Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teach them...

In the last months I have been working and pondering a lot on being a better parent and teaching my children the Gospel more effectively. Tonight's reading of Alma's counsel to his sons was right to the point.

What should I focus on?

[T]each them an everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity. Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach them never to be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart, or such shall find rest to their souls. O remember my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
-Alma 37:32-35

How should I go about it?

And I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things.
-Alma 38:10

Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.
-Alma 38:12

This last one was especially poignant as earlier in the evening we had a drawn out conflict with our oldest, who was bent on fighting about everything and being contrary, alternating between throwing a fit in his room and coming downstairs to provoke the fight again. I was on my last strand of patience, and it took all of my self control to keep my voice low and remind him of what we had already told him several times. After several prayers I was able to calm down, get him calmed down, and we had a productive talk about what "Godly sorrow" means and how we behave when we are truly sorry and want to change our behavior instead of starting the fight anew. It required me bridling my passion of anger and frustration for me to be filled with love and to better address my child's need. It's something I need to do more often and more consistently!

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