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Would like Christian thoughts on disciplining in blended families


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#1 tenderheart

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 10:33 PM

I would like to hear from Christian Catboxers on their understanding of the word of God when it comes to disciplining children...with regard to biological AND especially with regard to "step-father's" roles.

I believe that fathers are to be the main disciplinarian. But I believe the mother can discipline also. One time I was dealing with an issue with my son. My husband (my son's step dad) walked in when I was doing just fine and said, "What's going on?" It's like he couldn't WAIT to hear what was going on so he could interject. I dealt with it but my husband made it worse and took away an opportunity for me to "teach" and "guide" my son. My husband thinks I don't know how to discipline like he can, so he has to jump in there to and believes he actually has a right to do this because my job is to submit to him! HUH?

This is a BIG issue with us.

I don't know if anyone knows but we did not follow through with getting divorced on November 13th. It was a big surprise to me and a long story...but ultimately the judge gave us a 90 day reconcilation period to try to work things out. Seems ridiculous seeing as we tried for over 2 years and nothing worked...so how is 90 days going to make a difference? Well, I know God is a very merciful and gracious God. He wants us to come to him and will give us chance after chance to do so. I see this as a God-thing in that maybe God is yet giving more grace, more time to my husband so that he can repent and come to Him once and for all. Long shot, I know...but ultimatley we have those 90 days now.

When my husband went on the stand and the judge asked him if he thought the marriage was irreconcilable, my husband said (after a long pause and him looking at me for that duration) said "No." That is how the reconcilaiton ultimately after much mediation from a good Christian friend of mine, happened.

So, now we are discussing discipline which was a huge issue and the beginning of our difficulties because my husband is so darn controlling that he doesn't know how to let me continue being my sons mom while my son gets to know my husband and visa versa. Over time after we settle in...my husband would have the upper hand...but never never did I expect my husband to lay it on so thick after only TWO months of living together.

I don't have much hope for the marriage to be reconciled...but who am I to say that God can't fix things?

In any event, I wanted to post this question about disciplining views from other Christians out there. I AM a firm believer in the husband being the main disciplinarian, however, I also believe the husband can't walk over the mom in order to try and be the disciplinarian that God told him to be. This would fall under loving your wife like Christ loves the church for the husband. Especially when it's a blended family.

Thoughts? Any Christian men are encouraged to share their perspective on this issue.

Tenderheart

#2 pinglish

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 12:55 PM

I think if each parent disciplines their own children, then you do not have a blended family, but you have two alienated families under one roof. I think before blending the families, the two parents should sit down and agree on what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptible, what punishments and disciplines are applicable and right, and everything else concerning kids and family, and agree to do discipline together. Then back each other up. If only one parent is present when discipline is needed, the rules are used and then the other parent backs up the first parent when they come home.

If fathers are the main disciplinarian, I believe the kids learn to walk all over the mother. imo, both parents do the discipline together equally as strong and present a united front that kids must behave for and respect both. If the father interrupts the mother and does not back her up, then she loses credibility. In the classroom (high school and adult education), I always backed up my instructors (and they, me) in this way and we always went by the agreed-upon rules. Same thing now in my martial arts classes. We are not having any problems with discipline.

#3 tenderheart

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 06:15 PM

Thank you for your responses. I am in agreement that both parents should discipline, but ultimately the dad is the main authority over the child. I believe it is the father who is capable of instilling fear into a child...but a "healthy" fear in order that the child learns to respect authority in the world. I don't believe a mom has the same effect as a dad. But the dad HAS to be wise in how he is handling the discipline unlike my husband who just JUMPED in and just put it in drive. My husband and I did talk about this before we married, obviously I was misled.

Here is something I received from a biblical counseling center:

You need special wisdom and grace to preserve you from
error, and sin, and folly. If you practice any sin before
your child--you cannot fail to teach him to do the same.

"In everything he followed the example of
his father." 2 Kings 14:3



I look forward to more thoughts on this. I do believe the husband is the main discplinarian...but that the mother and father "do" need to work together as one...a team...as God meant for it to be. My husband was harsh with my son (IMO) and did not consider ANYTHING I had to offer with past experiences with regard to my son. He just jumped in and thought he could do it all without me. Frankly, he made me feel as if he were pushing me out of my son's life.

Thanks again.

Tenderheart

#4 Mohzilla

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 10:21 PM

Hi Tenderheart,

I believe that the father should be the main disciplinarian....if he's QUALIFIED. Children are a very precious gift, that we have been LOANED. We will have to be accountable for. Letting a cruel or unreasonable person discipline children is NOT in the best interest of anyone.

I also believe that it should be presented as a united front, the parents must agree on methods and consequences and then follow through.

Ephesians 6:4 (says it all to me) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

#5 tenderheart

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 09:56 AM

I would like to explain why I asked this question. Much of it is because my h has made it into something complex. He believes he is standing on "God's word" by taking issue on this subject with me. He believes that God was telling "fathers" to discipline their children...not "mothers." He asked me "where" in the bible you ever see God telling "mothers" tp discipline their children. Although I believe there are a lot of fathers in the world who need to step up to the plate and be a real role model and disciplinarian I don't believe all fathers understand HOW to be the father that God intended them to be...and that is because we are all sinful and fallen. My h says: "The bible is clear." I don't agree that it's always clear. I believe, though, in common sense of putting God's words together in order to balance it out. If fathers are supposed to discpline...that doesn't mean you run down the mother if she tries to handle situations or suggests strongly to the father that he may be wrong in his disciplinary action. God says to treat your wife with gentleness and not be harsh with her.

Anyway, my h believes that even though we (my son and I) came into his life after my son had been raised by me for 10 years...that he had EVERY right under God to just "do as he sees fit" with my son NOT considering anything else but "discipline."

I tried to tell him that because we are a blended family it needs to be done differently "AT FIRST" and gradually coming together where the disciplinary measures can be done primarily by my h. But at first...I should be the one disciplining and even consulting with my h to see how he would think it should be done. He does not agree and has been bitter that I didn't let him do things his way. By the way: His way was harsh...not just being firm...or "teaching" my son...he was HARSH and ON my son for seemingly EVERYTHING. My son couldn't seem to walk through a room my h was in without being questioned about something from my h which potentially turned into a huge fiasco almost every time.

My husband exasperated my son with every "wrong" he did. He wouldn't let it go and "badgered" my child until my son was feeling so rotten that I saw a childs spirit being crushed. My h would get so furious to hear me say this...in fact, he has. He doesn't see it that way. He actually believes he's HELPING my son. He won't even CONSIDER what I've said about how he needs to lighten up and give my son and me some breathing room to adjust. By the way, my son is NOT a bad kid...he is a good kid who, IMO, is a normal kid who tests the boudaries sometimes. It's our jobs as parents to "GUIDE" them not exasperate them. Discpline them in love is what the Lord wants. Spanking was a tool I used...but did it wisely and under control. I also talked with my son about the incident so he would LEARN from it.

My husband's boys are respectful (which is much of the reason he believes HE KNOWS how to do it right)...but I see two boys who seem to be lost when it comes to how to have relationships. Isn't being a born again Christian about "relationship" with Chist? If we can't have one with our children...how can be having one with our Lord? Although my h's sons' are respectable...they lack "relationship."

Ephesians 6:4: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I AGREE with this. I wish my husband would understand this truth.

Tenderheart

#6 Mohzilla

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 01:06 PM

I understand what you are saying and why you are so frustrated. I should maybe have included the verses before 6:4 as well. Thats a pretty clear directive:

Ephesians 6:1 Children obey your PARENTS in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father AND THY MOTHER, which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

It's clear here that God wishes both parents to have authority over the child, notice that He does not need to direct the mothers to treat their children kindly and with love in discipline, I believe that is because women typically embody those traits of God in parenthood. That's just MO.

He is missing a very important part of that scripture. Remember though that God admonishes us not to throw our pearls to swine, as they will turn on you and devour you.....

#7 tenderheart

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 01:19 PM

I understand what you are saying and why you are so frustrated. I should maybe have included the verses before 6:4 as well. Thats a pretty clear directive:

Ephesians 6:1 Children obey your PARENTS in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father AND THY MOTHER, which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

It's clear here that God wishes both parents to have authority over the child, notice that He does not need to direct the mothers to treat their children kindly and with love in discipline, I believe that is because women typically embody those traits of God in parenthood. That's just MO.

He is missing a very important part of that scripture. Remember though that God admonishes us not to throw our pearls to swine, as they will turn on you and devour you.....



Thanks Mohzilla...

Yes...he is missing a very important part of that scripture. He just thinks moms are to be there to back up the dad and say, "Listen to your dad." He made it out as if I was supposed to go and pick up the pieces after he was done doing the damage to my son..as if it were MY JOB to protect my husband after he maybe did some serious heart damage to my son. I want to be clear...I don't coddle my son. Maybe I did a little bit while he was younger but it wasn't anything overbearing PLUS I was learning how to be a mom since he was my first (and only) child. I believe children need to feel some pain and unfairness in order to LEARN and grow...in order to realize WHERE TO GO when they feel pain or unfairness. They need to learn to deal with their pain and anger by taking it to the Lord...and by learning that LIFE...in the REAL world out of the protection of their parents can be cold and hard...and so therefore they NEED to feel the consequences of their wrong choices even if it's painful for a while...KNOWING well that the parents are only teaching them and equipping them for thier own future.

Having said that, my husband felt that he had some God given right to jump in and take over immediately without considering the hearts of the two people who truly did need him to be understanding and love to them. His need to control and dictate to us ruined everything AND hurt the heart of a little boy who needed a strong male role model in his life as well as a woman, me, who loved him more than anyone she ever loved before. What a fool he is!

Unfortuneately, my husband seems to misunderstand a lot of scripture...not just the part about discipline. He takes one verse and never balances it out with the rest of the word of God. That is a recipe for disaster....and he certainly created disaster in our marriage. There is little hope for us to reconcile now...I know God can reconcile the worst of marriages...but still...not much hope here anymore. Sad.

Thanks Mohzilla.

Tenderheart

#8 Mohzilla

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 02:19 PM

I hear you so clearly, I am right now assessing whether or not my marriage can continue. I do believe in my heart of hearts that God wants our Hs to change and to grow in their walks with him, the problem is , THEY have to want that too. Until they can admit that, we have to back off and stop getting in God's way by thinking we can be their saviors, that one is hard to swallow, but until we can truly put it in God's hands there will be no growth or change.

Have you read Foolproofing Your Life by Jan Silvious? The bible refers to men like our Hs as fools. Its loaded with scripture that explains how we can do just that, get out of God's way!

I tried something a couple weeks back, she talks about confessing to God that we dont know how to pray (we ask for change in our fools, in our situation etc, but we don't ask what God wants us to do, or something along those lines), I did this, asked God to help me step out of the way so he can work on H, after confessing that I have no idea how to pray. Strange thing is, H's counselor, the one who seemed to be on his side and was pressing me to just move on and forgive etc, did an almost complete turn around, telling H that the loss of love in this marriage is HIS doing and he needs to go to God about it. WOW. Then, I believe he did, things have been very calm, he's been very considerate and kind. Its still new though and I am putting my faith in God that this is the beginning of change for my H.

I have remained aware of the patterns though, and if I go based on past experience, H will last approx one more week at this "nice guy" stage. If he surpasses that, that is a sign to me that he has truly accepted the spirit into his heart, or is beginning to.

I believe that if your H's true motive was to "help" your son and not control him, he would have been very open to your suggestions and ideas, sadly that was not the case, its a shame because he has lost someone wonderful due to his foolishness.

I would suggest you try that book, if only to set things right in your mind, that you have done all you can. If you have read it, read it again! LOL I really think she has some great insights and ideas.

Good Luck Tenderheart, you are in my thoughts and prayers :)

#9 app2

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 09:52 PM

Tenderheart:

People are suppose to grasp the spirit of the word - he is incapable of this!

You are the rebellious wife, and your son will be in the same boat. The man doesn't grasp human relationships, and he is denial of this. Only he can decide if he wishes to change this. He can't do this alone, and that also would be an issue. He seems to have big issues being wrong on stuff like this.

Just continue with the divorce. The only way he wants things is if his rebellious wife shuts her mouth, and goes along with his 'man' driven program. Tender he doesn't grasp the "GOD" program! His fruits are just not there!

You know and I know you are NOT in that boat he speaks about. He isn't willing to let go of it either. Stay with no contact, and keep going.

Isa 58:4 Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. Do you think this kind of fasting will make me listen to your prayers?
Isa 58:5 When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that?
Isa 58:6 "The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free.


Physical violence and verbal abuse are forbidden by God and inhibits the prayers of the one who is abusive

(Eze 33:31 ASV) And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but do them not; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their gain.

(Eze 33:32 ASV) And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

People say they hear and understand the word, but they do not follow it in their lifes.

1Jo 1:6 If we say we are joined to him, and are walking still in the dark, our words are false and our acts are untrue:
1Jo 1:7 But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, we are all united with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son makes us clean from all sin.
1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are false to ourselves and there is nothing true in us.
1Jo 1:9 If we say openly that we have done wrong, he is upright and true to his word, giving us forgiveness of sins and making us clean from all evil.
1Jo 1:10 If we say that we have no sin, we make him false and his word is not in us.

Talking about fellowship with God.

If you walk in darkness you are not walking with him.


Mat 15:1-39 After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, (2) "Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?" (3) But Jesus put it right back on them. "Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God's commands? (4) God clearly says, 'Respect your father and mother,' and, 'Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.' (5) But you weasel around that by saying, 'Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I've given to God.' (6) That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God's command by your rules. (7) Frauds! Isaiah's prophecy of you hit the bull's-eye: (8) These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn't in it. (9) They act like they're worshiping me, but they don't mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy." (10) He then called the crowd together and said, "Listen, and take this to heart. (11) It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up." (12) Later his disciples came and told him, "Did you know how upset the Pharisees were when they heard what you said?" (13) Jesus shrugged it off. "Every tree that wasn't planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. (14) Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch." (15) Peter said, "I don't get it. Put it in plain language." (16) Jesus replied, "You too? Are you being willfully stupid? (17) Don't you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? (18) But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. (19) It's from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. (20) That's what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands--that's neither here nor there."

There are alot of people like this.

#10 Mohzilla

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 01:18 PM

Thank you for the scripture, App, much appreciated. :)




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