Win your child's heart to God through nurturing love, a tool of redemptive discipline
February 13, 2019
It can be difficult to show Christlike love in the midst of dealing with discipline issues with your children. Sometimes, children with the most unlovable behaviors are the ones most in need of nurturing love. The goal of redemptive discipline is to encourage growth in a child's relationship with God.
Nurturing love can be used as a tool for redemptive discipline to:
- Develop your child's faith in God
- Deepen and sweeten the parent/child relationship
- And simultaneously train them in obedience
It is unloving and unkind to allow a child to continue in negative behaviors. They should be reassured that you love them and that their behaviors and actions cannot change that.
But just like God is firm with us sometimes, it is OK to be firm with your child. They need to learn what is and is not acceptable behavior. You can do this while also being kind and loving.
We know that our sin cannot separate us from our Father's love (Romans 8:38), our kiddos need that same assurance.
If your child knows that you love and care about them as a person, and not just about their behavior, they will be more ready to respond appropriately to correction.
A child who experiences love at home will find it easier to believe that God loves them.
You can properly CARE for a child and show them nurturing love by following these few basic principles.
- Cheer for and comfort your child with gentle and kind words. Use a tone of voice that is loving and welcoming.
- Appreciate your child's God-given uniqueness and gifts. Recognize that they are a treasured creation whom is truly valued by the Most High God.
- Reach into their heart. Ask them about what interests and concerns them, and listen to what they have to say.
- Edify and encourage your child with truths about God. Tell them how good and creative our God is, and that He created them special and unique on purpose.
Nurturing love requires abiding in the Holy Spirit. Continued prayer and dependence on Him is absolutely necessary in order to love our children the way we should.
Pray for God to help you guide and redirect negative behaviors in your child with love, gentleness, and grace. And pray that God will show you in specific ways how He is working in your child's heart already.
If we choose not to pray about specific issues or circumstances, we are admitting that we don't need or want God's help. It's like saying that we know better or prefer our way over His. The only way we can win our children's hearts to God is through His way, not ours.
1 John 4:11 and Hebrews 12:11 are great verses to keep in mind when dealing with tough situations with your kiddos.
Remember, God is love, and He can help us to love our children like He does.
This post is inspired by training I have received from Bible Study Fellowship's Children's Program.
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