You know that feeling, when you wake up in the morning and deep down you dread the onslaught that is about to ensue? And then at the end of the day you can’t wait for the evening when they go to bed? Between my eyes wide open and my eyes tight shut, there is the fiery furnace of raising my kids. I find myself speechless, or more at a loss for powerful words that might change the course of my day. Don’t you wish you knew what to say to your kids in the constant cross fire? More particularly when your kids won’t share?
My child’s greatest enemy, and my greatest weapon
I have often sat back in exasperation at the incessant complaining, whinging or arguing one little 4-year-old can muster. I feel like we wake up to a bush fire, and I spend all day attempting to douse the flames. Sometimes I patiently stand with a water hose, and other times I feel like I am blasting a fire extinguisher with all my might.
A secret despondency lingers beneath my busyness that tomorrow it will start all over again.
The battles are endless. Sharing is just one regular fight in my household, but as I fumble along, I want to be empowered with my words. In despondency, I desire for something greater than my own tactics to coax them stop. My weapons fall useless.
“take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,”
So, we take up the armour of God, so that we can withstand our children’s selfishness, so that we can fight against their desire to rule their world. Part of us chuckles at how this verse might sound like severe measures. Surely, it’s simpler than this?
But we forget that our children are embroiled in as much of a battle as any other sinner.
“The foolishness that is inside the heart of your child is, in fact, much more dangerous to him or her than the temptations outside of them,”
“…it is vital to understand that the rescue they need is from themselves”
And the greatest weapon we have as parents is the word of God.
The distance between His word and my child’s heart seems oceans apart.
I have felt lost when confronted with my child’s incessant desire to rule. I know that I have God’s word to lead me in all walks of life. Yet the distance between his word and my child’s heart seems oceans apart. I am not sure where to begin between the pages of Genesis to Revelation, and I feel like all I can do is tread water.
If truth be told, I haven’t got a clue where to begin.
What exasperated my dilemma was the fact that I was the church women’s worker. I had been to Bible College. I taught women all day, but yet I was dumbfounded as to how to translate that theology to my two boys.
In all honesty, I was clueless about how best to teach my kids.
I haven’t read a hundred parenting books; I have read some and I have pried into some excellent articles. The crumbs that I gathered under my parenting table urged one central step in the right direction.
What to say when your kids won’t share
“For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder”
So, don’t get side-tracked by the magnitude of the words used, concentrate on the principle taught. All behaviour is a result of a heart issue. Therefore, my child’s struggle to share stems from inside his heart. What do I say to penetrate his heart?
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
It is the word of God that penetrates hearts. What to say when you kids won’t share? One simple step in the right direction is to appeal to his heart with the word of God.
I know I appeal constantly to a moral standard or the law – “that is not kind, my boy.” We can appeal to his idols – “if you share, you can have an Oreo cookie.” Or we can even try douse them with guilt – “how could you do that?”
All I know for now, is that I need to speak to his desires, to his heart. Not his religious tendencies, not his pleasures, nor his self-worth.
So much more to be said.
So, we’ll unpack this truth further next week as we see the futility in our tactics.
We’ll explore an example of how I attempted to put this into action. How did I seek to win my child’s heart when he doesn’t want to share?
And you will see how I manged to land a win and a failure all in one go.
Find out why we believe in the what to say series at Come Away: What to say when your kids say…