Training Children: The Importance of Self-Government

Training Children The Importance of Self-Government

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Welsh minister and doctor, once said:

“The whole future of civilization, it seems to me, rests upon this: f the West goes down and is defeated, it will be for one reason only: internal rot…If we continue to spend our lives in jollification, doing less and lesswork, demanding more and more money, more and more pleasure and so-called happiness, more and more indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, with a refusal to accept our responsibilities, there is but one inevitable result–complete and abject failure….the fall of Rome came because of the spirit of indulgence that had invaded the Roman world…And the really alarming fact today is that we are witnessing a similar declension in this and most other Western countries….This is the essential problem, this sheer absence of discipline and of order and of true notions of government!” (From A Theology of the Family)

Sadly, in our culture we do see a tremendous inclination toward shirking responsibility and failure to self-govern.

I submit that as parents, one of the most important things we will ever do for our children is teach them how to take responsibility for their actions and how to self-govern their passions and desires.

I could pick out any tragic news story from bankruptcy to murder and almost always find at its root, the inability to self-govern.

So how to teach it?

Start early. A toddler just learning to eat may throw the food he doesn’t want on the floor. Cute as it may be (or not), it is an opportunity to help him begin to govern his emotions. The basic lesson he needs to learn is, “We can’t just act out every desire we have.” And that lesson will need to be applied consistently until he is an adult able to say to himself, “I can’t just buy x because I want it” or, “I can’t punch my boss because I feel like it” or, a thousand other things.

Direct his responses. For a small child who is told his response is not acceptable, he needs to know which one is. If a child is whining/crying for his cup, you can simply correct him and tell him the proper way to ask. And older child who lashes out in frustration needs to hear what words and tone are a better substitute.

It’s time-consuming and tedious, as is most of parenting. But the outcome is well-worth the effort, and where the effort isn’t given, the consequences will follow a parent to his death as he deals with the aftermath of his failure to help his children govern themselves.

(Obviously, a disclaimer could be inserted here that sometimes a diligent parent will have a child who rejects the faithful work of his parents. But just like the Proverbs, generalities apply.)

Tell stories. Proverbs is full of vignettes depicting what happens to the one who doesn’t live responsibly or govern his emotions and actions. Take the opportunity to make the Proverbs come to life for your children, tying the stories to real life.

Conversely, look for stories that demonstrate heroic character of men and women who have chosen to govern themselves and live responsibly. Praise those traits and encourage your children to emulate them.

Model it. We can’t expect to raise self-governing children unless we practice it ourselves. (I know, ouch.) They will absorb the way we live life, so we need to remind ourselves to demonstrate taking responsibility for our actions, not blaming others, and finding gratitude wherever we are.

Hope to see you!

Training Children: How to Mother More Patiently (Part 3)

Training Children How to Mother More Patiently

Almost every mom struggles with maintaining her patience while parenting, especially if she’s with her children all day. Whining, strife, or even a barrage of innocent questions, added to the list of things she must think about and get done, can be very distressing. Ask me how I know.

But not only is parenting without patience or having reactionary responses damaging over time, it also undermines our authority in the home.

Reading through the books I mentioned in part 2, 5 Keys to a Christian Home, I’m reminded of some important ways to counteract my tendency to react the wrong way.

  • Take my thoughts captive. Most of our behavior begins in the mind. I must keep my thoughts focused on my purpose as a mother–to nurture my children in the Lord. After my husband’s needs, they are my top priority.
  • Eliminate distractions. With our too-busy technologically charged atmosphere, it’s easy to get irritated at a little one who is “interrupting.” Certainly there are times we need to give our attention elsewhere and they must learn to wait, but if we’re snapping at a child because we’re trying to finish our facebook status, we need to realign our priorities.
  • Enforce obedience. Sound simple? I wish it were. Moms have the tedious job of balancing mercy and understanding with her not-there-yet children. Yet, she must enforce her authority in the home and teach them obedience by her responses instead of allowing them to argue and disobey unchecked. I believe this is the biggest source of irritation in most homes. I’ve noticed my tendency to grow impatient is worst when I fail to enforce the rules of our home, and instead try to “reason” with my children. When the rules are clear, as are the consequences for breaking them, we need to be diligent to follow through. Life gets so much easier when we do.

Example: I told my daughter her room needed to be swept (and it was really in need), but she replied that she had just swept it. I said it clearly needed to be swept again, regardless of when she last swept it and that if she had just swept it, she had not done a thorough job. She then “reasoned” that it didn’t matter because she didn’t spend much time in her room anyway. This conversation shouldn’t have gotten this far (and consequently, I became frustrated). I gave simple instructions: “sweep your room.” What followed was arguing and a temporary resistance to obey. A simple way to train this sort of response out is to apply a consequence at the first argument.

  • Make room for life. If our schedules are too busy, we will be tempted to stay in a state of rushing and consequently, irritation at every “problem.” Life with children is full of meeting needs and when we don’t make time for them, the needs feel like burdens. Motherhood is what God gives us time for.

And if you need more encouragement, there’s this: even though I wrote When Motherhood Feels Too Hard, I’m so thrilled to see how the Lord is consistently using it to change the hearts of mothers everywhere. Last week a woman bought 30 of them (with the bulk bundle discount) because she was so eager to share them with other women she knew.

This comment came yesterday:

“Your devotional has been a balm to my weary soul!! I cannot read it without tears and I cannot put it down! Every page brings an eternal perspective.” -Rainah

My deepest heart’s desire is to encourage you.

Part 1: Training Children: It Starts With Love (The Duties of Parents, J.C. Ryle)

Part 2: Training Children: 5 Keys to a Christian Home

Hope to see you!

Lilla Rose–Get a Great Deal AND a Free Flexi Clip!

Yay, Lilla Rose is having a SALE! For 12-hours only, you can save 25% off EVERYTHING! But hurry, it is only from 8 am -8 pm Pacific time, (11 am – 11 pm Eastern) Friday, January 23 only!

To make the deal even sweeter, independent consultant Paula Ramm is offering a special deal  for Generation Cedar readers only!  Get a FREE SURPRISE FLEXI when you place a $40 order between now and January 26!!!*  This is in ADDITION to the 12-Hour Flash Sale through Lilla Rose, so combine the two for the BEST deal!  (25% off is through Lilla Rose, Inc. and is Friday, January 23 from 8 am to 8 pm PST ONLY!)  If by chance you miss the 12-hour Flash Sale, you can still get the Surprise Flexi offer  through Paula if you order by January 26!

If you haven’t tried a flexi clip yet, now would be the perfect time! Flexis work in ALL types of hair, from baby fine to super thick, with NO ponytail headaches! They are great for busy moms, because you can do your hair beautifully in only seconds and be ready for the day! Time to throw away that plastic claw!

To find your perfect size, be sure to watch the sizing/styling videos! Also, try the coin tip! Squeeze the thickest part of your ponytail and look at the circle you just created. If the amount you’re holding resembles a nickel, you’re an extra small; a quarter, you’re a small; a 50-cent piece, you’re a medium; for anything bigger you’ll need large or XL. This would be for a ponytail or tails-up. A half-up would be a smaller size, and a French twist would be larger. But no worries if you still end up with the wrong size, as Lilla Rose has a 90-day sizing guarantee for free exchanges!

*Place an order of $40 or more (excluding tax and shipping) through Paula’s website, then message her to redeem your free surprise flexi! Please say Generation Cedar sent you! Offer valid for U.S. customers only and expires January 26, 2015. This is for both new and Paula’s returning customers, but if you already have another Lilla Rose consultant, please stay with her; I’m sure she will appreciate it! Thank you!

Hope to see you!

For All You DIYers and DIY Wannabes: This is a Crafter’s Dream Come True

Sale is over.

Keep reading for THE most delicious thing…my mouth waters looking at these.

There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? With all a busy mom does, helping the kids with their schoolwork, preparing meals, cleaning up after everyone and putting yet another load of laundry on, there’s very little time for sleep – let alone DIY and crafting!

But do you look at that bare wall in the den and that tatty tablecloth on the kitchen table, and just wish you had a few hours to do something about them? Or do you browse through those wonderful crafting successes on Pinterest and think to yourself that “one day” you’ll have a few more minutes to yourself so that you too can create something incredible?

You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of people out there who are feeling just as frustrated as you are!

Thankfully though, there’s an exciting new product to help you quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects you’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.


For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.

Topics in the bundle include:

  • Home decor
  • Furniture painting
  • Photography
  • Chalk pastels
  • Handmade gifts
  • Homemade skincare products
  • Cake decorating
  • Photography and photo-editing
  • Paint colors and interior design
  • …and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!

There’s no need to worry about information overload though: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project and jump straight into it with confidence!



Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 5 awesome bonuses, worth over $150.

That’s 4x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to, a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value), and free, full digital copies of Where Women Create Magazine and Greencraft Magazine ($20 value) from Stampington and Co.

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This amazing deal ends in just…

Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.



Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.


Hope to see you!

Training Children: 5 Keys to a Christian Home (Part 2)

Training Children 5 Keys to a Christian Home

  • Love. In part 1 of this series is the first essential key of child training: all must be wrapped in love. A child must be drawn by affection, knowing he is fully loved, before he will follow the Lord through his parents with a pure heart. It is the essence of raising them in the nurture of the Lord. Some of the following “keys” could be quickly turned to cruelty by a lack of love.
  • Know Whose They Are.

“The first thing implied in educating children for God is a realizing, heartfelt conviction that they are

His property, His children, rather than ours. He commits them for a time to our care…However carefully we may educate children, yet we cannot be said to educate them for God unless we believe that they are His.” -Edward Payson, A Theology of the Family

This reality motivates us differently. If they are His, given to us much as the talents were given to the servants by the Master, all our energies are put to directing them to live for His glory. That chief end is the force that drives us and supplies us with endurance.

  • Train Them in the right way. This point will be fleshed out in future parts, but its primary point is that children are inclined toward sin (Prov. 22:15) and we have been given the job of training them in the way they should go, not in the way they would go.
  • Expect and enforce respect and obedience. A seemingly simple and unneeded reminder, yet unfortunately lost in many homes. If a child would learn to survive in the world at all, he must learn how to submit to authorities in his life. I’ve seen the trend that villainizes parental authority. I would say it is not a “trend” but a rebellion couched in compassionate (deceitful) language. The Bible says that a parent hates his child who does not undertake to discipline him in love, requiring obedience as God has commanded. (Prov. 13:24)
  • Read the Bible & pray with them. It cannot be underestimated the power God’s Word has on our lives. It is living and breathing and able to transform. Make them thoroughly familiar, from a young age, with the Gospel. Talk of sin, our need of a Savior, the glorious story of our Redemption and the gratitude and love that should overflow from it. Let them see you pray and encourage them to pray as well. We should model the privilege of being able to commune, with reverence and yet affection, with the Creator of the universe.

As I study The Theology of the Family (edited by Scott Brown and Jeff Pollard) and The Duties of Parents, I am encouraged, convicted, but mostly renewed and strengthened to keep about this task of parenting. It is wonderful and it is hard and it is worth it.

Personal disclaimer:

I know from experience, that too often others looking in, reading a blog where ideals are presented, can easily perceive the author has arrived and therefore she does everything right and her children are perfectly behaved. I need you to know this is not the case here. I fail as a parent on a regular basis. sometimes my children argue, sometimes they disobey, and some have struggles too hard to mention here for the sake of privacy. These ideals are for all of us, as we walk together, praying for our children, asking God to sustain us through some very hard days, and trusting His infinite mercy and sovereignty in it all. That’s me, being real.

Hope to see you!

Training Children: It Starts With Love (The Duties of Parents, J.C. Ryle) Part 1

Am I the only mom who wonders if she’s doing it right, reads one author’s parenting method and second guesses everything she’s ever done? There are “new and better” ways right?

Yes, I have days where I feel like the older I get, the less I know about anything. But do you want me to tell you what I have learned as I’ve gotten older? Simply this:

Hang on to the timeless truths. If we will look closely at a teaching or ideology, we can see whether it follows sound doctrine, the tenets of God’s Word. Where it doesn’t, we should be wary. Where it does, we should listen.

(Disclaimer: I have gleaned many insightful and wonderful things from non-Christian sources regarding raising children. But we should be astute enough to be able to see where a teaching strays from biblical doctrine.)

Recently I ordered “The Duties of Parents” by J.C. Ryle. You should too.

It was such a clear, fresh voice in the often-cacophony of parenting advice flying around. It went back to some basics I know and gave me clarity and inspiration to essentially reboot.

I thought I’d offer a summary in series over the next few days. There’s another great book I’ll be pulling from as well. I hope it encourages you!


“Train up your children with all tenderness, affection, and patience.”

“I do not mean that you are to spoil him…” Ryle continues.

But he reminds that a child cannot be taught, cannot have truths and values imparted to him unless it is done by affection that first draws his heart to yours. You can command a child by fear and intimidation, but you will only get his outward obedience, if you get that. You will not effect genuine respect and love for you or for His Creator.

A child disciplined in love is one who grows to understand his mother despises causing him tears, and is yet willing to suffer over his grief for his own sake.

We must carefully teach them “line upon line, precept upon precept”, which requires patience and long-term vision.

Are you feeling convicted at this point because you have been angry and frustrated at your children? Because you have parented impatiently? I have too. Far more times than I can count. And I’ll tell you like I tell me: “We cannot lament the past except where it helps us to improve in the future.” Got it? Good.

When motherhood feels too hard, I try to take a deep breath and remember it is the cord of kindness, gentleness and sympathy that will most easily lead our children to follow us. We should share with them a friendship, yet remain distinguished by respect, wisdom and our place as parents.

They should know our love for them by the attention we give to their childish wonder, the time we take to teach them a lesson, or to simply be with them. We need to enjoy them. Part of our enjoyment will depend on our diligence to train them, but still they must know that our deep love for them drives everything we do.

As you’ll see in the next few parts, Ryle distinguishes between love and indulgence, and makes it clear that love demands we expect certain things.

It is possible, then, to train our children in the nurture of the Lord, requiring what He has laid out, but doing so without exasperation. That is our duty.

“Soul love is the soul of all love. To pet and pamper and indulge your child, as if this world was all he had to look to, and this life the only season for happiness–to do this is not true love, but cruelty. It is treating him like some beast of the earth, which has but on world to look to, and nothing after death. It is hiding from him that grand truth, which he ought to be made to learn from his very infancy,–that the chief end of his life is the salvation of his soul and to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” J.C. Ryle


Hope to see you!

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