I'm always trying to come up with new and creative ways to encourage my children to behave in a manner which glorifies God.  Okay, that's the spiritual way to say it.  But often I simply want them to make "me" not look bad, especially in public. 

 

I have really good children for the most part. But there are times that things can get "out of sorts" around our house when it seems the children are fighting a little more than my comfort level would allow. Or they just don't seem to be as nice to each other.

 

Preaching at my children is something I have learned that I can do quite well.  I can lecture my children on the scale with any of the big time lecturers.  However, what I've found is that the children, will sometimes nod off as I'm lecturing to them. No, they don't close their eyes, but inside their heads, they are sound asleep. They merely look like they are paying attention.

 

I know this to be true because moments later, they are back at the same annoying problem which prompted the lecture in the first place. Plus, deep inside me I know that when I would receive a lecture from my parents, it made me feel very small inside. 

 

I don't like making my children feel small or insignificant. I also don't always want to be pointing out every little fault they have. I often would wish that God had assigned someone else to be the "watchful" eye of my children rather than me.  

 

One night I realized that He actually has. All eight of my children have now professed faith in Jesus Christ. And with that God is working from the inside of their hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit. Now that frees me up a bit because I know that He can speak to their hearts. I've seen it repeatedly in my children. 

 

Obviously this doesn't mean that my job as the parent is now complete.  On the contrary, my task is even greater in that I need to help my children learn the voice of God and to heed that voice in their lives. Just as I have a free will to disobey God, so do my children. Naturally, I don't want that to happen. 

 

Recently I took my children to see the Veggie Tales movie, "Jonah."  I thought it was a great way to show children the importance of obeying the voice of God.  To be quite honest with you, while I was watching the show I thought of a very long lecture to share with the children on the car ride home. 

I wanted them to be sure they understood this whole concept about obeying God.  Fortunately God saved me from myself and spared my poor children a very long ride home.  This is what happened...

 

After the movie, David raced to the van and seated himself in the front passenger seat.  After Briana got in she began to cry that she was planning to sit in the front seat. She went on and on about how she never gets to sit in the front seat and she had been looking forward to it. On and on she went.