Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gentle Discipline--Love Covers all Offenses

I've been beating my head against the wall lately.  Mija has been going crazy with attitude and disobedience. 
I enter this picture as exhibit A:
She had a tizzy about not being allowed to use the nail polish, threw it and then we had a broken bottle and pink nail polish on the light tan carpet.

That's just one example.  {sigh}

We've done everything.  Talking. Swatting. Taking things away.  Adding chores. Early bedtime. Et al ad nauseam.  Of course, also prayers have been said and tears have been shed.  Not as a last resort, mind you, but purposefully all along.

New Year's Eve while I was sitting alone with hubby at work and mija in bed, I recalled Proverb 10:12,  "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses."

I definitely have had hatred lately.  Not at my daughter, of course, but at the behavior, the uproar it's caused in our home, and my responses and lack of results. It definitely was resulting in more strife.  

Thankfully, the part that the Spirit seemed to be impressing was "love covers all offenses." Of course, I love her, and I have been trying to correct her because I love her.   My love, however, hasn't been covering her offenses they were picking at them.  I was pouring salt in both of our wounds over the situation.

So, I've been trying something different.  Instead of jumping on her right away, I bring her close and try to put words to what is wrong.  I've been using gentle words to discuss alternatives before everything hits the fan.  I've been trying to cover the sparks of her offenses with my love before it explodes.

It's been making a difference the last few days.  I don't think it's been a magic bullet.  There's no such thing.  But it has been a blessing applying this scripture and seeing it work.

What's also a blessing is a new challenge entitled "The Gentleness Challenge."  I just found out about it although it started on Sunday.  It is exactly what I needed.  Courtney stated:

Let’s focus this January on dealing gently with our children. Touch them gently, use their names gently, use your words gently, slow down and be loving, kind, and gracious.

I think gentleness is what God was talking about when He said, "Love covers all offenses."  

So pray for me as I work on gentleness with mija this month and always!
And join me if you'd like!

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Diane said...

Great thoughts, Betsy!! I like it!

Betsy Price said...

Thanks, Diane. It means a lot coming from you!

Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

love this- my boy #3 is adopted although we've had him now for 5 years, he still struggles - he has been diagnosed with "defiance disorder" - it can be very difficult to deal with, but only with God's grace and a LOT of praying - am I able to get through it - I'm getting to see God work a little (and sometimes not so little) miracle in his life! God bless, keep up the good work mama- thank you for your honesty!

Betsy Price said...

Thanks for the encouragement!! My daughter is adopted as well, but we actually walked out of the hospital with her, so we've had her since day one. I'll pray for you and your son. It's humbling when we realize that God specifically put our children with US for a reason!

Angela said...

This is the encouragement that I have needed lately! I truly need to use a gentle spirit when disciplining my daughter.

Betsy Price said...

I'm glad it encouraged you. As you can read, I desperately needed it, too!

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