"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Heb. 12:11)
"As well as meaning to correct, chasten also means to restrain, to subdue, to rid of excess, to refine or to purify. Habit training fulfills all of these definitions if we let the Holy Spirit do His work. We must not be short-sighted and think that this training can be delayed. If we fail to help our children form good habits, they may learn that order and discipline are not important, that there is no standard to live by and may even learn that the Standard of God's Word need not be obeyed. But if we consistently train our flesh and theirs to do the hard thing, before long, we will have formed good habits, resulting in blessing, peace, and ease."-Lorraine Curry
This One Thing I Do
"We can't expect to be successful at training our children in forming good habits if we are untrained ourselves. Therefore, start by making a list of all the good habits you would like to see in your own life. Put in as much detail as necessary. Now pick just one of those listed, and put the list away. Do this one thing over and over and over (and over and over and over and over) until it is a sure habit. Then you will be able to effectively train your children to form their own good and godly habits. Later, you can attack another area of your own. This process results in self-discipline, which is defined as controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training."-Lorraine Curry
"The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him." (Prov. 20:7)
The word integrity implies that we are to be fixed or unchanging: sticking like glue to doing the right thing.
The Way They Should Go
"Before going back to another item from your list, make lists for your children as a group or individually. Now pick one habit from your children's list to work on. You will have to put the same effort (or more) into this undertaking. Romans 12:8 tells us to rule with diligence. Diligence and self-control are the opposites of laziness and indolence, which cause little or no pain and imply not making the effort to do the right thing
consistently. Diligence, rather, is marked by persevering and painstaking effort. These two words hold the key to victory as we commit to forming good and Godly habits."-Lorraine Curry
Taking Pains to Persevere
"Painstaking means marked by or requiring great pains; very careful and diligent. The greatest pains are when one begins to form a good habit, breaking the bad one. This is the most difficult time, and it requires great diligence to persevere. Persevere means to persist in or to remain constant to a purpose, an idea, or a task in the face of obstacles or discouragement. The enemy will put up many obstacles to becoming disciplined. For example, if you have never made it a habit to rise at a set time, you will find it much easier to stay in bed. You may be given thoughts such as, "Just one more day won't hurt." But, one more day without discipline means that you are many more days from having formed a good habit. Another obstacle the devil can put up is the lie that our efforts are not doing any good, thereby discouraging us, and tempting us to discontinue. The enemy does not want us to form good and Godly habits. Let's not forget Eph. 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
It has been said that it takes ten days to form habits. Only ten days! If we take pains to persevere for ten days, we will be well on our way to good and Godly habits."-Lorraine Curry
He Giveth Power
"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." (Is. 40:29)
"The Lord has promised to help us. When we decide and start, He steps in and empowers us. The hurdle is in our camp -the struggle is with the decision and with taking the first step toward obedience. We need His Power in our lives to soar over this obstacle."-Lorraine Curry
"For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out asthe dirt in the streets." (Ps. 18:39-42)
Hindrances to Good Habits
"If you have some "thing" (TV, computer, hobby, etc.) that is keeping you from doing what God wants - from forming good and Godly habits, the most dramatic action you could take would be to get rid of that thing.
"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire." (Mark 9:47)
A more reasonable and rational thing for a Spirit controlled person to do, would be to set and force (form a habit of) regular hours for using or doing that "thing." This is easier said than done. But God will make a way, if we do our part."-Lorraine Curry
1) First of all, pray. Matt. 26:41 says, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Be sure to pray that your life will manifest more love. Isn't the failure to form and teach these good and Godly habits largely because of selfishness?
2) Make separate detailed lists of needed habits for you; for your children as a group or individually.
3) Form one good habit in your own life, selecting from your list.
4) Train your children in one good habit. Take plenty time for this. Make it a sure habit before going on to anything else.
5) Praise God for what has been accomplished and go on with one habit at a time. You. Then your children. Until all that needs to be changed is changed habit-wise.
6) Be cautious not to let a habit slip into a non-habit.
"I count not myself to have apprehended" I write on some of these topics because the Lord is dealing with me about them. Although I know God's priorities, how I spent my time showed that my habits were not in line with my values, which are His priorities. My mind and time were too much on the things that should have been a lot lower on my list. Here is the list of priorities He gave me, along with some habits to form. (I had already formed the habit of putting God at the very top of the list by spending time in HIs Word and prayer each morning.)
1) Husband - rise at a set time and fix his breakfast, lunch.
2) Children - plan and do set hours for school.
3) House - schedule so it's always clean, and fix up a bit more.
4) Others - ministry to neighbors, set a regular day and hours for family ministry.
5) Business - consider just one day a week for this.
6) Personal (hobbies, free time, etc.)
He also showed me that everything needing attention in my own life focused on neglect in the area of planning. I love to plan and I know it works, but if not done "habitually" it falls by the wayside, along with an orderly life."-Lorraine Curry
See more planning ideas in Easy Homeschooling Techniques.
"Whew! So many things needed changing. But God encouraged me to start with just one thing at a time as I have outlined in this article. If you, as I, have failed before in forming good and Godly habits, let's "forget those things which are behind" and press forward. Remember, one thing at a time. Don't try to tackle everything at once. Be consistent and make that one habit sure. Soon we will have in our possession all good things. And the way will be easy and blessed."-Lorraine Curry
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness - his way of being and doing right - and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)