Scriptures to Correct Misbehavior
Belinda, mother of four, returns as a guest writer today. Check out her previous posts on Why Your Kids Need Chores and Media Rules from a Media Skeptic.
I was at the bookstore and picked up a book titled 52 Verses Every Mom Should Know. Maybe you’ve seen something similar before – a Bible I received from the Gideons has a section called “Help with Life’s Problems.” Are you feeling anxious? See Matthew 6:25. I imagined the mom version being something like: your child isn’t listening to you? See Ephesians 6:1 (Children obey your parents in the Lord). Finally, I would be able to whip out the perfect verse to respond to my kids’ misbehavior!
Unfortunately for me the book was more of a devotional than a reference book. However, the book had given me the idea so I set out to make my own list of “Mom verses”. Here’s how it started:
#1. Thou shalt not kill. (Deuteronomy 5:17)
#2. Honor your father and mother… so that you may live long and that it may go well with you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)
#3. The Lord disciplines those He loves. (Proverbs 3:12)
#4. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. (Matthew 7:12)
#5. 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 12:11)
#6. A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:11)
# 7. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)
Wait…who are these verses for? I found myself zinged every time I wanted to whip them out like weapons against my kids. The Bible says the word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword. Seemed more like a double-ended sword that I kept running into. The problem wasn’t the words themselves, but the heart behind them. I wanted to use them as ammunition rather than exhortations to spur my kids on towards love and good deeds. I realize now that without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, I might have taught my kids to hate the Word of God rather than to treasure it as a loving Father’s wise instruction.
I have a revised list of Verses Every Mom Should Know. Only this time I am the intended target. The verses still have the power to cut me to the quick, but it’s the kind of cutting that is pruning me to being even more fruitful.
The new list looks like this:
#1. Thou shalt not kill (hey, there are days…)
#2. Children are a gift from the Lord. (Psalm 127:3)
#3. The tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)
#4. Do not exasperate your children. (Ephesians 6:4)
#5. A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:11)
#6. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. (James 1:19)
#7. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, live as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
Yes, some of the verses are the same. But I’ve been reminded that my kids and I are on the same journey of trying to follow the Lord Jesus and please our heavenly Father.
Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici