When you hold your baby those first moments it’s hard to imagine there will be battles ahead. When I had my firstborn, my great aunt told me to enjoy all the moments, especially before she could walk and talk. I would learn soon enough that shortly after a toddler learns to talk, they learn to say no.
As time passes, and especially if other children join the family, it is easy to become weary of the discipline. Notoriously as soon as you start nursing the baby, the two year old decides to climb on a chair and into mischief. Your first efforts, verbal scolding and even cajoling, often do little to encourage a change in behavior.
The first obstacle is mustering the stamina and strength to deal with the endless battles each hour brings. The second is to keep your composure as a Christian mom while doing so.
Now that I have teens I see the importance of facing the battles, even and especially the ones we’ve faced and dealt with a hundred times before. I don’t want to face them. I don’t want to put the emotional effort into the barrage of excuses of why this particular rule doesn’t make sense.
But I’ve found discipline is worth fighting for, and though they aren’t quick to admit it, older teens respect you more for sticking to the rules you decided were worth fighting for. Several times after a battle, one of my teens has sent a text letting me know I am loved and they are just struggling.
It’s a pretty safe bet that if we don’t instill Christian values our kids aren’t going to “pick them up” elsewhere. The world and the army of evil are battling for our children.
We don’t discipline to make them into puppets or to earn favor or to make us look good. We discipline our children to teach God’s rules are not meant to be a burden, but a blessing. And we discipline to teach our children self-control and to look outside of their own interests to notice others. These are lifelong issues.
Even if our children turn away at some point, it is our job as Christian moms to stand firm. We love, certainly and unconditionally while continually standing on the truth of God’s ways.
When you don’t see the intended outcome with your 18 month, 2, 15 or 32 year old don’t give up, but rather pray and gently, but firmly press on, heeding the apostle Paul’s advice to the Galatians: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (6:9).
Press on and fight the battles. Your son(s) and daughter(s) are worth fighting for.
This article was written by Amber Swenson.
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