Our children must learn that no means no.
Yes, the paramount issue is love. But love is far more than a feeling.
Whose children are these? Yours or His? That is a decision that must be made.
One of the worst things that can happen is for you to want to be your child's best friend. The child needs to know where the limits are. He need to know that if he touches that electric fence, there will be a jolt. Your job is to train him so that you can teach him (or her) according to God's Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
A couple of months ago, I witnessed one of the worst things that can happen to a child apart from sexual abuse. In the entry of my church, there was a display of an antique wooden holder that contained a super attractive world globe the size of a small cantaloupe.
I stood there and watched a 3 year old take the globe off he display table. Mom said "No!" The child looked at Mom and tried to bounce the globe on the floor. Mom kept saying no, while the child kept bouncing the globe.
Finally Mom took the globe from the child, and he proceeded to scream and kick. Mom immediately gave the globe to the child. He bounced the globe, while Mom said no about 10 times.
I was thunderstruck. Eventually the child got to keep the globe and I turned away. It was horrible.
How true is God's Word that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.
Oh, Soldier, even if you have the most difficult of impossible children. you have a protection if you say and do the thing that honors the Lord. If you have a child who simply will not obey, it doesn't mean you are a failure. It just means that you must say and do the things that line up with God's Word.
You may need to issue restrictions over and over, Can't force the child to obey? He only needs to learn that every single time he does not obey, there is a consequence. Once you understand that, you are released, and so is the child. Your responsibility is not to get the child to do what you want. Your responsibility is to teach that a lack of obedience reaps a negative result every time, even if it is dozens and dozens of times.
Do not let your children pout or whine.
Train the child when he is tiny so you can teach him as he grows.
And give your children to the Lord by name. Do it aloud, and describe each child to Him. Agree with Him that they are His and not yours.
What do you want for your children? Success? Happiness?
Both are worth nothing if not eternal. Raise then to be Soldiers of The Cross!
Do this aloud. And do it today.
Tomorrow: The Busiest of Days: