Shepherding a Child’s Heart series – On Communication and the Rod

God has given us (parents) two powerful tools to help us in the nurturing and shepherding our children’s hearts.
These tools, if well intertwined, are known to produce tremendous results of God fearing, well taught and mannered ‘arrows in our quivers’.

Communication in this context is all about instilling discipline and godly values in the hearts of these little ones, our children. It calls for a friendly sit down, talk of reason bearing in mind their level of understanding.

It is not about having your thoughts spoken out but understanding their thoughts.

Proverbs 6:20 says this; ‘My son, keep your father’s COMMANDMENTS, and do not forsake the LAW of your mother.
In the family, the father gives instructions of the way of life and the mother adds meaning to it by putting them into context and helping the children navigate through life with a touch of interrelationships.

A father TEACHES and INSTRUCTS. A mother brings UNDERSTANDING to what has been taught.

Communication focuses on WHY instead of WHAT a child did. It opens the door to a discussion and an opportunity to instill and impress in the young mind that which is right and acceptable.

It’s focus is UNDERSTANDING!

Y’all wanna ask me how do you understand a child with all their childish behaviours… I will tell you this; it is in those seemingly naive behaviours that character is molded. The funny thing is that children pick a lot from us than we think they do. A parents who just reponds with ‘huhs’ and ‘uhs’ to a child’s conversation imprints the notion that the child’s talk is not of any importance to the parent. The child grows knowing that daddy is perpetually disinterested in his or her little world. Afterwards, teenage makes a grand entry and all of a sudden the daddy wants to talk but the teenager already has no space for him!

A parent whose lens is blurred with the mistakes of their children will employ punitive measures towards them, more often than not. That’s the reason why grounding a child has become the norm.
And I am not for it!

Look at this scenario:
A son makes a mistake, he is grounded for a week. This is done without any further communication.
The conversation goes like this;
Dad: Tom, why did you put dirty shoes on the shoe rack?
Tom: It must have slipped my mind since I was in a hurry to finish the portfolio homework.
Dad: How many times do I have to remind you? Yesterday you didn’t make your bed again, right?
Tom: I wanted to but I realised that the sheets needed to be changed dad. I am sorry.
Dad: Sorry for what? You are grounded for the next two weeks! No leaving your room without my permission!

What do you think Tom will be doing for the next two weeks?
He shall be learning how to cope with grounding! Learning the ropes!
Next time he’s grounded, he will have known the terrain so well that it will just be a walk in the park.

But what about the unresolved underlying issues?
He might remain irresponsible and never make his bed (since he doesn’t have a reason to). But again, the issue was not about his bed, right? He might continue stacking dirty shoes on the racks without any iota remorse.

The dad will consequently pressure him the more, get frustrated and label him a hard headed son, impervious to instructions.
As a result, a wall is erected.
There’s no bridge of communication, just two neighbouring but opposing nations.
Another son ruined!

Grounding is punitive but communication is corrective.

PUNITIVE measures creates barriers of communication.
Think about it.

In teaching, there is evaluation.

In INSTRUCTING, there is a DEMONSTRATION of how things are done and a walk through!
It’s about shepherding.
Today, your son may not be able to crawl but by tomorrow he shall have learnt how to l make baby steps, the next day, he will be toddling, and finally you will have an athlete under your roof, ready to conquer the world!

The problem with us parents is that we want instant change of behaviour since we are ‘in charge’!
It does not work that way.

It is dialogue, not monologue. Its not just the ability to talk to your children but also having the patience to listen too!
Have deep conversations with your children by creating a bond of friendship and love. Make sure your moral compass is sane and you are leading my example.

The earlier you start communicating, the better.
It helps the child in discovering himself and his purpose.
He or she gets to know they are here!

Concerning the rod, in Proverbs 23:13-14, the Word says; ‘Do not withhold correction from a boy, for [if] you beat him with the ROD, he will not die.
You shall beat him with the rod, and shall DELIVER his soul from hell.’

The ROD is liberating.
I am a crusader of this.

I remember my parents warming my buttocks with whips whenever I repeated a wrong three times.
It was biblical then and still is.
Do it, you are God’s agent. You are implementing this on His behalf.

The rod DELIVERS a child from great evils and consequences of wrongdoing.
Furthermore, in Proverbs 13:24, a caution is given; He who SPARES his rod HATES his son, but he who loves him CHASTENS him EARLY.

Whom the Lord loves, He chastens!
Proverbs 19:18a tells us that we ‘chasten the son while there’s still hope!’.
This is because there comes a time when all hope is gone and there’s nothing you can do Mr.

The rod of correction DRIVES OUT FOOLISHNESS that resides on a child’s heart! It keeps foolishness afar! Read Proverbs 22:18.

Use the rod to correct him, and you shall have rest.

Nowadays the rod is rare in many families.
Some have tried to substitute it with deprivation of certain things and privileges for some time.
Quite absurd.
The truth if the matter is this; The rod can not be replaced or substituted.

So go ahead and keep it within your reach.
Do not withhold the rod of correction.
You have been given the authority to use it whenever it is necessary!
It will soften the knucklehead and prepare the ground for sowing the right seeds.

Act on God’s behalf and save yourself together with your children.
You are well able!

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We are John and Mary Munene and we…