I just finished reading Don't Make Me Count to Three! by Ginger Plowman. I recommend it highly. I wish I had understood some of the very practical advice she gives better when my children were younger, though, knowing the me I was then, I'm not sure how teachable I would have been. As I look back, I see how very much insecurity and pride mingled together in my heart and how I bristled sometimes. My mom can attest to that, I am sure. Well, I want to be teachable now, and I pray I have not let some things go too late.
I know that we are to be training our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I aim to do this. I have always meant this for my home, but I have not always understood how to implement it as well as I should. I have always talked to my children about the Lord and His word, but I am seeing some ineffective and sinful parenting habits I've developed over the years that I wish I had not, and I'm seeing some areas where I have not been nearly as consistent in the day to day discipline as I wish I had been. I see some areas where I have exasperated my children, and it grieves my heart. I think I had a lot of worldly thinking that influenced me. There were also some parenting models that were being promoted in the evangelical world at the time when I was just starting out as a young adult which did not seem quite right to me and seemed kind of cultish, cliqueish, legalistic and prideful in the way some of the people I knew followed them, so it made it harder to find good and solid and practical advice. I am very wary of fads in the Church that people tend to latch onto, thinking that if they will just follow what this or that teacher says to the letter my children, life, whatever, will turn out right. What I really needed was not some teacher's or parenting 'expert's' model with lots of external and man-made do's and don't's, but practical, biblical advice on how to discern heart issues and to use scripture to train and teach and reach my children each day.
This book is very practical, and I am glad I read it this week. I am repenting of some areas where my parenting has been sinful, and I'm learning to depend daily on the Holy Spirit to bring His word to my remembrance and to help me to recognize sinful habits I need to change and to help me to wisely teach my children and not rely on my feelings but upon His word. I'm also encouraged, though I knew this already, that proper training happens most effectively as we interact with our children all day, not just in formal, sit-down teaching times, though we need to do that some, too. I want to diligently and faithfully apply God's word to my heart and life as we walk along the way and to teach my children the same.
I think I'm going to make this a standard gift when I want to encourage a young mom.