“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!.” – Galatians 5:22-23.
Self-control is vital to raising home run kids. The Bible tells us that self-control is one of the fruits of the spirit. We intuitively know that self-control is important if we are to live as God wants us to live. But self-control is difficult to rely on, both as a child and an adult.
Well-meaning parents all over the world have tried throughout the centuries to try to figure out the right formula or wisdom to use in raising up a godly, responsible, emotionally and spiritually healthy child. It is right to desire to find a way to love, educate, train and discipline a child to help him become mature, because emotional maturity is necessary to Raising Home Run Kids. Often that means they must have self control, which means they rise above being selfish and immature.
So what do I mean by self-control? Self-control simply means we control ourselves. We control our emotions and desires – our “want to’s”. Let’s face it—we’ve all made some pretty dumb decisions in our lives. For most of us, there are chapters in the past we would like to rewrite. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything to reverse the bad decisions of the past. But there is certainly no reason to repeat them either. We can develop our character and self-control that will help us make wise decisions in our life and in raising our children.
Self-control is the ability to limit behavior rather than give in to present desires. It means that you consider a future benefit more important than your present impulse. Simply reading and understanding God’s will for us isn’t enough. We must also choose to follow it—and that’s the difficult part. So often, we are too headstrong or emotional to submit.
Children at a very young age are already wanting to find their own way. Kids are pretty determined very early in life. The problem is kids need help in developing self-discipline and self-control. We help our kids learn self control by instilling in them certain character traits.
First, honesty. We do that by talking to your children – beginning very early – about how much you value honesty in your family. Model honesty for your children-not only in your words but also in your lifestyle. Let them know that you put more emphasis on their honesty than on the punishment for their dishonest behavior. Second gratitude. Gratitude is one of the trickiest concepts to teach kids because they are by nature self-centered. Thankful children are more polite and pleasant to be around and develop other life skills along the way. Third, pay to play. In other words, they do the hard thing first before they play. Immaturity means they play first and then if they get to the hard thing, then fine.
- Why is self-discipline needed?
- How does self-control affect our lives?
- What is needed before self-control is effective?
- What can we do this week to instill character and self-control into our kids?