The first verse that should be heard often in your house, especially if you have those who like to fight with each other is:
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
Our goal in life is to live as close to the way Christ did as possible, to be as much like Him as we can achieve while here on earth, so why not pattern our lives after God did- being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving? Children are going to fight and bicker, but I have learned that they really don't want to be mean. Not truly. Cultivate that desire by reminding them that their actions (meanness, not forgiving) are not just actions you don't like, but God doesn't like.
I see a lot of tattling in my home and it's always driven me crazy. I cannot stand children who tattle and I've seen adults even do it! Short of it being life threatening, I don't really want to hear that so and so took your toy! However, as a parent I can't just ignore them. In training them, though, I can guide them to resolve their own conflicts. I first share this verse:
"But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39
This is a great verse to share with the one who hit back because they were first hit. Of course, you deal with the child who threw the first punch, but they get a different verse! There is never an okay reason to hit (or kick, bite, pinch, steal a toy, color on someone else's page, and the list goes on and on and... well... you know....). It isn't easy, but it is ok to not retaliate.
What about the one who threw the punch first?
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12
Truthfully, this verse is great for both offenders. I simply ask the one who did the offense first if they would have liked it had it been the other way around. "Mistic, do you like it when someone pinches you?" No! is always the answer, so it leads to a great teaching moment of what God wants for us.
We don't have to deal with nasty name calling in our home, but we do have to work with making our voices nice and responding in a polite, loving way.
"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6
Wives and husbands, don't think this verse is strictly for the kids. This verse is one every single family needs to memorize! There's a right way to say something and a wrong way. There's a respectful way to say something and there's a disrespectful way to say something. Children are watching! Moms, if you were rude and mean to Dad earlier in the day, don't be surprised if little Johnny is rude to Sally later in the day! It starts with us!
Kids are notorious for not wanting to do what we want them to do. They don't want to eat their veggies, clean their room, or play with their siblings, but....
"Do all things without murmurings and disputings:" Philippians 2:14
And again, it's not just for the kids! Laundry, toilet cleaning, or submitting to God and our husbands it's a verse that everyone needs to know! Complaining and arguing can end if you realize that it's not God's will.
Since we are sinners there will always be an arguing spirit, ugly attitude, or an issue with forgiveness, but if we, as parents and children of God, would just submit to God's will and become doers of the word, and not hearers only (James 1:22) we would see a happier, healthier home. Children would see parents living God's will and would follow it as well.
Don't expect changes to happen overnight. Just reading a verse won't change their actions because it's a heart issue, but over time they will start understanding how they should act.
Do you have any verses that stand out in your parenting?
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