Even in not wanting to face another day of challenge this morning, God was ( is!) gracious.
In my quiet time this morning, I read Psalm 6 and found a friend in it. Who is this God who rescues us when we deserve nothing but his wrath? I need to remember Him ever more, and cry out to Him ever more.
If you have a child that has a bent towards arguing, may I share with you some tips to help you that I have learned along the path? These practices ( disciplines?) have helped me stay focused on God not myself, and helped my child learn valuable lessons about obedience and honor, as a young man. ( These tips are not just for the kiddos!) I am blessed to have in my older son a son who loves the Lord, and really does desire to obey Him. Though he struggles with his sin and all of the self-sacrifice walking the Christian path requires, (who doesn't!, ) he is repentant by the end of the day most of the time, and this shows his love for Christ.
First, and foremost, keep your home as far away from looking and feeling like the battle zone your child may desire to turn it into; keep praise/ worship music cd's or tapes on all day long ~as much as you can ~do not neglect your quiet times with the Lord ~ even if this means you'll have to put your child down for an unwanted 'nap' for 30 minutes, far better for his/her soul to look at books and play with toys quietly than to have a momma who 'cannot' get in her quiet time~ burn yummy smelling candles or incense to heighten the 'goodness' of the atmosphere, most of all praise the Lord out loud frequently and this alone will heighten the joy and peace in your home immeasurably. And how good for your younger children to see and hear this!
Secondly, and by no means is this secondary, do not allow your child to goad you into losing your peace, in any way. He/she may try everything, from trying to involve you in endless arguments to calling you awful names ; state only one time ( being sure the child understands) your command , and do not fiddle with any response other than "yes mom." Should he/she begin to argue, make as rude comment, sass under their breath, anything other than 'yes mom', immediately let the child know that they can head on up to the pre-selected ' quiet place' , and remain there to pray until until they come to understand that what they have done wrong and have sought the Lord for help. Then they can come back to you and apologize, and go on with their day. Also, be sure to let your husband know your child is struggling in this way so he can lead him/her into prayer , and instruct and discipline him/her as necessary. This will save you from many a needless ( and fruitless) struggle, and teach your child better about obedience and honor better than any talk the two of you could have had about it. Now my child is older, for a younger child I would definitely reduce that quiet time into two 15 minute blocks and the quiet-place time to 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the age of the child. Jesus went away to a quiet place to pray, we need to do that too, and so do our children.
Third, and by no means is this 3rd in importance, we have been taught to make special Mom and son/daughter and Dad and son/daughter times a priority, and schedule them in regularly for each of our children ( toddler and up), and can I call these times priceless?
Especially for a child who struggles so much with their sin, still keeping up that scheduled time- in the midst of it all- says better than any words ever could' I love you no matter what mistakes you make, and I am commited to you.' The Lord has really taught me that drawing my sons heart to me is just as important as teaching him to be obedient, but one cannot be good without the other.
Just these 3 things have really helped us, and I hope they can help you, too.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he will not depart from it.
I can't help but think of the lyrics to Damien's song, " I don't want to say that I wasted my life, but I spent my life glorifying You." Since in Titus 2 we as women are commanded by God to love husbands and our children, to live wisely and to be pure, to take care of our homes, to do good and to be submissive, I can know that I am not wasting my life, but glorifying God, when I make it my commitment to train up my children in the they should go.