I just finished reading “Don’t Make Me Count To Three” by Ginger Plowman and I learned a lot about giving biblical discipline to my children. There are a lot of good points in the book and I’m going to share one that stood out for me: it’s teaching in the context of the moment.
As Christian parents, I know it is your desire to see your children one day make the decision to put their faith in Jesus Christ. I hope it is your desire to teach them who God is. I hope it is your desire to leave an example to your children of a Christian who loves and obeys God.
During the early years of our children, it brings us joy as they get to every developmental milestones. Their first word, first time to sit, first time to eat solid food, first time to stand and walk, but nothing compares to when they start singing praises to God (even if they’re still mumbling some words) and when they start memorizing the Scriptures.
My daughter knows a couple of verses in Psalms and Ephesians 6:1. Yes, the “Children obey your parents in the Lord: FOR THIS IS RIGHT!” verse. Love that!
We like them to recite it in front of other people especially the grandparents. But I’ve realized, through the book, that if we don’t apply these verses in the context of the moment, then these verses can just stay in their heads and not in their hearts.
Teaching in the context of the moment in parenting
Whenever my child has done something bad, telling her that what she did was bad is not enough. I should also lead her to a realization of what is good and what the Bible says is right.
For example, if a child shouts at her sibling for playing with her toy, in that specific moment, what verse in the Bible can we teach our child so she would know that God has something to teach us right in that situation? James 1:19 could be one.
You see, our children should realize that God always has something to teach and say about every situation. There might not be a specific verse sometimes but I’m pretty sure there’s a verse or a passage that we can use to teach our children. Besides, this is the main goal of biblical discipline: God’s Word should be our authority in shaping the minds and hearts of our children.
Love the passage on Deuteronomy 6:7-9. Creating that atmosphere of talking to and about God with our children all day long will help them know God in a personal way, understanding that God cares about us and that He wants us to obey Him. Giving them opportunities throughout the day to exercise obedience to us but ultimately to the Lord is our responsibility as Christian parents.
Teaching in the context of the moment in your mentoring relationships
This also applies to us, adults. When you are mentoring someone, it is crucial for us to use God’s word to give advice, correction, or encouragement. Personal experience is good but at the end of the day, we are to train our disciples to seek God’s Word in every situation, and not to be dependent on us and our advices.
Using God’s Word in the context of the moment for our own spiritual growth
As I was reading the book, I realized how important it is for me, as a parent, to know God’s Word– not only because I need it to teach my child or a young lady I am mentoring, but also for my own spiritual growth. I also need to train my mind and heart to use God’s Word specifically in every moment or situation I am on.
I also believe it is God’s will for us to go through different kinds of moments, good or bad, because He wants us to learn how to be critical thinkers, using God’s Word as our guide. By God’s grace, doing it continually will help me form a habit of looking to the Lord for guidance and wisdom in making excellent choices.
Memorizing Scripture is very important, but when a specific moment comes around, do we know how to apply those stored Scriptures in our minds?
The Bible is clear about being doers of the Word and not hearers only. God wants us live by His Word. Praise God for making it available for us–to read and learn from Him. Let us apply what we have learned in the context of the moment, by God’s grace alone.
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4-5