by Joey and Carla Link
photo by Refuge Studios
In our Midwestern town, they have what is called spring cleanup days. You can get rid of furniture and other items you no longer want, setting stuff out in front of your house on a specific day and the city cleanup crews come around and pick it up.
This year I walked through our house and pulled a few things out and took them to the curb. Feeling energized, I went back into the house and went through more rooms, looking for stuff that had piled up or we no longer needed. Carla and I have lived in the same home for over 25 years, and with her lack of mobility, she is no longer able to clean or put things away as she once did, so there were closets full of stuff. We have the best intentions of going through these piles and cleaning out, but life gets in the way and it always gets put on the list titled, “Later”.
I wonder how many parents put off their kids’ behavior issues, thinking they will deal with them “later”. Than one day, usually out of frustration with your kids, you realize “later” has arrived and it’s time to clean things up and throw them out of your child’s heart. You start working on a behavioral issue in your child’s life that needs a parental clean up. It isn’t long before the WOW factor kicks in. Your cleanup efforts reveal many other rooms in your child’s heart are filled with junk that needs a clean sweep as well.
For instance, a family we have worked with recently has a child with an unkempt heart. When they started pulling back the layers of dirt, they found not just deception, but out and out lying in multiple areas and issues. They not only had to deal with the lying, but the ramifications of the lying in different areas and who it had affected and possibly offended.
Another family’s young teenage daughter used her phone to begin texting people she didn’t even know, setting up a meeting with a young man instead of going to youth group one night. She didn’t call it a “date”. When the youth leaders asked the parents about it, the parents talked to their daughter and realized her freedoms were way outside the funnel of what she could handle without supervision. Both the parents and their daughter went through some difficult days before this girl realized the wrong path she was going down.
A young man had not finished a paper he needed to get turned in when he had been given 3 weeks to work on. The night before it was due, he was making everyone in the family miserable with his bad attitude while he was trying to get it done. He was making his family pay for his lack of planning. His parents need to teach this kid some time management and relational skills.
It is time for spring cleaning for these families. Just because only one of their children’s abuse of freedoms exploded into mayhem, doesn’t mean their other children haven’t been taking advantage of freedoms as well. Time to review the teaching on the funnel and get to work!
Why don’t we notice when our kids are sliding down the slippery slope of disobedience?
While it may not always be possible at the moment, it is easier to deal with our kids’ disobedient behavior when they are doing it before it becomes a habit in their life that you will have to drag out of their hearts at some point in time.
“Credit Card Parenting” — pay now with no interest OR you can let your kids funnel get out of control and lose time and money paying off your child’s bad behavior over time.
Solomon knew what he was talking about when he said:
“Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
We have a new book coming out this summer! It’s titled “Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think”. We believe it will be a big help and encouragement to parents. It’s at the printers now!! We will let you know when it’s available.