By Joey and Carla Link
October 12, 2022
Weeds. There is nothing positive about that word. If you are a gardener, it means it is time to get out there and pull them. But pulling them isn’t enough. If you don’t get them by the roots then they will pop up again and again. The thing about pulling weeds is you don’t have any control over when this needs to be done. When they pop up, they need to be pulled out.
Time spent digging deep and pulling the weeds in your garden is time well spent but certainly not enjoyed, especially as it is usually a chore done under the hot summer sun so you end up hot, tired and sweaty.
Pulling weeds is similar to working with your kids on the sin issues that come from their hearts, isn’t it? If you don’t dig deep and get to the roots, the ugly symptoms will keep popping up, ruining your day.
1. Are you parenting only the symptoms in your kids? What do we mean by symptoms? They are the behaviors you see such as running in the house, not getting their chores done, the pets aren’t fed and so on. Dealing with symptoms is not training your kids for the long-term goal of becoming successful adults who love God.
2. Deal with the roots. When you parent the symptoms you see each day, even though you may be giving consequences (using a weed-eater over the tops of the weeds), the bad behaviors will keep coming back because you haven’t dealt with the roots. What are the roots? They are character traits God instructs us to live by in the Bible, such as patience, kindness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
3. Roots take proactive training to get them to grow into healthy plants. What do we mean by “proactive training”? “Proactive” means you have a plan to “control a situation before it gets out of control rather than responding to it after it has happened.” Instead of yelling at your child when he hits his sister, you have a plan to teach your kids how to be kind and respectful to each other. Once you have a plan in place and you have worked with your kids on how to be kind, then you need to encourage them when they are and correct them when they aren’t.
The Mom’s Notes presentation titled “Using the Bible in the Instruction and Training of Your Children” will help you get ideas on how to proactively train your children in Biblical character traits. You will also find the Mom’s Notes presentations titled “Understanding Character Training, Pt.1 Laying the Foundation and Pt. 2 Getting to the Heart of Your Child” helpful. Pull those weeds up by the roots!
The following are resources for you on getting to the heart of your child. You can find them at parentingmadepractical.com.