Are You Child-training With the Right Motivation

Raising Godly children to please God, in obedience to His Word, is what we would say is our motivation. But, sometimes, we just want to see them behave themselves, and to believe that they’re going to be able to function in polite society some day! And, frankly, we just desperately want some peace in our home.

As an older mom, with grown children, and having been there and done that, let me encourage you to not only focus on outward behavioral changes, as wonderful as they are, but to train the heart attitudes and pursue, and pray for, true Godliness in the hearts of your children. 

We are brokenhearted and cry over the sinful attitudes we see in our children at times. We’re cut to the quick, knowing these same attitudes are in our hearts, and they probably learned from us. But, we focus on the externals, correct and discipline them and “put out fires,” when we see a new bad habit crop up, without getting at the heart attitude.

Your Home For God, Good behavior is great, but Godly character to please God is the goal in Child-training!
What are your child-training goals?

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In the post next week, I’ll share with you a list of Christian Parenting Books I Recommend, for raising Godly children and on Good Parenting, but here is a great one, that has stood the test of time. Hints on Childtraining, by Clay Trumbull, has been helping parents for over 100 years.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Parents

We’re absolutely certain that others are doing so much better than we are. We never see their kids act like this. Their kids would never do that! Other moms are way ahead of me, and I’m sure she never acts in that bad way which I just did. 

I don’t know if it’s good news or bad news, but these thoughts are simply not true. Every other mom is dealing with the same sinful heart issues as you. In her own heart, and in her kids. 

our child training goal should be to please God as Christians!
Are you pleasing God as a Christian?

They may come out in different behavioral issues. Some may be having more success in one area than another, but at some point, we all exhibit sinful heart attitudes and behavior, because we all are sinners!

Not to excuse it, but we need to recognize that sin is universal. Our focus needs to turn to Christ, His Word, and our own behavior. We have sinned against God, and God alone. What we need to train, in our children, and ourselves, is the heart, out of love for God and the fear of the Lord. 

Seeing a Friend Raising Godly Children

Tremendous peer pressure is felt by moms and a deep yearning desire in our hearts to find out how she did it, when we see another mom who seems to be raising Godly children! She has children who show respect to their parents, who speak and act kindly to one another, and seem to do it naturally, especially in public. It’s great to ask her for some tips!

But, let’s remember that we never see them in the privacy of their homes behind closed doors. All we know is how they act when others are around. I know that when this happened to me, the heart attitude simply didn’t matter to me, I just wanted our kids to behave like that. But, this is so unbiblical.

“Good behavior is great, but Raising Godly Children with hearts that desire to please God should be our true motivation!”

Wendy Gunn

Our problem arises when we, as parents, place importance on the outward (and expect “perfect”) behavior of our child above everything else, often because we care too much what people think of us.

This is Pharasaical behavior. Jesus harshly rebuked the Pharisees in the Bible for washing the outside of the cup, while the inside was filthy, referring to their wrong emphasis on outward behavior, rather than the heart attitudes.

Are We Hypocrites Raising Hypocrites?

Have you ever bribed your child with candy or treats in order to get them to behave the way you wanted in the grocery store?

As parents, we know how easy it is to act hypocritically. It’s so easy to walk in the door of church on Sunday morning, smiling at everyone, after we were just yelling in the car. And, we all know that if the phone rings, no matter WHAT we sounded like a minute ago, our Hello will be all sweetness! That is human nature! But, it’s the example our children will follow.

It’s not just our kids’ behavior we’re training, it’s our own. Our kids are watching us and will do what we do, no matter what we say. Let’s be quick to ask forgiveness of God and our family, when we act hypocritically. 

“Train in Love, Kindness, Gentleness, Patience, and Deference, in the home, with your own family, by Example, Teaching and Prayer.”

Wendy Gunn

So, what should we do when our child behaves badly, rudely interrupts, or embarrasses us by their behavior in front of someone else. Well, first, humble ourselves. We should be training at home, so then, when your child behaves badly outside, honestly say, “We’re working on this.” And, you are! 

Practice good behavior. Daily. At home. Discipline the attitude, not only the behavior. I mentioned in Raising Godly Kids that we need to take our children to the Scriptures, and show them what God thinks about their sin. And, call it by the name the Bible calls it. Let the Scriptures convict their conscience.

Get at and discipline the heart attitude. When you do, you won’t have to discipline the behavior and action very often. Study specific behaviors, attitudes and character traits in the Bible, that God desires in us, that are attributes of God, and encourage those, look for opportunities to train in them, and work on them, daily, weekly, monthly.

The motivation in their hearts, and ours–for Godly character–must be to please and obey our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, out of love for Him.

Let’s examine our motivation for raising Godly children. Can we be honest here? Why do we want our children to behave well, and exhibit Godly character? Here are 10 reasons I wanted my kids to behave well, at one time or another, and you might have, too, that are great, but, not the right motivation.

Are You Child-training With the Right Motivation Centered around our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
To please and obey our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

10 Results We Aim For Instead of Raising Godly Children

  • You are not training your children so that you can go out without them embarrassing you in public.
  • Little Johnny is not being trained to look adults in the eye when spoken to, and give a verbal response, rather than shaking his head or not responding at all, so that other adults will think highly of him (and praise his Godly parents).
  • Your children treating brothers and sisters as best friends, is not so that everyone will know and praise what a close-knit family you have.
  • The goal of training your children in Godly character is not so that your extended family will stop questioning why you Homeschool (or why you’ve made any of the other “weird” lifestyle choices you’ve made, because you felt led of the Lord to do so in obedience to His Word. It’s also not so that you’ll be validated in your choices and they’ll approve of you, no matter how good that feels.
  • Godly parenting principles aren’t so that your extended family and others will stop criticizing or questioning you about the number of children God’s given you (if you have a large family).
  • You don’t train your children so they will have self-confidence, or so they can look good to people.
  • The goal of Godly character training is not to someday win scholarships.
  • You haven’t succeeded in raising Godly children when your adult child is able to get a good job.
  • Though marriage to a Godly person is a wonderful goal, the goal of raising Godly children is not so they can marry a Godly person.
  • And, lastly, the goal of Godly character training isn’t so that your child can become well-known and successful.

Growing Spiritually, Becoming More Christ-like and Loving is the Goal

Our goal in raising Godly children is for our children to become more like Christ, grow closer to Him, and love Him and others. Our motivation should be to please God, in obedience to His Word. We need to ask God to produce this desire and motivation in our hearts, if it isn’t there.

It’s the Holy Spirit’s work to give us and our children this kind of heart. We can ask Him to do it, though, knowing it is God’s will. Study the Bible to find the character traits that God is pleased with. Identify the sinful opposites. Train in one character trait monthly, or longer, talk about what it looks like, what is expected, and focus on positives.

Discipline and talk about heart attitudes, and motivations, before they become actions. Ask God for help daily. Pray with your children, humbly crying out to God for the heart attitudes He desires in you.

Seek to please Him, first and foremost, and keep your eyes on Jesus, forgetting what others think. It’s a lifelong struggle, and I’m right there with you, still working on my own heart attitudes, even though our children are grown. Let me know what character you’re working on this month.

Do you know a mom who could use encouragement to focus on heart attitudes in her kids? Share this now on Facebook, in an Instagram post or on Twitter!

Have a Great Day Making Your Home For God!

Wendy Gunn at Your Home For God helps Christian women raise Godly kids, find & fulfill their purpose and achieve God's goals for their life.

I help Christian moms raise their kids according to Biblical principles, get organized to manage life, achieve their unique God-given goals and dreams, and fulfill God’s purpose for them to make a difference in the world through my workshops, courses, and coaching founded on Biblical principles. You are already successful in many areas. I can help you in those that you’re not. Dream big dreams, and see God transform and use your life in amazing ways! Let’s work together for your success!

In Your Home For God’s Store, discover resources to help you get organized, raise Godly kids, and have the support and encouragement to know who you are, know what God wants you to do to fulfill His purpose for your life, and achieve His unique goals for you!

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