Thursday, July 31, 2014

Provoking to Anger

Have you ever been in the presence of a child who is fearful?  He/she doesn't make a move without first glancing at a parent for instruction.

How about a child who RUNS FREE like a wild child as soon as a parent is out of sight...but clams up when they are close by?

A child who is too afraid to ask for things?

A child who is so resigned to being dismissed that they don't even bother trying any longer?

Have you ever been convicted by the Holy Spirit that your parenting style on any given day or during any given season might not be of the Lord even though you are a believer?   That you might be operating in the flesh?  

I certainly have.  My husband certainly has.   

There is one gospel.  For ALL people.  Biblical principles apply to ALL of humanity.  No matter where we come from.  No matter our histories.  Our struggles.  Our trials.  Our wounds.  

We do not parent each of our children in exactly the same way because they are individuals...with individual needs.  But as believers...we operate within a Biblical framework.  

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.             Ephesians 6:4

Ways Parents Provoke

John MacArthur


In Ephesians 6:4, Paul writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” In our series these last two weeks, we’ve looked at both discipline (specifically, spanking) and instruction (specifically, evangelism). Today, we will look at the command to not provoke.
To “provoke . . . to anger” suggests a repeated, ongoing pattern of treatment that gradually builds up a deep–seated anger and resentment that boils over in outward hostility.
Such treatment is usually not intended to provoke anger. Here are eight ways in which parents can provoke their children to anger:
1) Well–meaning overprotection is a common cause of resentment in children. Parents who smother their children, overly restrict where they can go and what they can do, never trust them to do things on their own, and continually question their judgment build a barrier between themselves and their children—usually under the delusion that they are building a closer relationship. Children need careful guidance and certain restrictions, but they are individual human beings in their own right and must learn to make decisions on their own, commensurate with their age and maturity. Their wills can be guided but they cannot be controlled.
2) Another common cause of provoking children to anger is favoritism. Isaac favored Esau over Jacob and Rebekah preferred Jacob over Esau. That dual and conflicting favoritism not only caused great trouble for the immediate family but has continued to have repercussions in the conflicts between the descendants of Jacob and Esau until our present day! For parents to compare their children with each other, especially in the children’s presence, can be devastating to the child who is less talented or favored. He will tend to become discouraged, resentful, withdrawn, and bitter.
Favoritism by parents generally leads to favoritism among the children themselves, who pick up the practice from their parents. They will favor one brother or sister over the others and will often favor one parent over the other.
3) A third way parents provoke their children is by pushing achievement beyond reasonable bounds. A child can be so pressured to achieve that he is virtually destroyed. He quickly learns that nothing he does is sufficient to please his parents. No sooner does he accomplish one goal than he is challenged to accomplish something better. Fathers who fantasize their own achievements through the athletic skills of their sons, or mothers who fantasize a glamorous career through the lives of their daughters prostitute their responsibility as parents.
I once visited a young woman who was confined to a padded cell and was in a state of catatonic shock. She was a Christian and had been raised in a Christian family, but her mother had ceaselessly pushed her to be the most popular, beautiful, and successful girl in school. She became head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and later a model. But the pressure to excel became too great and she had a complete mental collapse. After she was eventually released from the hospital, she went back into the same artificial and demanding environment. When again she found she could not cope, she committed suicide. She had summed up her frustration when she told me one day, “I don’t care what it is I do, it never satisfies my mother.”
4) A fourth way children are provoked is by discouragement. A child who is never complimented or encouraged by his parents is destined for trouble. If he is always told what is wrong with him and never what is right, he will soon lose hope and become convinced that he is incapable of doing anything right. At that point he has no reason even to try. Parents can always find something that a child genuinely does well, and they should show appreciation for it. A child needs approval and encouragement in things that are good every bit as much as he needs correction in things that are not.
5) A fifth way provocation occurs is by parents’ failing to sacrifice for their children and making them feel unwanted. Children who are made to feel that they are an intrusion, that they are always in the way and interfere with the plans and happiness of the parents, cannot help becoming resentful. To such children the parents themselves will eventually become unwanted and an intrusion on the children’s plans and happiness.
6) A sixth form of provocation comes from failing to let children grow up at a normal pace. Chiding them for always acting childish, even when what they do is perfectly normal and harmless, does not contribute to their maturity but rather helps confirm them in their childishness.
7) A seventh way of angering children is that of using love as a tool of reward or punishment—granting it when a child is good and withdrawing it when he is bad. Often the practice is unconscious, but a child can sense if a parent cares for him less when is he disobedient than when he behaves. That is not how God loves and is not the way he intends human parents to love. God disciplines His children just as much out of love as He blesses them. “Those whom the Lord loves He disciplines” (Heb. 12:6). Because it is so easy to punish out of anger and resentment, parents should take special care to let their children know they love them when discipline is given.
8) An eighth way to provoke children is by physical and verbal abuse. Battered children are a growing tragedy today. Even Christian parents—fathers especially—sometimes overreact and spank their children much harder than necessary. Proper physical discipline is not a matter of exerting superior authority and strength, but of correcting in love and reasonableness. Children are also abused verbally. A parent can as easily overpower a child with words as with physical force. Putting him down with superior arguments or sarcasm can inflict serious harm, and provokes him to anger and resentment. It is amazing that we sometimes say things to our children that we would not think of saying to anyone else—for fear of ruining our reputation!
In closing, consider the confession of one Christian father,

My family’s all grown and the kids are all gone. But if I had to do it all over again, this is what I would do. I would love my wife more in front of my children. I would laugh with my children more—at our mistakes and our joys. I would listen more, even to the littlest child. I would be more honest about my own weaknesses, never pretending perfection. I would pray differently for my family; instead of focusing on them, I’d focus on me. I would do more things together with my children. I would encourage them more and bestow more praise. I would pay more attention to little things, like deeds and words of thoughtfulness. And then, finally, if I had to do it all over again, I would share God more intimately with my family; every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day I would use to direct them to God.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What Adoption Costs

What Adoption Costs...

...this post made me cry. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guest Blogger / Galilee

What is RAD?

RAD is sin.  It's core is pride.  Always thinking of oneself.  Selfishness.  One way attaching struggles shows itself is through controlling behavior.  RAD is hell, a burning pit full of fire.  It is a lack of trust.  It is anger.  It is habitual like an addiction that needs to be broken.

What's it like living with attachment struggles?

These struggles are sad, unpleasing, stressful, painful, lonesome, and frustrating.  The struggle can cause anger, hard-heartedness,  and bitterness in the person who is sinning and the people who are dealing with them.  

Why are you led to share your experiences with others?

Because it is the story God gave me.  I'm not ashamed to tell it.  I may help someone else who is going through the same struggles.   I am accepting my past/early life.  God gave me a beautiful life.  Hopefully I can help others as I fight this battle with trust issues and learn to submit to HIM. 

All The Good Things

Yeah, the more any gracious heart is very active and busy in the work of God, so he is very active and busy in sanctifying God's name in the affliction that befalls him.

The difference is very clear:  The one whose disposition is quiet is not as disquieted as others are, but neither does he show any activeness of spirit to sanctify the name of God in his affliction.  But, on the other hand, he whose contentment is of grace is not disquieted and keeps his heart quiet with regard to vexation and trouble, and at the same time is not dull or heavy but very active to sanctify God's name in the affliction that he is experiencing.

-The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Oh this book!  It's so so so so good.

I think we all know how to buck up and put on a happy face.  We have one time or another...made decisions to present a picture to the world that says "we are okay"...because gasping for air....or moaning...or sobbing...just doesn't seem appropriate.   At the core... we are much  "more Godly" than that.  

What would people think if we were honest?  Completely honest.

What if they knew that we doubted God?  That we doubted His goodness? 

Been there done that.  

The facade can only stand so long.

Our actions betray us.  Inside our homes.  Our family knows.  Our intimates know.   They so know.

Then...if we are grace...the Lord brings us to face to face with Himself.

He deals with us.   And more often than not... we fight Him.  Because His dealings with us seem unfatherly. 

Then...sometimes in a moment...and sometimes after a long season...we see.  Our eyes are opened.

And we can tell of HIS goodness & all the good things we have been shown. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


It (contentment) is not opposed to making in an orderly manner our moan and complaint to God, and to our friends.  Though a Christian ought to be quiet under God's correcting hand, he may without any breach of Christian contentment complain to God. As one of the ancients says, Though not with a tumultuous clamour and shrieking out in a confused passion, yet in a quiet, still, submissive way he may unbosom his heart to God.  Likewise, he may communicate his sad condition to his Christian friends, showing them how God has dealt with him, and how heavy the affliction is upon him, that they may speak a word in season to his weary soul.

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
-Jeremiah Burroughs

We are so thankful for our friends who speak a word in season ...not only to our weary souls but to Girlie's as well.  They are a cherished gift.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hand Held Devices & Attachment

Attachment/RAD in the news.  This article.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Triggers = Opportunities

Russia is in the news.  Not in a good way.

Just hearing about a shot down passenger jet...war zone air space...the Russian invasion of a sovereign nation ...ears perk up around here.

When one of our kids stated dancing around the living room...singing a song celebrating the fact that she is not illegal but an actual American citizen and no longer there but here....I knew it was time to initiate a conversation. 

One of our adopted children came home from Russia.  The other from KazakhstanBoth countries are currently closed to foreign adoptions. 

Possibly forever.

Last night we talked about the sovereignty of our trustworthy Lord in making us a family when he did.  How His ways are perfect.  How His timing is perfect.

The Lord does not get ahead of Himself.  Nor does He tarry.   

How He is ultimately in control of the closed countries.  Of the leaders.  Of the kids.

How His plans will not be thwarted by man.   Not ever.

How He ...not we...plucked our kids out of the hell holes they were in and planted them forever in our hearts and in our family.

How nothing any member of our family ever does or could ever do...would absolve us from the  responsibility of us being a family or fulfilling our God-given roles within our family unit.   Even if our feelings went against our call.   Even if circumstances threatened or complicated the walking out of the call.  And how oftentimes...blood is not the binding matter when families are concerned. 

And then...when we examine our salvation!!!!!!  With thanksgiving and an overwhelming sense of humility we walk in the knowledge that nothing we ever did or could ever do...deserved such a magnificent & tangible picture of redemption to enter our lives.


It takes my breath away. 


One of the most difficult things to deal with when dealing with an individual who has attachment struggles is the level of control they attempt to exert over those with whom they interact.

Controlling behavior is not always easily recognizable.

Oftentimes it's subtle.

And...highly manipulative.

I honestly believe that when we see someone trying to control us or others...we are to confront the behavior head on.

He/she attempts to control the narrative.  Attempts to divide, isolate, and alienate.  Attempts to  rule by emotion or lack of emotion.  Hides in plain sight.  Plays the victim.  Distracts w/distress. Or...remains utterly aloof. Untouchable.  Unmovable. A fortress.  Impenetrable.

Call it out.

So that it can be rooted out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's ALL About Relationship

This article contains good info.  

As a home-educator who has managed our own home's classroom with 5 students and as a home-educating co-op teacher of classes which have varied in size up to a dozen or so students....I encourage you to get out of the box when it comes to cookie cutter education.

Academic education...arts education...behavioral education...emotional education...spiritual education...

Each and every one of us is woven together differently by a Master Weaver.

The goal is discovering what the Weaver had in mind when HE charged you with stewardship over His creation.

Home-Education post.   

Monday, July 14, 2014

Define Love re-post

I am led to re-post today

Define Love. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Miraculous Grace of Acceptance

This article.  Oh, this article!

Some struggles will be life long struggles.  No matter how much we'd like to think otherwise...they will be.  

Not always.  But sometimes.

And if this is the case for you and your family...take courage.  Every little thing has passed through the throne room of the Lord.  He has a purpose in it.

For our good and His glory. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

This boy...

...found him over on fb and he touched my heart today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014