ME sit down and bond with my child. He allowed it for my good, because He KNOWS what I need!

Loving discipline. We must also express our love for our children with loving discipline. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.” Rev. 3:19. Our children need our discipline so that others can love them as well. We have heard the saying: He is a son only a mother could love. A child who is undisciplined, unruly and lacking in self or parental control has been done a great disservice by his parents. It is especially shameful to the mother. “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” Prov. 29:15. Our children need us to train them so they can become responsible adults. This all takes time, patience and kindness. You will need to bear many things, believe many things, hope many things and endure many things, but that kind of love will never fail!

In light of the shooting in Massachusetts and California (not to mention the terrorist attacks!), let's see, I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare (she was murdered; her body was found recently) said that she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school... the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK. 

Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide) and we said, an expert should know what he's talking about so OK, we won't spank them anymore. 

Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. (There's a big difference between disciplining and touching, beating, smacking, humiliating, kicking, etc.) And we accepted their reasoning.

Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said, that's a grand idea.

Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, that's another great idea.

Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them, we said it doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.

And then someone said let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome, down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said we have no problem with that.

And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then stepped further still by making them available on the internet. And we said they're entitled to their free speech.

And the entertainment industry said, let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex (because that's what people want). And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. 

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.

I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

The little girl asked God, “Why didn't you save the little girl in Michigan?" God replied, “I am not allowed in schools."

“She rises while it is yet night…” Proverbs 31:15