Oh my littlest ladies. Interrupted routines are particularly rough on our tiny girls. First there was illness that stole their energy, interrupted sleep, and made even eating difficult. Then, just as they were recovering, the unexpected school closings meant everyone was home for a couple extra days. And the weather was very, very, very wet and cold so playing outside wasn’t happening. So many siblings, so little space, and so.much.arguing.
You can pull out all the parenting tricks, use ixl.com, crafting at the table, coloring pictures, doing school work, reading on beds, movies playing too, games, utilizing divide and conquer techniques, trips to the store, extra jobs… all of it… but no matter how hard you try to be proactive, poor choices and misbehavior will still happen. As parents that means discipline that responds and reacts to the situations.
And there have been a lot of situations this week. Don’t let their cute little faces fool you.
There has been hurting siblings, stealing other people’s belongings, lying, straight up disobedience, yelling and a ton of bad attitudes working through our whole house. When you have 7 children at home, that is a nonstop job on days like today.
During one very tense moment (not pictured) with a few of the older-middle kids, I was reminded of this scripture from Hebrews:
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Looking straight at my children’s unhappy response to discipline I felt the power of that verse. I know how important it is for us as parents to discipline our children. I also know it is difficult. While they aren’t all like this, there are days though that seem like a constant battle… one that sometimes I feel like I’m losing. But, I’ve reminded myself (almost like it’s on repeat) I would rather put in the effort, endure the difficult days, struggle through the hard times rather than have my children develop undisciplined. It’s a choice I’ve made. I’m sure my children often wish I would do otherwise because correction and consequences aren’t pleasant.
Some days a child will take my words personally, as if correction is a personal attack. Other days a child will insist I am wrong in my assertion that they’ve done anything in need of rebuke. Other times a child will see the consequences as unfair, too harsh, just.plain.mean. Some times a child will get hurt because despite my best efforts to correct and steer in the right direction, they instead keep on doing what is wrong, harmful and dangerous.
Today, looking straight at the realities of parenting I felt the weight of these verses sink in a little deeper as I gained greater insight into the work of God’s sanctification in my life. There are days I’m not going to like it, be sure I don’t need it, think it is unfair and too harsh, and times when I will push on headstrong and bear the painful consequences. But it is worth it.
“God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”
Take some time to read and study Hebrews 12. Prayerfully ask God to show you ways you are in need of His discipline, resisting His correction, or in need of His chastening. Examine your heart; honestly reflecting on how you respond to the Lord’s discipline in your life. Guard your heart and mind with the truth of His word.