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Speaking Tenderly to My Children

I am resolved to speak tenderly to my children, especially when they disobey. This morning I had a semi-quiet moment while I was outside hanging the diapers. I prayed for God’s mercy to help me through the day, especially in the area of speaking tenderly to my children. Throughout the day I prayed for more mercy and grace.

angry faceIt’s become more and more apparent that I don’t speak to my children with tenderness, especially when they are being disciplined. I find myself raising my voice and even though I can’t see myself when I’m angry, I’m sure I don’t look very good right there and then. Perhaps in the midst of my anger, I should stop and look at myself in the mirror so I can see how ugly or scary my expression is. I don’t think anyone looks good when they are angry, yet this is what my children see. I don’t want to model this for my children as they are learning how to be little gentlemen and ladies.

A while back when my husband was apologizing to my older child for speaking harshly to him, my son looked at him and quoted Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath.” That was very sobering. He actually understood that verse and applied it well. Thanks to the My ABC Bible Verses book we’ve been reading to him. We desire to raise up our children to be godly people who fear the Lord and we must first model this for them.

Posted in Motherhood.


8 Responses

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  1. Liz Rafferty says

    Ok, I am commenting again, but the silence in response to my comments is deafening! 🙂

    I am so with you Lois!!! I am learning this as well. I couldn’t agree with you more. One of our goals (and to be honest I think this is at the very top) of our child training and rearing has to be to have our children’s hearts. I believe that unless they believe that we want the very best for them, we may be able to get them to obey, indeed, they may be very obedient, until… they are old enough. Then they will most likely rebel. Who do we as adults tend to listen to? Isn’t it usually those whom we know care about us, and love us, and speak to us in a way we can hear it?

    Gods word seems to confirm this idea. In our bathroom (where correction happens) I have a piece of paper with several scriptures listed to remind myself to be gentle (my sweet sister Rebecca made it for me).
    It says…

    It is written:

    We must be gentle

    Galatians 6:1
    “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”

    Colossians 3: 12-13
    “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

    We cannot be angry

    James 1: 19-20
    “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

    Galatians 5: 17-23
    “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

    We must persevere under trial

    James 1:12
    “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

    I try to go over these verses before I administer any discipline. I don’t always but just having it in there I see it every-time. It is a great reminder how I am to conduct myself.

    God bless you Lois, I will pray for you about this. Please keep me in your prayers as well.

    Liz

  2. Lois says

    Liz,

    Thank you so much for your suggestion. I think I’m going to commit those verses to memory. You know what? After trying all day yesterday to speak tenderly and gently with my kids, I find myself being a more patient and loving person. There’s something about speaking calmly with them. It changes me. My kids are more enjoyable to me when I’m tender to them. Thanks again for your encouragement.

    You should start a blog! I think you already have one, don’t you? You just need to start writing!

  3. Stacy says

    Thanks for sharing this! An apt encouragement.
    And we also love the ABC Bible Verses book.
    Blessings,
    Stacy

  4. Liz Rafferty says

    Well I was a total failure in general today, but especially in this area. Please pray for me. I am going to memorize those verses too. Great idea. I think I will have the kids memorize a couple as well.

    God Bless,
    Liz

  5. laurie says

    I am trying to speak tenderly to my children as well lately. Anger has been a chronic issue in my parenting. I hate it about myself. Still, this issue keeps me close to the Cross whether it be to cry out for forgiveness, cry out for change, or cry out for mercy on my poor kids behalf.
    It is good to hear the testimony of one who is walking in victory. It builds my faith to cooperate in the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification in this area.
    Thanks for writing it.

  6. Evers says

    Walking in victory is probably too generous a description for either of us. Striving to walk this way, is probably better.

    Above all, we are thankful for God’s mercy that He has not left us ignorant in our sin. As Dan Phillips mentions in his post on teampyro today, John Owen put it well when he wrote (revised by R.K. Law):

    To be given up to our own heart’s lusts and to be left to walk according to our own ideas is as dreadful a condition as a creature is capable of falling into in this world.

  7. Evers says

    Perhaps I should be more clear. Speaking for myself, I struggle with raising my voice in anger or annoyance almost every moment of every day.

    My wife is to be much commended that she hasn’t completely lost all self-control every day. Four little ones — including two very active boys and two combative toddlers — are no walk on the beach.

    Thanks be to God that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And that he sweetly and firmly commends us not to walk according to our strength, or in fear of judgment; but with our eyes set on the grace of the cross. May we who have died to sin put it to death more and more every day!

  8. Lois says

    Liz – I was such a failure yesterday and today. I tried my best but it’s sooo hard. Thankfully God’s mercy is made new everyday. It’s a daily struggle for me and I really need to train myself to be more tender and godly. I remembered you today in the midst of my trial. May God help us and mold her to His likeness.

    Laurie – Thank you for your comment. It also helps to know that others such as you are in the same path. Sometimes I feel like I’m all alone in this. Thank you for your transparency and encouragement.



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