Monday, October 3, 2011

I Love to Know

Today's passage:  I Corinthians 8
     "...Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."
      I often say I am a fount of useless knowledge.  I know a little about a lot of things.  When I was younger, I may have come off as a know-it-all.  Maybe, even today, I still do.  What I have learned over the years, through God's love and help, is that knowing something doesn't mean a whole lot.  How that knowledge is applied is more important.  We call this wisdom.  But wisdom involves a whole lot of love.  Love for God, for His Word, for His direction.  How can I illustrate?
     My oldest son, who has mellowed a lot in recent years, was a handful to discipline from about 2 years to 5 years.  I was desperate for answers.  I thought I knew how to discipline.  I followed every Bible verse about sparing the rod and spoiling the child.  I couldn't understand why this boy was so incredibly stubborn.  Who would take spanking after spanking without relenting?  My husband and I were at a loss.  I grew tired of the advice to be consistent.  I was being consistent.  What was I doing wrong?  I read every Christian child rearing manual I could find, watched every DVD, listened to every audio CD on the subject, and I tried every method.  Nothing worked completely, but some things worked a little.  I wondered when the discipline would start "to take".  Then I came across some material that changed me.  What was my approach?  I was disciplining my child in knowledge, but was I disciplining him in love?  I thought I was.  I had failed to win this child's heart, and that was the key to unlocking how he behaved.  I confess, with all of his resistance, I started to become resentful of him.  I knew that was wrong, and I fought hard against it, but struggling hour after hour, where every thing was a fight, made it difficult not to feel this way.  I loved him, but I didn't like him very much, for a long time.  I started to make myself smile more, to ask him more sweetly, instead of ordering him, to keep my calm when handling the discipline.  I always started calmly, but after a half hour or so of still dealing with the same matter, I did lose my temper, on more than one occasion.  I cried myself to sleep, begging God for help when this happened. 
Courtesy of--

     As I changed my approach, I could see my son's behavior changing as well.  Now, I noticed that it bothered him more when he displeased me, something that didn't seem to make a bit of difference before.  Now, he succumbed to the correction quicker.  I am pleased to say that this approach has saved my relationship with my son.  It restored it.  I would never thought I could say that my oldest has a tender heart.  But he most definitely does.  I can't take all the credit.  God did a work in his heart and life as well when he accepted Christ.  I have no doubt that God allowed us to go through those trying times to hopefully be a help to others.  Nobody could give me the right advice, because it looked like I was doing everything right.  Nobody could see into my heart and see that I was doing it all wrong.  I was not disciplining my son from a place of love.  I was disciplining him from a place of power, authority, control.  These are not bad things by the way, but if not coupled with love,  they will get you nowhere.
     I had a lot of knowledge.  I had a lot of love.  But since I didn't apply this love to the knowledge I had, I nearly failed my son.  I'm thankful God was able to show me how to correct things, before it was too late.  I would hate to have not learned this lesson until his teenage years, and be unable to win him back.  Maybe somebody reading this has struggled the way I did.  You may know all the right things to do, but if you do not do them from a place of love, you will be unsuccessful.  I think I can safely say that carries into any part of our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder Stephanie. Very well put. Great piece, as always!


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