For instance…I have a background in physical therapy…and yes I have confidence in my skils. BUT that is NOT my passion, nor do I strive to be the best in my field. I stive to do well, but my drive in life is not that, YET I have an exuberant amount of confidence in my skill set and knowledge base. I am always willing and ready to learn and enjoy the challenge. All this to say my confidence in my skills comes from learning and dedicating years to school and then years to practice.
When I think about the confidence I have in discipleship or even my walk with Christ it pales in comparison to the confidence I have in my PT skill set. Maybe you are in the same boat? Maybe you feel the same way and maybe you are like me in that IT IS NOT OK!!!!! So what do you do about it?
Hopefully, you will be able to pick up a few tools to put in your belt and use them when needed. I have found the more I dig and try the more I grow and learn.
So practically what does discipleship look like? Let’s look at what Titus 2:3-5 says:
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
v.3- Older woman and younger woman- we discussed that last post.
Their/ our behavior is crucial because we reflect, end of v5, God! Our goal? To teach and train to bring glory to God. Two things will happen when we do this. One, our daughters will learn a pattern of righteousness and two non-believers will see the gospel fleshed out in our lives and in the lives of our daughters.
When I spoke with my youth and their moms I spoke to both parties that trust in their relationship with each other is crucial. As a parent we have the responsibility to teach, but we also must be gentle and loving about it. Yes, there will be times when discipline comes in and that it will be harsh, but there will be many more times that non-conflict training will be present.
1. We must not make conflict out of confusion or questions.
Our teens are facing things that you and I never faced in high school and middle school. If you don’t believe me please read their FB page and friend’s FB pages. If your daughter asks you about something that is maybe something you are not prepared to answer or tells you she is struggling with something…DONT FREAK OUT! One thing I learned in my clinical rotations was how to control my facial expressions, granted I am still not stellar at this, ask my friends, but it is a skill I learning and perfecting!
Proverbs 15:1 says “A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 16:20-21 says, “Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD. The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.”
When we receive their question with an gentle and loving way, we allow a defenseless conversation to instill. If we freak out defenses go up and well you know the rest…usually it is a huge misunderstanding.
2. BE IN THEIR WORLD
I cannot emphasis this enough, and I cannot tell you the amount of women who tell me…”I trust my kids and dont need to have access to their accounts!” Or “My kid would never do that.” YET they are NOT even involved in their child’s online social life! Wake up parents…your kid may be ‘fine’ but the kids they are interacting with are not. (end rant) I dont want to be unloving sounding but the reality is that teens are exposed to and allowed access to much more than you think!
SO…Do you know their passwords? Do you randomly check their phones and messages? Do you know what Apps they have on their phones and what they are for? Do you have your own social media accounts that your kids are on? (are you all friends?) Side note: Don’t comment or like all your kid’s stuff or their friends’…that is not cool! Stay current! Focus on the Family has great online resources for social media platforms as well as Blogs like moretobe.com, and The gospel Coalition.
Take time to read current article about social media platforms.
3. BE INTENTIONAL
Do things with a goal. Look at Titus 2 again- there are specific things mentioned, such as teach to love their husband, and their children, be self-controlled…though your child doesn't have a husband you can still model solid biblical wifeyness! Be a good example of submission, show love through how you care for you home and family. In those three things you can expand a very long list. If you are not sure what that looks like, allow an older woman to teach you!
Here are a few:
Submission: respecting your husband in words, tone and action. Affirming your husband, loving on your husband in front of your kids…to name a few
Our kids will model our behavior…right you have heard it I am sure…’you sound like your mother’ Your choice will that be a good thing or a bad thing? :)
Self-Control- in our diet choices, in how we respond and react to conflict, in our daily walk with the Lord, in anger, in emotions…
In all goal setting advices I have received the same thread runs in each one…start small don’t set yourself up for failure and do too much all at once.
One day at a time. Set your goal to model one thing better for your daughter, like focusing in on them 100% when they talk, or holding your tongue when you don’t agree with your husband and your tendency is to fly off the handle in front of the kids. Write one goal for you and one goal for your daughter. Tell her you have a goal for her and hear her input…then get to work!
Take time to sit with her and talk or cook something together. Teach her how to sew or learn a new hobby together. Nothing is more valuable than being intentional to train her up in righteousness so that the gospel will go forth and God be glorified.