Thursday, June 5, 2008

Heart Based Discipline

I have attempted several times to work on Lesson Ten from the I AM so you don’t have to be online Bible study by Lisa aka The Preacher’s Wife.

But today God has had another Plan and He keeps bringing me back to Missy from It’s almost nap time devotion on Internet Café Devotion, regarding “Heart-based discipline” I have included parts of it below:

Heart-based discipline focuses on changing the heart of the child as opposed to simply the behavior. Most of us were raised using classic behavior modification techniques, which in my case, meant as soon as no one was watching or as soon as I ran a favorable risk analysis, I frequently made the bad choice. But I want my children's hearts to be made more holy, not just their actions. I want their behavior choices to be based on biblical truths and a desire to please God, instead of a reward/punishment mentality or a desire to please mom and dad.

You see, this isn't the first time I have blown my top and yelled at my children. I've been trying to stop doing this for a while. I have been trying to modify my behavior, and I have made some improvement, no doubt. Until my husband works late and I am tired and I am hormonal and and and...

Suddenly That Voice whispers inside my head, Sounds like you need a little heart-based discipline.

Conviction, meet Hypocrite.
Oh, we've met before. Many times!

So here I go with a little Grownup Version of Heart Based Discipline.

Step one: Identify the sin.
Anger is not a sin. Yelling at a four year old is.
What is at the root of my sin?
-Being easily angered.

What does the bible say regarding my actions?

1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Proverbs 29:11: A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

How could I have handled the situation better?

Proverbs 12:18: Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 16:21: Pleasant words promote instruction.


Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Dear Lord, please forgive me for taking my frustration out on my precious children. Please change my heart so that my temper is kept in check and my words are kind.

And now, the best part, encouragement:

Hebrews 4:16: Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Are there any behaviors for which you seem to be on the "repent and repeat" track?
Can you identify the specific sin behind the behavior? (Sometimes a mature friend in Christ can help you narrow it down.)
Find some bible verses that apply to your sin (googling works great!)
Repent and ask God's forgiveness, remembering that he will forgive and purify those who earnestly seek his grace (1 John 1:9)
Apply the verses to your life, and pray them for yourself.
Wait with me for the Lord to change our hearts and our lives!
God really spoke to me through Missy’s writing, and He will not let this go. So along with the prayer from Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage (see previous post). This is where God is calling me to work.

Thank you Missy for being the faith filled woman of God you are and being willing to tell it like it is.

Some of the areas that I know God is going to want to deal with up front are:

My Mouth
My Thoughts
Lack of self discipline

I am needing you ladies to hold me accountable and to pray with me over this. I know that this is going to be a challenge. As I have stated in a couple of Lesson blogs I am holding on with both hands to the root that God is trying to pull out (Matt 15:13). I can not hold on to that and grab hold of God at the same time. And I am claiming that I will be Isaiah 60:21 “Also your people shall all be righteous: They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting. The work of My hands. That I may be glorified.” Because how can I be used of God if the log is in my eye?

Father God,

I believe that since You have called me to this You will see me through it. I will admit to you up front that I am scared to death of what will have to go. Father I know that you are able to change me, I just don’t know if I am willing to change. So I am going to step out on faith and trust that You will never leave my side in this season, and that the changes that You are going to bring about are things that will glorify You in the end. Father I want to be so in love with You that You are the desire of my heart. Father I ask that You be gentle with me in this, and that You send Your Holy Spirit to comfort and guide me in this. Father thank you for the Ladies that You have surrounded me with to see me through and cheer me on. I love You, in Jesus name Amen.


Michelle V said...


I will praying with you in agreement on this for you! I too struggle with that awful thing called a temper! I saw this CWO post yesterday and I could SO relate. I can't tell you how many times I have totally lost it with the boys! I will be praying for freedom for you from this stronghold!

You have been such a blessing to me, and I thank God for sending me such a good friend!

Love ya

beyond this moment said...

Wow. Sounds like the kind of lesson I need. I have been praying about my parenting (or lack of) for a while now. I definitely feel like I'm swimming upstream and doing everything wrong.

I'm going to go check my email for that internet cafe devotion right now!