Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

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Discipline is not screaming at your child when you are exasperated.  Discipline is not smacking your child after you have told them to do something 17 times!  We discipline by watching carefully over our children and keeping them within the boundaries we have set for them.  This brings peace to the home and security to the child.

Of course, there has to be balance with discipline.  There are times when we provoke discipline.  Sometimes the only way a child can get his mother’s attention is by being naughty.  If we give them adequate love and encouragement and love when they are playing or working happily, they will not have to resort to this habit.  When raising our children, I realized that if I was to reprimand them for everything they did wrong all day, I would be at them all day!  I realized there was a difference between childishness and naughtiness.  I therefore decided to discipline for that which I felt was important–disobedience, rebellion, insolence, telling lies and anything that was contrary to God’s Word.  We never allowed tantrums, not for one minute!  We never allowed the children to pout or have a bad attitude.  But I would overlook some of their childish fun, such as if they were noisy, messed up things, or accidentally broke things.

~Words of wisdom from Nancy Campbell, mother of 6 godly grown children


25 Ways to Provoke Your Children to Anger


(click on book cover for Amazon link)

*from Heart of Anger, Priolo, Lou, Calvary Press, 1997.

1. Lack of Marital Harmony

“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” Genesis 2:24

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” Hebrews 12:15

2. Establishing and Maintaining a Child-Centered Home

“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” Proverbs 29:15

3. Modeling Sinful Anger

“Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself” Proverbs 22:24, 25

4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry

“O Lord, rebuke me not in Thy wrath; and chasten me not in Thy burning anger” Psalms 38:1

When you are angry, it is easier for you to over discipline.

“Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” James 1:19, 20

5. Scolding

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such (a word) as is good for edification according to the need (of the moment), that it may give grace to those who hear” Ephesians 4:29

One of the Greek words from which the term scolding was derived, means “to snort with anger”.

6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline

“Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil” Eccl. 8:11

As a rule, it is better for one parent to tighten up a bit and the other to loosen up a little to unify their approach to discipline.

Children ought to know that their parents “yes” means “yes” and their “no” means “no”.

7. Having Double Standards

“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you” Phil. 4:9

A parent who uses the Bible to teach, reprove, correct, and instruct his children in righteousness, but is not willing to practice that same biblical righteousness in his own life, is not only a hypocrite but a provoker of his children.

8. Being Legalistic

Biblically Directed Rules vs. Biblically Derived Rules

“These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” Matt. 15:8-9

9. Not Admitting You’re Wrong and Not Asking For Forgiveness

“If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” Matt.5:23,24

“Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another…” James 5:16

10. Constantly Finding Fault

“Elihu’s anger…burned against Job…and his anger burned against his three Friends, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job” Job 32:2, 3

“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” Proverbs 19:11

11. Parents Reversing God-Given Roles

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the

Head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything” Eph. 5:22-24

12. Not Listening to Your Child’s Opinion or Taking His or Her “Side of the Story” Seriously

“He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” Prov. 18:3

“The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him” Prov. 18:17

13. Comparing Them to Others

“For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves, they are without understanding” 2 Cor. 10:12

14. Not Making Time “Just to Talk”

“Be quick to listen, slow to speak” James 1:19

“There is a time to keep silent, and a time to speak” Eccl. 3:7

15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…, let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching” Heb. 10:24-25

16. Failing to Keep Your Promises

“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil” Matt 5:37

17. Chastening in Front of Others

“And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother” Matt. 18:15

18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable (easy to be entreated), full of mercy…” James 3:17

19. Allowing Too Much Freedom

“The rod and reproof give wisdom but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” Proverbs 29:15

“For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom he receives….” Hebrews 12:6-9

20. Mocking Your Child

“And the LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?’” Exodus 4:11

21. Abusing Them Physically

“A bishop (overseer), then must be…not violent…, but gentle” 1Timothy 3:3

22. Ridiculing or Name Calling

“Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Eph. 4:29

23. Unrealistic Expectations

“When I was a child I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child” 1 Cor. 13:11

24. Practicing Favoritism

“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing….” Luke 15:25-30

25. Child Training with Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent with God’s Word

“And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” Ephesians 6:4


Teaching Children to Work


I was raised to work hard, and it surprises me when I encounter kids who don’t know how to work even a little. Several years ago, Billy asked a 15-year-old friend, “So are you getting a summer job?” The response: “SUMMER JOB???!!!” As though he was crazy to even ask. Another friend, mother of a young teenager, told me with a laugh, “J. wouldn’t know what to do if you put a broom in her hand.”

A few generations ago, children of 11 or 12 were expected to do a full days’ work without complaint. Even our parents and grandparents were typically expected to work much harder and contribute to the family much more than a lot of children today.

But don’t get the idea that I’m smug about this!!! It’s come to may attention that I have lots of training to do with my own children in the area of work. I find that as a mama it’s so easy to fall into the habit of doing things myself instead of teaching the kids to do them. When this happens, pretty soon children feel entitled to be waited on and develop a disdain for work. Although I think I’ve fallen short in this area, my kids are still small and I think I have adequate time to do better—starting right now!

In light of that, I’ve been mulling over advice I’ve received from wise older mamas who have raised hard-working youngsters. Here’s what they say.

1. Set a good example. Don’t be lazy. Let your kids see you work hard without complaining.

2. Start young. Preschoolers are not too small to have little jobs. It doesn’t really matter whether they have assigned chores or if you just teach them to do what you ask, as long as they are doing age-appropriate work. Don’t underestimate their capabilities! They should be helping as soon as they can walk and understand basic commands.

3. Include them in your work. This is so important!!! Don’t send them to work alone when they are small, because young children have a hard time staying on task until they develop good work habits. (If your kids are older and have never developed good work habits, you might have to keep them at your side for awhile too.) Let them help you whenever possible, even when it’s inconvenient. They will learn so much and your relationship will be that much stronger. My best memories are of working together as a family.

4. Emphasize servanthood. Jesus was the greatest servant and as His followers, we should serve each other. My dad’s mantra was “When you see something that needs to be done, DO IT!” That still rings in my ears today. I tell my kids all the time, “We love each other, so we help each other.”

5. Teach them that work is good, a gift from God, and that all work is honorable. Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” We work for Jesus! Your kids should not feel that any work is beneath them.

6. Minimize time with TV, computer, and video games. The “couch potato” cliché is as true today as ever.

7. When they do a job, encourage them to do their best, but make sure that you are not setting an unattainable standard. Don’t be critical of their efforts. Especially don’t criticize when they try to work without being asked but make a mess of it. It’s so easy to want to dress them down for being childish (trust me, I know) but that squelches their desire to help. Praise them for pitching in without being asked.

8. Don’t tolerate bad attitudes. Don’t let them quit till they can work with a smile. It might make them mad now, but they will thank you for it later.


Any employer today will tell you that it’s hard to find young people with a great work ethic. If you raise your kids to be good workers, opportunities for them will abound!