God’s Word tells us to try to work out disputes among ourselves. When we have a dispute with a fellow Christian or non-Christian (not our children), we are to try to work the dispute out by confronting and asking them to stop the certain behavior. If they refuse to stop then Scripture tells us to get a judge (if they are a Christian the judge showed be a leader or pastor in the church) to decide the case.
Wouldn’t it be great if our children, when they had disputes among each other, asked the other child to stop the behavior in a nice calm way, and the other child actually stopped the said behavior. I think we would be in heaven if that were to happen the majority of the time. But, I do not want to encourage
For older children that hit this is what Plowman recommends in her book, “Don’t Make me Count to Three”:
"Here are a few examples of heart-probing questions that can be asked:
'What were you feeling when you hit your sister?' Quite often, the emotion is anger.
'What did your sister do to make you mad?' After listening to him we found out that Josh was telling a joke to everyone at the table, and rather than respectfully listening and allowing Josh the fun of telling it, Lindsey kept rudely interrupting and trying to steal the fun from her brother by telling the joke herself. So as a response to her rudeness, Josh got angry and just socked her a good one!
'Did hitting your sister seem to make things better or worse between the two of you?' This question helped him acknowledge that he was still mad, and Lindsey was crying from the pain.
'What was the problem with what Lindsey was doing to you?' Although Josh should not have hit her, we didn’t want to deny the fact that Josh had been sinned against. We had him tell us what Lindsey was doing wrong and why it was wrong. We wanted to teach him how to identify her actions (and his temptation) biblically. There are many verses that could apply to what Lindsey was doing. One would be Proverbs which says that one of the seven things that God hates is one 'who stirs up dissension among brothers.' This is definitely what she was doing. The madder her got, the more she delighted in interrupting him.
At this point, we stopped and asked Lindsey, 'Honey were you promoting peace by interrupting your brother’s joke, or were you stirring up trouble?' We focused their attention on what God says about stirring up trouble. We were showing them the situation from God’s point of view.
'Yes, Josh, Lindsey was sinning against you, but in what other ways could have you responded?' Each answer that Josh gave enabled him to better understand his own heart and his own need for Christ’s grace and redemption. And each answered questions gave us the opportunity to us God’s Word in training him in accordance with his struggle. Bottom line, Josh became angry with his sister and returned evil with evil.”
Do you ask heart probing questions with your children? Or do you struggle with instructing your children? I would love to hear from you!
“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24. Wow, the Bible says if you spare the rod you hate your own son. That is really strong language. It is hard to spank you children, but if you do not use the rod on your children, ultimately, you are not showing love for them. I tell Jackson that I love him too much not to spank him while I am spanking him and I make sure to never do it when I am upset or mad. Proverbs 23:13-14 states, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” We are called to discipline our children with the rod to save our children’s soul from death!
I think the next post will be about spanking and the guidelines that Plowman discusses in her book.