This morning I was talking to a young Mom who made a statement about wishing that her mother had been more pro-active in teaching her how to clean. I recalled for her how my mother did it for me and how I regret that I did not follow suit with my own children. It wasn’t the only thing she taught me well.
Here were some great lessons from my Mom:
1. Chores before fun:
Mom worked full time and Saturday was the day to clean. We had chores to do that could not be put off – we went nowhere until they were completed. If you didn’t do it right, she wouldn’t let you leave to play until it was done again, correctly. She taught us that the fun was more fun when the work was done, when you didn’t have to worry about it while you played.
Proverbs 18:9 Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.
2. Get up anyway:
Missing school was not much of an option. If one of us woke up saying we felt sick she would make us get up anyway and send us to school. She promised if we were still sick in a couple of hours, she would come get us. It was amazing how quickly “illnesses” went away once we got there. There seems to be no trauma left from not being believed!
Proverbs 26:14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.
3. Punishment promised – punishment given:
If Mom laid down an edict – she followed through. If she said you would be grounded for failing to come in on time, failing to get decent grades, or failure to do anything that would be a normal responsibility, then she grounded you if you didn’t do it! I never doubted her word on these things.
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
4. Unless there’s blood – work it out:
Many people today are surprised by the close relationships we have in our family. When we were growing up we would be punished if we tattled on one of our siblings. Her basic rule was that if we had a problem with someone else, unless there was blood, we should work it out ourselves. The downfall of this rule was that we did occasionally draw blood. I look back now and wonder if that was so she would get involved. However, the principle worked, she taught us to get along or work it out. As adults we have stayed in good relationship with each other.
Matthew 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
5. Did you do your best?
I was an average student, the twin sister of the valedictorian of the class. Whenever I brought home a “C” paper or work, she would ask, “Did you do your best?” “What could you have done to have done better?” If I had done all I could she was satisfied, if there was more I could have done, she would point it out. Her corrections did not harm my self-esteem and her question drove me to think about doing my best. Her challenge was my inspiration.
1 Corinthians 10:31, So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I am grateful for the heritage of godly principles I was taught to live by. Even though they were not spoken of as that, I learned early on how to live in a way that brings peace to me and peace to those around me (most of the time!).
My regret is that I am not sure I did the same for my kids.
Are you teaching biblical principles to your children for the blessing it will be to them in the future? They will grow up to be better adults with discipline. They will have better relationships, better employment experiences, and greater blessings.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Written By: Beth Bingaman
Beth Bingaman is a speaker, Bible teacher, and writer living in Reading, Pa. She is the mother of two adults and grandmother of two precious grandchildren. It is her passion to teach the whole counsel of God with clarity, energy and wit. She teaches and speaks for retreats and women’s ministry events with the goal of challenging women to think and live biblically. You can contact her to teach for your women’s ministry event or read her devotional blog at www.bethbingaman.com or follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/BethBingaman or twitter.