Read The Manual

I will read the instructions for just about anything that has them. Putting together some ready to assemble furniture? I will count and sort all the pieces and lay them out in the correct order, then follow the confusing pictures all the way to the end. Playing a board game? My closest family and friends call me the “rule nazi” (thanks, guys). Baking a frozen pizza? I’ll check the directions for both the crispy and soft crusts. And yes, I’ve stood in the shower reading the shampoo bottle before!

I think part of my deal is that I just like to read way more than a normal person. But I also like for things to turn out right. It pains me to get to the end of a project and realize I missed a step or maybe misread the information. So I rarely take off without some idea of what I’m supposed to do.

Given my love for instructions, it’s no wonder the Bible brings such joy to my heart. I love reading every day to learn more about how Jesus wants me to live. It amazes me how timeless His Word is, being completely relevant to any and every situation in today’s world, because God never changes. And I thank Him for giving clear instructions on how to make it to heaven, because that matters most of all.

One set of instructions I’ve had to go back to many times since becoming a mama pertains to correction of this strong-willed child. As an educator for fourteen years, I heard a lot of theories and strategies about how to deal with unwanted behaviors. And while there were some things that made sense, a lot of it was just a bunch of words strung together that were nowhere near biblically sound. But I can’t expect to get spiritually minded advice from sources that are not connected to Jesus!

So I find myself constantly telling myself to ignore worldly “wisdom” and seek my help from the Creator of all things. I am so thankful that I have Someone to turn to who has all the answers!

The following verses are the ones I turn to when our girl is out of control and I feel like a terrible mother. I just need to check the instructions and make sure I’m handling the situation God’s way, because more than anything else I wish for this child, I want her to grow to be a godly woman, obedient unto the Lord.

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Proverbs 13:24

“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

Proverbs 19:18

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 22:15

“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

Proverbs 23:13,14

“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

Proverbs 29:15

“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”

Proverbs 29:17

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