How To Get Your Kids to Listen To You

Wednesdays in the Word

Ecclesiastes 9:17 “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.”

Matthew Henry says “What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be heard in quiet and calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it.”
Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child – a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying. When we as moms go on a long rant about something the child has done wrong – we may feel better because we got our feelings out – but our child has not been brought any closer to wisdom and understanding.

Surprisingly, when we harshly tell our children we do not like something they are doing – all they hear is – “you don’t like me”- period. It’s the harshness that accompanies the correction that causes the child to take personal offense and not listen.
So here’s an application for us all. Practice using your “nice” voice when you say your child’s name. Sometimes our children’s names are turned into a snarl when they are making us angry or not coming when they are called. Rather than shout, scream, snarl and get unpleasant – commit to using your children’s names in a fond and pleasant manner. Using self-control with how you say their name, will help you break through the ice and begin a respectful dialogue where you can be heard.
You may just find that your pearls of wisdom are more easily accepted when you speak to your children in a gentle, quiet voice. God will be pleased and I can guarantee that you will feel better about yourself as a mom!

Walk with the King!
For more on the book of Ecclesiastes, Kristi over at Run, Watch, Play, Wait has started a series in this book of the Bible – check it out!

Why Me?

Wednesdays in the Word: Ecclesiastes 8

I hold my 6 week old baby in the rocking chair. He is restless and crying so I cuddle him in and begin to nurse. He drinks for a moment and then cries. What is wrong – why is he doing this? He latches on again for a couple minutes and then stops to cry…we do this for 45 minutes and now I am sweating, unsure of myself and uneasy with how nursing is going. We stop and I just rock him. He is peaceful. We rock. He sleeps.

I go to my computer and google “baby crying during nursing”. I call my sisters – we discuss it – but I still don’t find my answers. He awakes, we again nuzzle into our chair and I bring him to my breast. Again he cries and fusses. No one told me this would be so hard?

It’s Easter Sunday – I am so proud to bring my new baby out into public for the world to see – but I have a dark secret…our nursing sessions are stressful. I head up to my old bedroom in my parent’s house where I try to nurse him but he refuses to eat. Tears well up in my eyes – what is wrong with me – what is wrong with him – what do I do?

I sit with the lactation consultant at the hospital. She weighs him and then I nurse him for 45 minutes and then she weighs him again…I wait to hear how much milk he took in… he took in 1 ounce. “1 oz – 1 oz – 1 oz in 45 minutes!!! What have I done? My sweet baby boy is starving!” He is immediately given formula – I go home weeping. Weeping over my first failure as a mother.

Have you ever laid in bed awake at night and wondered – Why me? I don’t understand these circumstances God? Have you ever felt like a failure – like the rest of the world has it figured out and you are the only one who just can’t seem to pull it together? Your will and determination just simply aren’t enough? Your 2 year old won’t let you buckle them in the car, your 3 year old bites, your four year old hits, your 10 year old struggles with reading, your teenager is defiant, or your grown child is making poor decisions and you sit there helpless.

Ecclesiastes 8:14 says “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.”

Have you ever seen a mom of little ones dying of cancer, a young child’s life snuffed out in a car accident, a noble man losing his job while a wicked man succeeds. Do you look around and ask what’s up with this lopsided world? It doesn’t make sense?

Solomon, the wisest man on earth admits in Ecclesiastes 8:16 and 17 there are some things we will never understand on this side of heaven. He says “When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man’s labor on earth – his eyes not seeing sleep day or night – then I saw all that God has done. NO one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.
No amount of lost sleep can help us comprehend what God is doing. Though we can put entire libraries on a tiny micro-chip – our human minds will never be able to solve the mysteries of God’s works. So what do we do?

“Cast all your anxious thoughts on him because he cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7) I remember laying in my bed one night crying over my motherhood failures and saying over and over until I fell asleep – “he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you.” When Satan tempts you to believe otherwise – speak his truth until you find peace. Peace washed over my soul and on a tear drenched pillow I found rest. If you are asking God “Why me?” Stop asking and remember his truth – “He cares for you“- rest in this truth today.

Walk with the King!

A Good Reputation: Ecclesiastes 7

Wednesday in the Word:
Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.”

When you think of these names what do you think of?
Mary Mother of Jesus
Mother Theresa
Beth Moore
I am sure that each name evoked an emotion within you based on their reputation. If your name was in that list would it be a “good name?”
Ecclesiastes says that “a good name is better than fine perfume”. When someone is wearing fine perfume and you sit down beside them – you say “wow, what are you wearing?” – you enjoy their aroma. In the same way, when you rub up against a person with a “good name” you say – “wow, I see God in you. I enjoy being in your presence.” You are drawn to that person.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 goes on to say that “the day of death is better than the day of birth.” In our worldly minds we would probably beg to differ – but think for a moment – those who attend a funeral are sober and thinking about the reality of the brevity of life – while those at a party can become foolish and do things they regret (and reap a “bad name”) because they were only living in the moment.
Having a reputation for godliness, wisdom and piety is FAR better than pursuing all the worldly pleasures we vainly pursue. We ought to pursue a “good name” because in the end – on the day of death – we will not be judged by man’s view of our name but God’s view. Is your name better than fine perfume?

Today, pursue Godliness…pursue God…be sober minded and consider what is your reputation and how can you shine like a light so others will see the love of God in you and praise his name?
I thought this song was appropriate for this verse. I have it downloaded on my ipod and play it as my cool down song after a long run. It’s sobering.

Walk with the King!

Are You Craving for Somthing More? Ecclesiastes 6

Wednesdays in the Word

An elderly woman lays in her bed wrinkled and weary from 83 years of labor, toil, joys and griefs. Her husband sits beside her holding her hand. The hospice nurse is close by and they are waiting…waiting for her to pass onto eternity’s shore. Moments pass…she takes her last breath…like a vapor here today and gone tomorrow, she is gone.
Have you ever thought at night as you lie in bed – this is all I take into eternity with me…one day I will pass and be left bare. I have. My husband and I have actually discussed it multiple times while laying in bed. Though we may be surrounded by a room of loved ones we each will make this journey alone, with no bags packed for our journey – nothing to offer God but what we have done for our Savior on this earth.

This earth is a crazy place. It’s so easy to be sucked into meaningless vain things.
Ecclesiastes 6:7-9 says “All man’s efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied. What advantage has a wise man over a fool? What does a poor man gain by knowing how to conduct himself before others? Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Whether you are the President of a huge company or a college student working part-time to eat at McDonald’s – we all work for one thing – food. It’s amazing how our appetite for food drives us. We can eat a massive breakfast and be stuffed to the gills and by lunch be hungry all over AGAIN! Our hunger drives us. Wealth is the same. It never satisfies – we always have a craving for more. No matter what material thing you choose to fill your void in your soul – it will be lacking.
It’s amazing how as a parent I can clearly see that a “Happy Meal” at McDonald’s makes my children happy for about 1 hour max! Then they completely forget about the toy and the next time we are at McDonald’s guess what they want AGAIN – a “Happy Meal” and I want them to feel happy so I buy it for them! Well, as adults our “happy meals” just get bigger and more expensive. We continue to need a fix…a nice dinner out, a new outfit, a new car, or a new house! What’s your fix – what makes you content for about 1 week and then you want more?
Ecclesiastes 5:19 says “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions and ENABLES him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a GIFT of God.”
I know you have many gifts – this computer you read on is a gift. God says in the verse above that he wants to give us the ability to enjoy the gifts he has given us. But if we are always craving more – are we ever able to just enjoy what we have?
Pause and remember – we go into eternity with absolutely nothing packed in a suitcase – only the deeds we have done for the glory of God. Today – shut out the noise of this world – tune into the voice of God speaking softly in your ear…he says stop “chasing after the wind”. Be content with the good gifts he has blessed you with.
Walk with the King!