Category Archives for "mothers"

Discipline – Thoughts On Discipline From Our Talk At MOPS

I am someone who doesn’t enjoy change.  On top of that, I’m fairly disciplined about most things in my life.  For example, I’m pretty disciplined about my workout routine.  While training for three different marathons, I followed an 18-week written schedule, and I documented my progress on a spreadsheet.  For the most part, I stayed on track throughout the entire four months of training.  On the other hand, I would like to be more consistent in my prayer life.  It seems easy to pray at meal times and dinner times; however, I seem to fall short the rest of the day despite the scripture that calls for us to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).

The topic of discipline is multifaceted.  We often talk about living a disciplined life (“When it comes to working out, that guy is sure disciplined”).  Last night, Leanne and I had the opportunity to share at a MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) on the topic of discipline.  In this session, we will talk about the reasons we discipline our children.  As we delved into this subject, there are a few things we kept in mind.  First, we discipline our children because we love them (not because we want to be mean).  Second, God has placed us in a position of authority to help protect and guide our children while giving them clear and safe boundaries. While we were asked to speak as “experts” on the subject, it’s important to understand that we’re not perfect.  Our parents weren’t perfect in the parenting, and I’m sure if you’re reading this that you’re not a perfect parent either.  It’s important to understand though that we can make a difference in the lives of our kids if we decide to take this subject seriously.  We all have different backgrounds when it comes to the subject of discipline.  As couples, it’s important that we get on this same page, so we can be unified in our approach to discipline.

Here are a couple of passages from the Bible to get us thinking about this subject:

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as children? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate children at all. Moreover, we have all had parents who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!  Our parents disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  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.  Hebrews 12:5-1

My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.   Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.   When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.   For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,  Proverbs 6:20-23

Here are some of the key points from our talk last night:

  • We discipline our kids because we love them.  “If you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.”  Proverbs 13:24
  • Discipline is NOT meant to harm our children – “Fathers do not exasperate your children.”  Discipline is not meant to scar; it’s meant to correct.
  • Help them make good choices in the future – shape their hearts (help them understand what they did was wrong).  When we discipline our children, it’s important to talk and to pray together.
  • When we discipline our children, the punishment should fit the age of the child and the “crime.”
  • Sometimes living with the consequences of their actions is the appropriate discipline for an inappropriate action by our children.
  • Consistency is critical.  We create confusion in boundaries and expectations when we aren’t consistent.  Also, we notice that when things aren’t going right in our home, it’s often a sign of inconsistency on our parts.
  • Through discipline, we have an opportunity to teach our kids about God’s grace.

Here’s the cool thing.  If you feel like you’re not getting it right when it comes to discipline, today is a new day.  You can change your family for eternity – starting today – by how you approach discipline.

What did discipline look like in your home when you were growing up?  If you’re a parent, what does discipline look like now?  In what areas do you need some work?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms in my life and to all the mothers of the Stretched Community!  Have a great day!  You deserve it!

My Mom

My Mom and Hannah near the Grassy Knoll in Dallas, TX

My Mom is pretty special.  And I know I don’t tell her that nearly often enough.  She’s the one who put up with three boys not including my Dad and any of the dogs we’ve had along the way.  Mom has a servant’s heart.  She is always looking out for the best interest of others.  Whether it’s in our home, at church, in the mall, on the highway, or anywhere else, Mom has a keen desire to make sure everyone is cared for and is well fed.

As an example, Mom was one of the main drivers behind the creation of a caring center at our old church in Mt. Holly, NJ.  At this center, Mom and other volunteers would collect food and clothing to give to families from the area who were in need.  This ministry grew and grew for several years as it served hundreds if not thousands of Burlington County families.

Mom is the one who knows most everyone at the church by name.  She knows them not just because she’s the pastor’s wife but because she has spent time praying for them.  Mom is friendly – this is a major understatement.  She one of the first to greet new people as they come into church.  She learns their names and quickly tries to help them to get plugged in with others.  This goes with Mom’s gift of hospitality.

As a kid, I remember Mom using this gift on many Sunday afternoon’s when we would have people over for Sunday “dinner” around our dining room table.  The food always smelled so good when we walked into the door after church.  Which reminds me, Mom is an amazing chef.  Her pot roasts and pies are just two of the things that come to mind when I think of Mom’s delicious cooking.

Mom loves Scrabble.  I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to play Scrabble with her during our visit to Dallas last month.  But it was pretty neat to watch Mom playing Scrabble with Hannah and Isaac.  It reminds me of the times when I played Scrabble with my Grandma.

I could go on and on about Mom.  She’s really an amazing woman.  Most of all, I am thankful for my Mom, because she pointed me to Jesus.  Whether it was through her conversation or through the example she continues to provide, Mom showed me how to love God and to love others.  She showed me through her heart to serve others.

Thank you, Mom.  I love you!

What’s special about your mom?

Happy Mother’s Day

There are three significant mother’s in my life right now, and I’m so thankful for them.

First, for my wonderful wife. Leanne is an incredible mother to our kids. She is amazing with them. She is an encourager, a comforter, a teacher, a mentor, a coach, and a discipler to both of our children.

Secondly, for my mom. Mom has stood up for me through thick and thin. She has believed in me and provided for me as I was growing up. And I know this continues today. Mom is committed despite the fact that we haven’t always given her credit for her efforts.

Thirdly, for my mother-in-law. I’ll be honest it took me a few years to understand how much Leanne’s mom cared for our family and loved me as a son. I am so thankful for her role as mother in Leanne’s life. She obviously provided a great example. I’m also grateful for her acceptance of me as a husband to her daughter and father to her grandchildren.

I know I don’t say it enough, but thank you! You three are great!

Until the next post, “is your mama a llama”…