Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lessons from Eli, the High Priest

I recently reread the story of Eli, a High Priest of the Old Testament. Eli had two sons who were also priests, but they did not show respect to God and were very poor examples as priests. Besides being womanizers, they kept the best of offerings and even stole offerings for themselves.

Eli verbally reprimanded them, but nothing more. He offered no other form of punishment, and his sons continued in their roles as priests. They also continued in their disobedience and sin.

What struck me is God's response to Eli. Through the prophet, He asked "Why do you honor your sons more than me - for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people!" (1 Samuel 2:29). God made a direct correlation between Eli allowing his sons' disobedience with dishonoring Him. Eli was putting his own sons ahead of God because he wasn't doing what was necessary a High Priest and a father (and this is with adult children).

How many times have you seen parents verbally reprimand their child but do nothing more? How many times have we done this ourselves? "I told you not to run in the house." "I told you to do your homework," or "Stop hitting your brother." These things are repeated countless times because the disobedience is repeated countless times. They do not follow through with a consequence for fear that the child will feel unloved or abused, for fear that their child will count them an enemy rather than a friend, or perhaps because they are too distracted with something else to bother. By not following through with our child's disobedience we are putting something else above God. We were given the responsibility to train our children "in the way they should go".

We are first to obey Him, to follow His directives as He laid out in the Bible. Doing what He says is what is best for our children. This is part of the example I want to set for Caleb. There may be times in the future when he doesn't understand or is put off by my discipline or descisions as a parent. We should not parent based on our child's temporary feelings but with a goal to honor God first in all things.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Love My Job

I just had an "I Love My Job" kinda moment. Caleb laying in my lap just jabbering away, smiling, and being altogether adorable. What a great gift I have in my son.

And I'm so grateful that my husband is supportive of me staying home with Caleb, and willing to sacrifice so that I can.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Honoring Our Children

I've been reading a book my dad gave me for Christmas called "Honor's Reward" by John Bevere. There is so much I'm learning from it. I just finished the chapter that speaks of honoring our children, explaining one way we honor them is by training and discipling them. Since Caleb is now old enough to understand some of what we're saying, I've started to implement training throughout our day. I mentioned in an earlier post, , that I'm teaching him to understand "no sir", to look at me when I call for him, and most recently to come to me when I ask him. Basically, we're starting the early forms of obedience. We do this whether we are playing with toys, eating lunch, changing diapers. I've learned that consistency is essential.

There are times when I ask him to "come to mommy" and he doesn't (actually, most of the time he doesn't; he's still learning what those words mean), so I physically go get him and bring him where he needed to be. I explain to him "when mommy tells you to come to her, you need to crawl to where she is like this." There are times when I ask him to "come to mommy" and of course he doesn't, I honestly just want to forget that I told him to "come" and let him keep playing for a few more minutes instead. But I don't want him to learn that it's ok to ignore me, so I keep at it.

Bevere's description of honoring our children through training and discipline was such an encouragement for me. I honestly never thought of this simple training as a form of honor, but I guess it is. It shows a parents love and respect for their children, that they are willing to do what is necessary to help their child be fully equipped for the future. And it that honor brings forth a reward, for both parent and child.

Yesterday was the first time that I asked Caleb to "come to mommy" and he did, even when it was very visible that he didn't want to. He gave this little sigh, looked back at what he was previously aiming for (the stairs) and instead heading towards me. Of course he got lots of praise for his obedience and self control. I get the reward of a child who is learning to walk this life with Godly character and wisdom.

"The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." Proverbs 29:15