Have you ever had one of those days? For us, every so often there’s a day when we feel like our kid’s bodies have been taken over by other very bad kids. Simple things – listening, obeying, not being a jerk to your sibling can be so hard. Somehow it’s a HUGE SURPRISE that we have to get up in the morning and put clothes on. Anyway, teaching your kids not to be jerks is a big task, filled with daily attention, discipline and prayer. The holy grail for every person is this, “How does obedience become something that is internally motivated and not externally enforced?” If laws and fear of jail are the only thing between criminals and their crimes, history proves that is not enough.
So if the answer is not more punishment (and believe me, you have to discipline and be disciplined, but there’s diminishing returns at some point), how do you train people to be great humans? Although there’s no shortcut to discipline, the Bible tells us the secret to making it stick – stay connected to the Spring of Living Water! A spring is underground, unseen life-giving flow. According to Scripture and soooo much evidence, there is only one truly life-giving spring and it’s having a personal ongoing connection with the living God.
This is why family devos (prayer, Bible reading) is an imperative for anyone wanting to raise kids who are internally motivated to make right choices. Personal devos is a necessity for everyone who wants to be consistently internally motivated for right living. Getting yourself and your kids into a community of believers (church, life group) constantly is essential for anyone needing to be internally motivated. These are tangible connections to the spring of living water that is unseen, then your motivations will be unseen and strong for a lifetime. So stop raising your kids to be jerks (he says with a knowing smile), and connect to the unseen Spring of Living Water every day.
Here are some Scriptures for further study on the Spring of Living Water – Num 21:17; Prov 25:26,;Isa 58:11; Jer 2:13, 15:18, 17:13; John 4:14; James 3:11-13; Rev 21:6.