”Pay attention to everything that goes on around you.” If my children heard this statement once, they’ve heard it a thousand times. This statement was key to my teaching them the virtue of self-control.
In a digital age, our children can get so distracted that they stop paying attention to what is going on around them. Psalm 46:10a tells us “Be still and know that I am God…” God is constantly speaking to us – but if we do not teach our children self-control, how are they ever going to hear His voice? The psalmist’s point is: in order to know that He is God, we must first be still. Paying attention to everything that goes on around us requires us to “be still”. When we teach our children self-control as a way to hear God better, it will produce spiritual discernment.
- What if teaching our children self-control as a means to know God better causes them to see the child that doesn’t have a friend?
- What if teaching our children self-control as a means to know God better causes them to give money or time to someone in need?
- What if teaching our children self-control as a means to know God better causes them to fall in love with Jesus and serve Him for the rest of their lives?
Dare to dream that the “what ifs” can be a reality when self-control is taught as a means, not only to control actions, but to know the voice of the very God that created them, to give them spiritual discernment for His glory. The next time you see your child ready to lose himself in a situation, tell him “Pay attention to everything that is going on around you.” Now, “What is God telling you to do?” Not only does this teach him self-control, but a tenderness to hear God’s still small voice for himself. And that leads to spiritual discernment for a lifetime.
Cynthia Schrock was born in Ohio but grew up on the mission field with her parents in Quito, Ecuador. She married her wonderful husband Eric in 1990. They have two beautiful children: Ashley is 24 and Matthew is 19. In 2016 Cynthia completed a 13 year long journey of homeschooling. Eric and Cynthia have been involved in marriage and parenting ministry for 22 years. Cynthia is a Contact Mom, helping moms with solutions in their daily parenting struggles. She has also authored a book on celebrating others called The Ultimate Gift of a Birthday.