Looking back on my 38 years of parenting, I have to admit that I didn’t always view wrong behavior the right way! Rather than seeing it as a chance to use Biblical correction to build Godly character, I sometimes viewed it more as an inconvenience, or an interruption in what I was trying to get done. Many times I would get frustrated or irritated because I had to stop whatever it was I doing to go correct and train a misbehaving child.
How did I receive a correction from God? One day God spoke to my heart and showed me that whenever my kids showed wrong behavior, wrong attitudes, or wrong actions it was an OPPORTUNITY for me to train and correct their heart with Scripture to build Godly character in them.
Here are some keys for how to use Biblical correction to build Godly character in your children:
1. Your Attitude
The right attitude asks, “How can I correct and train them in this situation to draw them back into a right relationship with the Lord?”
The right attitude looks for what you can teach them to help so they will understand why their behavior is unacceptable, and isn’t pleasing to God.
Your attitude should NOT be one of frustration that is simply looking to change their behavior (rather than their heart), so they will quit embarrassing or frustrating you.
2. Your Response
When you see your child showing that wrong behavior, go to them with the right spirit. Rather than approaching them with a harsh spirit, approach it with something like this:
I know you love God and want to please Him, but when you acted like that He wasn’t pleased. Let’s go to His Word and find answers to help you with the heart issues that are causing this behavior.”
3. Your Tool
God’s Word is our TOOL for Biblical correction, and is the most effective tool there is! If you want your kids to be like Jesus (which is what Godly character is) you need to use God’s Word as your guide to training and correcting.
There is a double benefit to correcting your children with Scripture:
1. God’s Word has more power than your words have.
His Word has the ability to bring conviction and change hearts. Often our kids will just tune OUR words out, but God’s Word penetrates their hearts bringing changes that will lead them to become more like Him.
2. Using God’s Word for correction benefits YOU as well.
I found that when I took my children to God’s Word it kept me calm and focused as I corrected and trained them. It also helped me to have God’s Word in MY heart and mind throughout the day, which helped me to have a better attitude and spirit with my children.
One other thing to keep in mind while using Biblical correction to build Godly character is the importance of being consistent.
I believe that consistency is one of the hardest things about parenting. Without meaning to, it’s easy to start letting “little things” go. Perhaps you find yourself repeating things several times when telling your kids what to do, before realizing that they aren’t obeying. By doing that over time, you are reinforcing negative character (disobedience).
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When you are inconsistent, you teach your child to take chances and they never know if you really mean what you say. Not only is this unfair to them, but it also hinders the development of the character you are trying to instill in them.
When you’re tired, or busy, it’s easy to think “I’ll just let it go this time. It’s just a little thing, after all.” However, it’s important that you Don’t Let The Little Weeds Grow In Your Child’s Heart!
One of the best ways to use biblical correction is by seeing it as an opportunity for you, not a punishment. When your children disobey and show wrong behavior or attitudes, they are asking you to train them in what’s right. God has given us this privilege to help shape their character so that when we hand them over one day into His care they will be ready with a heart-shaped like Jesus’. Take these two steps today and see if it helps change how you use biblical correction to build Godly character!
1.When you see your child showing wrong behavior, calmly take them to God’s Word and show them what He says about that behavior.
2. Pray with them asking God to help them to do better in that area.