Welcome to our journey. The purpose of my blog is not only to journal our life experience, but also to share what God is doing in our lives. I do not claim to be an expert in parenting, marriage, or even the Bible. But I do have a heart to share my experiences and the true love that God has for each and every one of us. You can read our testimony by clicking on the top of the page. And if you'd like to know about the Homeless Ministry my husband started, you can click on the Homeless tab. I hope you will comment freely on my posts and in my community.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Are you afraid...

of your children's failures?
I know I am.
I'm afraid they might fail.
I'm afraid they might act out in public.
I'm afraid they'll hang around the wrong crowd.
I'm afraid they might get into drugs.
I'm afraid they'll get hurt.
I'm afraid they'll get kidnapped.
All those things and all that worry won't change a thing!
So, we're making some changes. We're going to change the way we parent. Dave and I participated in a pilot Parenting Course. It was great and it's over, but it has left us wanting more! A friend of ours found a great study called "Loving Your Kids on Purpose" by Danny Silk. Last night a group of us got together and started this course. I'm so excited. I felt so convicted. I've been doing it all wrong.
Can I have a "Do over"?
Ok, well I can't. But I can change things from here on out. I'm trading in my "Old testament" behavior for the "New testament". Do you ever say something and then immediately say to yourself, "oh my gosh, I'm just like my mother"? Well, I know I do. We tend to apply what we know, what we've seen and heard. Our goal in parenting has been compliance and obedience. That is the WRONG goal!
Dave and I have had a paradigm shift and it's a big one!
We want to train our children in love not fear of punishment.
What if we remove the fear of punishment? What if we remove the fear?
1 John 4:18 says Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
Many of us fear the Lord as if He is punishing us. But God is love and His love is perfect. And if we are made in His image than are we not created to love like Him?
Why would we want to train our children in love instead of punishment?
Danny Silk says...
  • To give our children a culture of honor - a culture of freedom
  • To prepare our children how to handle the freedom they have
  • To prepare our children how to many themselves and their choices
  • To introduce something different then what we were given.

So much of parenting for us has been about control. We're the big yellow bulldozer and we'll squash our kids like they're the little red truck if they get out of line. OK, so that's not literal, but boy does it make me angry when my kids are disobedient.


The idea that you can control other people - is the root of all evil in relationships!

WOW! How true!

God doesn't control us. He gave us free will. Why did he put the tree of knowledge of good and evil right smack in the middle of the garden. He wanted us to have a choice. What do our children do many times when they think they won't get caught? If the fear of punishment is removed than what's left? Nothing is left to stop them, UNLESS you've given them a heart to heart connection and their goal is protect our heart.

Here's an example: When the law dictates compliance there must be a punisher to protect those laws. So, take speeding for example. If there's no punisher (police car) within sight and you're on an open highway, many people will speed. If the cop is there, you won't speed. Jesus left us the helper, comforter, counselor, the one who reminds us - not the Punisher or the Controller. Right? So, what if I parent like God does and instead teach them how to manage their life?

Psalm 32:8- 9 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with My eye.

I will guide them by allowing them to see my heart and my core values. I will connect with them heart to heart and protect my relationship with them.

God gives us unconditional love and grace no matter what. Jesus came to cover our sins. What God wants is our love. If our heart is with him, we will make more of the right choices. If we study His Word, we will know what it is that is right. I know that personally, I don't want to disappoint the Lord and since He is at the center of my life, I make more right choices now than I did when He wasn't at the center of my life. God doesn't control me, but He has my heart! Similar to that is my relationship with my husband. I don't cheat on him or even think about cheating on him. Not because I'm afraid I'll get caught, but because I love him. Because my heart belongs to him and I would not want to hurt him or disappoint him. There's no fear of punishment there, just love. I can't control my husband and he can't control me. We trust each other because we love each other. What I can control is myself. And personally, I think that's a task that is plenty difficult all by itself.

What's the best thing I can do for my children?

  • Have a hear to heart connection with them
  • Empower them to make the better choice
  • Give them a safe place to fail and make mistakes
  • Give them unconditional love

I am now going to make the choice to show my children The Father's Love.

Each week I'll try to share our tidbits with you. This week we're working on changing our surroundings. We're letting our children know that we're making changes. Our first change is bedtime. This isn't typically too bad for us. Our kids are usually pretty good about going to bed, but we're going to try to make it even easier and more so than that, it will be their first new opportunity to make the choice for themselves.

Danny Silk calls it Room Time. I don't want to see you and I don't want to hear you until morning. They can do whatever they want in their room as long as I don't hear them and I don't see them. The choice is theirs to stay awake or go to sleep. The natural consequence is that if they choose to stay awake they'll be tired in the morning. If they get loud or leave their room, we will go in and say, "OK you're not tired. You can now go and clean the bathroom sink (or whatever chore you give them). When you're done with that, we'll see if you're tired." Now yes, there is a consequence for choosing to be loud or to leave their room. But it's done without anger and as a matter of their choice. Then when they're done with the chore, I will say "Ok, would you like another chore or would you like to go back to bed and have room time?" Last night we tried it. All three of the younger ones wanted to sleep in Mackenzie's room. So, we said, ok, but we don't want to see you and we don't want to hear you. We explained about making choices and the consequence. We didn't hear one peep out of any of them! And they all slept in the bed the entire night! How cool! I can't wait for bedtime tonight! I'm now counting the days of love and no yelling. :) Day 1 of absolutely no yelling in our house, just love.

I'd love to hear your feedback!


  1. I have been meaning to get the tapes for this! Curious how the Danny Silk course and Parenting Course differ/compliment, etc!
    God will honor your desires!

  2. Beautifully written. And great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You are a brave woman with this bedtime routine! I can't wait to hear how it turns out in the long run. I have a feeling my kids would be up all hours of the night. Have you discussed consequences of cranky behavior the following day because of their choice to stay up at night? This is a very interesting concept. I am going to look up more info on Danny Silk. Thanks for the new thoughts.

  4. Read the post Room Time to see how this is working. It's going great and we haven't had to deal with the cranky behavior!

  5. I finally got this book and just read the Room Time piece. I am wanting to try it desperately, with Adeline, but we are still trying to get out of our room at night! I think it would be effective for her though, I love the concept. Kids will (often pleasantly) surprise you when given choices!

  6. My husband and I were just discussing today about getting to the heart of the issue with our children. That punishing them is useless if you are not getting to there heart. It takes me time but is so worth it in the end


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