Monday, July 28, 2008

How to Provoke a Child to Wrath

Number one, by over-protection. Fence them in; never trust them; don’t give them the opportunity to develop independence, and deprivation will instill an angry mood. Parents must give children room to express themselves, to discover their world, to try a new adventure, gradually releasing them to live independently. Let the rope out. Over-protection frustrates and angers a child. We live in a world where that’s a tendency among Christians—to keep them under your control all the time. You have to be very careful about that or they become exasperated.

Secondly, you can do it by favoritism. Isaac favored Esau over Jacob—Rebecca favored Jacob over Esau, and the sad results are well-known. Don’t compare them against each other. They’re each unique. Love them the same without special regard for each…no respective persons. If a child feels that you love another in that family more, that is a very, very frustrating experience.

Thirdly, you can cause a child to become angry by setting unrealistic achievement goals. Some parents, literally, crush their children with pressure. Pressure to excel in school, pressure to excel in sports, in music, in any activity they do. And it really has little to do with the child and everything to do with the reputation that the parent wants. This becomes very frustrating when the child has no sense of having reached the goal, no sense of having fulfilled an expectation…it leads to being angry and bitter. I have dealt with such children who have killed themselves. I think of one girl in particular who killed herself to get her parents off her back. She never could accomplish enough to satisfy them, and she was so angry, she wanted to hurt them in the most profound way she could, so she took her life so they would have to live with the pain of causing that…devastating.

[Fourthly], you can frustrate your child to anger by over-indulgence. By giving them everything they want; by picking up after them always; by allowing them to throw all responsibility and accountability on others. You can exasperate them by letting them sin and get away with it so they learn to do that successfully. Ultimately, when they face the world and people don’t serve them and don’t take all the responsibility for them and for their misdeeds, they will get angry and bitter and violent. It’s just exactly the kind of generation we’re seeing raised today.

Fifthly, you can exasperate your child by discouragement and I think that comes in two ways: lack of understanding and lack of reward because both of those destroy motivation and they destroy incentive. You must understand your children. Understand what they’re thinking. Understand what they’re trying to accomplish. Understand why a certain thing happened, why a certain behavior occurred, why a certain incident went a certain way. Grant them a listening ear and an understanding heart and reward them graciously and generously with love. Give them approval and honor and be patient with them or they get very defeated and discouraged and that turns to anger.

You can provoke your children to anger, number six, by failing to sacrifice for them. In other words, by making the child feel like he’s constantly an intrusion into your life, constantly an interruption, always a bother…you want to do what you want to do. You and your husband want to go where you want to go—you just farm these kids out somewhere. Leave them. Let somebody else take care of them. You’re not about to change your lifestyle—you’re going to do what you want to do. You’re going to have your fun and your pleasure and the kids are just going to have to fend for themselves. Leave them; make them prepare their own meals. Don’t take them places because you can’t be bothered with them, and they will resent your being uncaring, unavailable, and self-centered. One of the things that I’m so very thankful for in my own family is Patricia’s devotion to our children: all the years when they were growing up in the home. Many years when I had to be going and traveling and she refused to do that because she wanted to be with those children all the time.

Number seven, you can provoke your children to anger by failing to allow for some growing up. What does that mean? Let them goof up a little. Let them make mistakes. So they knocked something over at the table—laugh it off! They get don’t quite have the manual dexterity yet, or the coordination. Give them a little job and they do it in an unacceptable way, but it’s a little bit of progress, commend them. Let them share some of their ridiculous ideas. Let them plan some silly things to do and do them. Don’t condemn them. Just expect progress, not perfection. The best of men are not perfect.
The New York Tech, many years ago, defeated Rensselaer Poly (Polytechnic), 21-8. In that game, the only Rensselaer touchdown was set up by a sixty-three yard pass-play, says the newspaper. On the play, there appeared to be a breakdown in the Tech defense. The next week, when reviewing the films, Tech coach, Marty Senall (sp.), noticed that the defensive back on the play, freshman John Smith, stood frozen on one spot while the Receiver flew by his for the winning touchdown. "Hey Smitty! Why didn’t you move?" the coach yelled. "I couldn’t. My contact lens had just popped out and I covered it with my foot, waiting for a time to put it back. If I had left the spot, I never would have found it again in that grass. And, my parents would have killed me for losing it!" Now, I’m telling you, when you’re in the "big game" and you live with that much fear of your parents, you’ve got a problem. Let your kids fail. They’re going to lose things. Hey, I remember when Matt flushed my watch down the toilet. I said, "Why did you do that?" He said, "I just wanted to see what it would look like, going down." Did I spank him? No. In fact, I wished I’d have been there. I’d like to see what it looked like when it was going down. Allowed for a little growing…for a few experiments.

Number eight, you can provoke your children to anger by neglect. If there’s any biblical illustration of this, it’s probably David and Absalom. David spent no time with him, no time shaping him, and Absalom ultimately hated his father with a passion. He tried to pull a coup to dethrone his father and take his place. Neglect—and the worse kind of neglect: lack of consistent discipline. That’s the worst kind of neglect. I’m not talking about the neglect of time and things; I’m talking about the neglect of discipline. Teach them, discipline them…consistently using the rod in love.

Number nine, you can provoke your children to anger by abusive words. You understand that a little child has a very limited vocabulary and you have a very comprehensive one. Verbal abuse is a terrible thing. A barrage of well-chosen words from your adult vocabulary can cut that little heart to shreds. What is as devastating as anything are words of anger, words of sarcasm, or words of ridicule. Frankly, we say things to our children, we would never say to anybody else.

And, lastly, by physical abuse. An angry child is often a beaten, abused, overzealously punished child usually from an angry, vengeful parent who only cares that he has been inconvenienced or irritated—not that the child needs correction for his own good.
Well, those are some very simple, practical things. If you want to provoke your child to anger, you can do it by overprotection, favoritism, setting unrealistic achievement goals, over-indulgence, discouragement, failing to sacrifice for them so that they can see your love, failing to allow for them to grow up by neglecting firm, consistent, loving discipline, by abusive words, and physical abuse as well. Don’t do that.

Taken from:
A Crash Course in Christian Parenting
by John MacArthur

Copyright 1997

Friday, July 25, 2008

A ReMarkable Poem

Too Young to Die

I loved to run through those fields
on those warm summer days.
Then to jump in that lake
that was so cool and clear.

I still remember everyday that I walked
through the woods behind my house.
I can still see the creek that I followed.
I can hear those birds that always sang for me.

That time I fell asleep outside.
I was lying down and watching the stars.
They always seemed to put on a show for me.
It seemed like it was all yesterday. I wished it were.

It’s hard for me to forget those cold days
When I stayed inside next to the fire.
Looking out occasionally at the blanket of snow,
But quickly returning to my chair to dream about summer.

I always loved watching spring arrive.
Watching the flowers, seeing the bees
Always hard at work and never ending.
Seeing that hive dripping with honey.

The golden syrup, oh, so sweet,
Many times that taste was on my tongue.
Oh, how I loved those mornings.
The sun was always waiting when I awoke.

So many things I did.
So many things I’ll never forget.
So many more things I could’ve done.
I thought I was too young to die.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

That Didn't Sound Right???

I thought I would share a little funny story:

Phoebe and I take turns praying each night. The other night it was her turn. She asked if I had any prayer request. I told her that I didn't have anything new, but mentioned that I hoped I could sleep better that night.

She went ahead and said her prayer. It the middle of the prayer she decided to pray for me. She was praying that I would get better rest. But technically she said,

"I pray that Mark sleeps well tonight and that he doesn't wake up..."

I was wondering what she meant by that.

After a short pause she said, "...until morning."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

God and Gas!

I normally don't turn the TV on on Sunday mornings. But today, I did. I was flipping through the channels and I came across Smiley. No not Miley, but the smiley preacher. You may know him by Joel Olsteen. While I haven't read his books nor have I listened to an entire sermon speech of his. I have seen a couple interviews and quotes. And that's been enough to know that he's not that scriptural.

This morning I just happened to flip the channel when he took a breath and then he said,

"God will give you better gas mileage."

I don't know the context of his paragraph around this. He did say, before I got him turned off,

"He [God] will keep you out of rush hour."

Now, I know that God is capable. But I haven't seen these in the Bible nor do I feel that these are things that he is just wanting us to pray for.

I would rather ask that He keep supplying peace, giving abundant life and keeping us out of temptation.

My Money Saving Tip

More often friends have been asking for advice on finances. Ideas on investments, ways to save while shopping, and even frugal family activities. I'm not sure why I'm the one most asked, but I love to share ideas.

I thought I would share a few ideas from time to time. Especially since I haven't really blogged in a long while.

My tip: Price Points

Price points is a term I learned in retailing, i think. I have a weird memory when it comes to numbers so this is easy for me. But I recommend writing down the items that you use the most. Maybe a top ten or more. The more you keep track of the more you save.

Once you get your list, keep track of the prices. Over several weeks prices always fluctuate in the grocery isle. Once you find the lowest price point then you stock up on the item.

I know this doesn't work with milk, eggs, or produce since they won't keep very long in the pantry. I do get joked about when the word is out that I just bought 25 cans of spaghetti sauce.

This price point method will save you hundreds in a years time.

We use this for meat (we freeze) and any dry good that can be stored.

I'll give you an example on how much you can save in a short time:

Frozen boneless chicken breast: Reg: 3lbs/6.97 PP:3lbs/4.99
Saves: $2 a bag We have 3-4 bags a time

Manwich (name brand) reg: $1 PP: .50
We bought 20 cans and saved $10

Spaghetti sauce (name brand) reg: .92 PP: .69
We bought 25 cans and saved 5.75

Canned veggies (off brand) Reg: .50 PP: .39
We by a mixture of 50 cans. Saves $5.50

These are a few examples to see what you can do. I hope this helps. I would love to hear ways that you save or you thoughts on this