Jill Aycock
Parenting for His Purpose - Week 2
by Jill Aycock on November 10th, 2016

​I have been asked a few times what I believe the secret to having good children is…  I honestly don’t have any secret but I do believe all parents must 2 do things.
I believe they must be Consistent and have Consequences
Everything in life has a consequence, good or bad. Think about it for a while. Life is about choices… There is a country song by George Jones that Cody sings all the time to the kids…
{I've had choices
Since the day that I was born
There were voices
That told me right from wrong
If I had listened
No I wouldn't be here today
Living and dying
With the choices I made}

We all have those voices in our heads telling us what we want to do and those voices telling us what we should be doing. I don’t’ believe they are just voices… I believe the Holy Spirit is that is voice talking to us, I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to us even when aren’t believers. I believe God puts a sense of truth in all of us and we can either listen to or ignore, and as parents we are to teach our children to listen to it.  Some people call it intuition and others call it their gut… call it what you want, but I believe it is God guiding us, just as we are guiding our children.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me twice that I could remember before I was a believer. Once when I was 10 and again at 23. When I was 10, I was watching the local news. He told me I was to be a news anchor… I thought what a great job, you only work for like 30 minutes a day. That sounded awesome to a 4th grader. 8 years later I started college as Broadcast Journalism major, and I got an internship at the local NBC affiliate in Tucson and eventually worked my way to a job reporting in Little Rock. I can assure you I wasn’t working 30 minutes a day. My first producing job was 11 at night to 7 in the morning. It was a tough job for little pay. I made $13,500 straight out of college. My dad asked if they knew I had a college education…. it didn’t matter. I loved the news business and the thought of being on TV was so exciting, clearly I wasn’t in it for the money. I had big dreams of becoming a morning anchor in Dallas. That was always my favorite city in Texas and I knew that was my destiny. But as usual, God had other plans… but the path I believed he put me on to become a news anchor was just the beginning; it eventually was the path that I would meet my future husband. And eventually end up working here at the The Harvest.
Because the 2nd time I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me was in college. I was dating a guy who was verbally and almost physically abusive to me… not a great relationship. But I thought I was in love and believed by marrying him, I could change him. One day when we went to look for an engagement ring, God said to me “Stop looking for rings, you are not marrying this guy.” Honestly, I thought I heard Him audibly and looked around the car. This time it kind of freaked me out but I wasn’t a believer yet and didn’t recognize that it was the Holy Spirit. I did recognize that fact that I was in an unhealthy relationship and it was time to break up with him.
I did just that and moved to Little Rock.
Little Rock is a very nice town. I lived with my sister and new brother in law and was there for the first year of my nephew Nelson’s life. It was a blessing for sure. But after living in the small city of Tucson for college and I felt Little Rock was a small town too, I figured it was time to move to the big city… I had big city dreams and small town talent.
After looking for an anchoring job for a few months in some awesome cities like Nashville and Dallas, a news director from Wichita Falls Texas called and I was completely turned off. I did not want to live in a small town again… I yearned for a big city… But after a few minutes on the phones, I knew this is where I was headed next. Not that I wanted to go to a small town, but again I felt the nudge.
I was right…. Wichita Falls is where I met a dear friend, Shauna Sanderson who changed my life forever and within 3 months of moving to Wichita Falls, with the guidance of Shauna, I accepted Christ as my Lord and savior. Just 5 months later I met Cody and as they say… the rest is history. We were married 18 months after that.
Looking back it is clear that Lord had plans for me long before college and long before I was a believer. He knew the path I needed to be on to become His disciple and knew I had to get there on my own… with clearly some nudging.
So I am telling you all this because the Holy Spirit doesn’t just speak to pastors and theologians… he speaks to all of us, especially to those of us who have a relationship with Him. We just must choose to listen. The Holy Spirit was given to us to help us live more like Jesus and spread the Gospel. We must teach our children to listen and we need to discern between what the Holy Spirit is telling us and what we want the Holy Spirit to tell us.
Let’s go Galatians 5:13-21

If you aren’t familiar with Galatians, Paul wrote Galatians to help confirm the church’s faith. He talks about grace and how we are no longer under the laws of the Old Testament. In this section he is talking about living by the Spirit’s Power.
13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesha ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”b 15If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateverc you want.
 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
God gives us a choice.
Are we going to live in the Spirit or are we going to live by our flesh?
I believe children are naturally are born to live by their flesh. This is a broken world and if you have ever had a 2 year old or worse a 3 year old… You know, they live by their flesh. They say “I want” and “mine” more than any other words… 2s are hard and I get why they call them the terrible 2’s but Lord help me, the 3’s rocked my world. At 2 I feel kids don’t know any different and we are teaching them right from wrong… but when they are 3, I feel like they basically know what they are suppose to be doing, but choose to live by the flesh and disobey anyway… I hate telling someone with a hard 2 year old it’s going to get worse before it gets better and I hope it doesn’t… but 4 times running… the 3’s were hard!
If I am really honest… I think Carter was about 18 months when I starting saying “Or” and “I Will” ALL DAY LONG!!! My boys were busy, busy toddlers…
I would say:
You need to pick up your toys OR I will take them all away.
You need to apologize OR we will leave this play date
You need to be nice to your friend OR you will have no friends
If you punch your brother, I WILL spank you
If you don’t sit down and behave   I WILL spank you
The list goes on… And there was a time when I thought I was ruining my kids with the “OR” AND “I WILL” statements. But as my children have gotten older, I can see that they believe if they mess up there will be a consequence. They also know they are rewarded for exceptional behavior.
They know no different. Through the years the consequences have definitely, changed, I don’t spank anyone anymore but there are still consequences for all actions in our home.
Of course there is always a non-believer…   that is Walker. When he was about 10, he said he didn’t believe me when I told him everything has a consequence.
He said “I don’t believe you that everything in life has a consequence and I said it does. Every action you take has a consequences, some good some bad… he sat there for a minute and said I know of one that doesn’t… I said, Oh Really??? Yes, breathing, there isn’t a consequence for that …. So I told him to stop breathing to see what how that worked out for him.”
It is just how our world works, and as our children grow they need to have harder consequences. Going easy on our children is not going to produce the adults we want running this world. It will produce adults who can’t handle tough situations.
If you have toddlers, make sure your child knows what the consequences are in your home. They are never too young to understand that when they do something bad, there will be a consequence… and for heaven’s sake, stick with it!
Mean what you say and say what you mean…
One of Dr. Ezzo’s advice I did take away from Growing Kids God’s Way was to have one area in your home for spankings. We spanked our children. Actually, not all of them.
One of them needed 1 spanking in her life and others needed a spanking a day… they are all so different.  We can’t think that just because we have children from the same parents they will be alike and respond to the same consequences.
So we picked my closet for the spanking area. They really never had a need to be in there and I believe the philosophy behind the spanking area is that they knew what was going to happen and it turned into being a great threat too… “Do you want to go to my closet?” No one ever said, “Yes mom, that would be awesome!”
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. Proverbs 23:13

I don’t think spanking is the only way to discipline a child but it does go back to scripture.
In Proverbs it tell us…
Proverbs 23:13
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
I also spanked my boys with a wooden spoon…. We called it the “Reminder.” It was great to ask my boys in public if they needed a “Reminder.” Many times, I just had to say the word and they usually straightened up pretty quick.
Years ago, One child that I felt like needed a spanking just about everyday did something that warranted a spanking and I sent him to my closet. I usually let them sit in there for a while. One, for me to cool off and two to make him think about what they had done or squirm.
So after I had spanked this child, I sat him down and said. “Why did you do what you did and what did you think was going to happen?” He actually said, “I knew I was going to get spanked but it was worth it….” BOYS!!!!
So there you go, sometimes strong willed children will still do what they want to do despite the consequence. I do believe at that time, I found another consequence for him. Something that made him deter from making the wrong choice. Clearly, he wasn’t being swayed enough by the spanking.
That is what we need to do as parents… Find what will deter our children from destructive behavior. Every child is different and will need to be disciplined according to their personality.
In our family, one kid is super social, one kid who loves his electronics, one kid who seriously hates to be yelled at and one child who you just have to look at her in a disapproving way and tell her how disappointed you are in her and she falls apart. I am praying this still works at 16… Fingers crossed.
I can’t really tell you what consequence will work with your child. They are all so unique, but you need to know and if you want to figure it out… try to figure out what they love the most and take that away.
When I was in the trenches of toddlerhood, Cody was gone Monday through Friday and I had 4 babies… 6 and under. I think that is one of the reasons I feel like toddlerhood was so tough. I was doing it alone for 5 days a week… and as I was raising 3 boys, whom one day I knew would be bigger than me, I thought ahead. I knew I could spank them now and correct them physically if necessary, but I also knew there would be a day that they were stronger than me and they might laugh at “the reminder” and for my big boys that day has been here for awhile.
Carter is much taller and stronger than me and Walker is catching up in height and was stronger than me in 4th grade.
So I had planned to make sure when they were physically bigger, I still had something on them… I chose Fear.
In the bible it says to Fear the Lord… It says it over 400 times.
There are 2 types of fear… the type that is terrifying and paralyzing. It is normal to fear crime, danger and harm to our ourselves and families… But that isn’t what the bible is talking about.
 We have no reason to fear God. As believers we know that there is nothing that we can do for Him to leave us or Forsake us. That is His promise.
Fearing God means that we have such reverence and respect for Him that we change the way we lead our lives. We as believers respect the fact that God hates sin and we fear his judgment.
The fear of God is respecting Him, Obeying Him and worshipping Him.
I think about it like fearing authority. When we are around our bosses we don’t necessary fear that person, but we might fear losing our job therefore we act accordingly. We act with respect and that is what I want my children to feel around me and other adults. Respectful.
I think some parents shy away from wanting their children to fear them because they associate the word with the terrifying type of fear and if you want to change the word to respect then do so, but honestly I have always wanted my children to fear God and their parents. Both of us have authority over their lives and they should respect that.
I have never used the word fear around my children, I have never told them they should be afraid of me, but I have told them they will respect their parents…
It’s Number 5 of the Ten Commandments. I didn’t come up with this on my own.
Honor your parents… It has been written in black and white for thousands of years.
But again like I said last week, we can’t wish our kids would respect us. We can’t just hope our kids will fear us enough to make good decisions… We can pray about it but we need to train them to respect us.
I believe training them properly must include consequences and honestly I believe the consequences should hurt.
My children do not walk around our house in fear of what might happen to them. We are clear on consequences and they know when they break the rules or are disrespectful there will be a consequence. They also know that they will be praised for good behavior and going above beyond for others. They need positive reinforcement too. I think they understand that is a consequence too for following the rules and doing what they are suppose to do. This comes to teenagers as freedom. If I trust you to make the right choices, I will trust you to have more freedom.
As they have gotten physically stronger than me, there are the times when my big boys will tell me they aren’t afraid of me… and I will remind them that I own everything in our house and if needed they will find themselves in their rooms with just a blanket and pillow. I have told them I will give them 5 pairs of shorts, underwear, socks and 5 shirts. They will be able to do laundry on the weekend… they just look at me like I am crazy. And I probably am, but because I have never caved on a consequence, they think I am just crazy enough to go through with it and truth be told, I would love to someday to just make my point.
That brings me back to Mean what you say and say what you mean point…. NEVER CAVE AND ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH. MEAN WHAT YOU SAY AND SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.
Consistency…. I can honestly stand before you and say I have never-not followed through with my children in the privacy of my own home… Yes, I might have threatened a time or two at Chick Fil A when they were little or at Target in front of God and everyone. But I believe YOU need to say what you mean and mean what we say…. IT is just that simple. Don’t say you are going to spank them if you don’t. Don’t say you are doing to ground them for a week and give up 2 days later… They smell weakness and know you are full of it. That is what they do. Look for you to not follow through.
Make sure you follow through when you tell them what consequences are going to be if they break a rule or disobey you. Cody says sometimes I bring an elephant gun to shoot a squirrel. He makes sure I think before I threaten.
Years ago we were sitting at dinner and Number two was being disgusting with horrible table manners…. I mean he can be so gross!!! So I told him, if he continued to have bad table manners he would NEVER eat at our dinner table again….
Thank the Lord that Cody was sitting right next to me and said… “Think about what you just said. He will NEVER eat with us again?”
I kind of get out of my mind sometimes!!! Anyone else?
So I told him he would have to eat alone for a week…
Say what you mean and mean what you say. You need to have follow through… these kids aren’t stupid and know when we are losing our minds and say things that aren’t true.
We need to stay on our A game. We need to know that as our children grow into tweens and teens, and expectations and consequences change. I believe I have been very clear with my children but there are those times when they do something and act like they have never heard the Aycock rules and that’s when I think…
Have you lost your mind? Hello, I am your mother and this is how we do things. They look at me like we have just met sometimes… So we sit down and go over the expectations… AGAIN AND AGAIN!
I don’t expect my kids to be perfect; in fact, I want them to make mistakes… that is what I am here for. Parenting is about teaching them through the tough times, not just getting to enjoy the highs and joys of parenting and I believe there are too many of those to count… But those are the easy parts of parenting.
We do need to be very real with our kids. I let them know I am human and I make mistakes all the time and have to apologize to them more than I would like to admit.
I tell them I get my feelings hurt and feel left out sometimes, even as a grown adult… They are just shocked by this. I tell them that I want them to learn how to deal with the human race because mean girls become mean women and bullies usually continue to bully as adults unless they are parented… We don’t grow out of hard situations, they actually become tougher as we grow older. We need to teach them how to handle difficult people and situations. You can’t run away from your problems.
I love the saying “Little kid=little problems, big kids=big problems”
It is so true, there are days that I long for the day that our biggest issue was teaching them to use the potty rather than not smoke pot…. Or not hitting their friends and siblings instead of not killing someone while driving.
Parenting isn’t for sissies and God gave us theses children because He believes in us. If you have a hard strong willed child then I want to tell you that God thinks you are strong and tough… He knows what He is doing; let’s not pretend He doesn’t.  There is no such thing as coincidence.
But it is hard and we need to stay strong and we need to stand together. We need to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with people who will be there for us and help raise children who will one day run this world with honesty and integrity. We need to be compassionate with each other and forgiving. We need not to judge another parent’s style. We don’t know other people’s kids… We don’t know how they were raised… we don’t know anything; we haven’t walked in their shoes.
But what we do know is the love of God and what He would do. He teaches us to help our friends, not condemn them and guide them when they needed it. We don’t need to do this parenting thing alone. If you have a spouse, make sure you are on the same parenting page and if you are a single parent, surround yourself with people who will help you… and everyone needs a good friend to bounce ideas off of or some days just vent. We all need a tribe.
I have been blessed with an amazing tribe who has helped raise my children… we have been in the trenches together. We have been through tragedy together, we have lost children and parents together… but we have also been able to experience the joys of life together too. When one of our children experiences success, we all feel a sense of pride.
And when one of their children hurts, my heart hurts too. Theses kids know that I am always there for them and love them like my own.
I am a better parent for surrounding myself with these people…
​Years ago I heard a sermon on 1 Corinthians… 15:33 “ Do not be misled, Bad company corrupts good character.”
Who is your company? I love this scripture and I have preached it to my children for years. I also teach it to any group of kids I get in front of… Do not hang out with people who will bring you down and influence you in a way that you will turn away from Christ. I tell my children… You will be nice to everyone, but you will not be friends with everyone.
I tell them they are to be a light in this world and spread the gospel, but that does not mean you will become bff’s with the bad kids to try and change him. You will be an example in your life of what God is doing, but I don’t believe they should constantly be with kids who make bad choices… and this goes for the parents as well.
This seems harsh, I know. But I choose to not surround myself with people who I feel like are bad influences on my family and me. The type of friend I have is the type of friend I want my kids have… we are setting the example for what friendship looks like too. If your child hears you talking badly about your friend to your spouse, they will think it’s ok to gossip and talk bad about their friend too. If you go get wasted with your friends every Friday and Saturday night, that is what your child thinks is normal and will probably follow in your footsteps. They see you as normal remember?
They do what they are modeled in everything, including your choice in friends.
I know making friends isn’t always easy and finding the right friends is even harder. But first and foremost pray about it. Ask God for the type of person you need. Do you need someone who understands your child? Do you have a child who struggles with specific issues are you feeling alone in that situation? Ask God to surround you with those people. He will do it.
If you are struggling in your faith… Ask God to send you friends who will lead you closer to God… he is yearning for those prayers.
After praying about it, you must do some work.
When I was new to town with a 19 month old and 6 months pregnant… I was dying for friends. I am naturally a social person and back then I knew I needed some friends to help me in that season of life.
Cody and I were invited to a Sunday school class at a Methodist church by a co-worker. Cody wasn’t keen on mixing business with pleasure… but I told him I NEEDED SOME FRIENDS!! Because he loves me, he went with no intention of making friends. But 13 years later we continue to foster the same friendships we created in that Sunday school class. Some of you are in this room. I have been blessed by the effort I made to make friends and I was very intentional about it. I pretended to like to scrapbook to be invited to gatherings, I pretended I knew how to cook to be invited to Pampered Chef’s Parties… I wasn’t being fake; I was drawn to these strong women of Christ and figured out a way for them to become part of my life.
As I write this, it sounds a little like Single White Female… maybe I was, but my intentions were to surround myself with women who loved the Lord who I knew would direct me in the right path… and I believe it was successful.
I am thankful for these families and thankful for their children. These people are our greatest supporters and biggest cheerleaders. They are also there when things get bad. I know I can call them at 2 am with an emergency; they are the family I chose.
Proverbs 13:20
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

As our kids grow and become more independent, they will be making friends who have parents we don’t know… classmates and teammates… although we can’t control whom they come in contact with after we send them to school, we can still help them discern what a good friend looks like and how to handle friends who are unhealthy for them.
This is part of our job too. ReeseKathryn is the one who has had the most friend drama. It’s a girl thing in our house.
She is kind and forgiving and also wants to hang with the cool kids… so sometimes she gets hurt. This is new parenting territory for me. My boys are dudes… if they get their feelings hurt, they just move on, there is no overanalyzing why this boy was mean and what he could do to change it… They just move on.
 Sometimes I wish I were a guy… they have it so easy. They check their emotions at the door and go on about their business but God gave me the gift of a girl and I am still trying to figure out how much I should meddle in her friendship drama.
I have read articles several articles about this and about how letting them deal with it helps them better understand what it means to be a good friend.
Most of the drama happens at school or when I am not around and I know there are two sides to every story. So I have decided I will parent ReeseKathryn to walk away. I have taught her to not be friends with people who don’t respect her or who are mean to her. That is what I model as well. I do not have high maintenance friends who I have drama with. I just walk away.
​God tells us to Love one another, as I have loved you and I believe sometimes the best way you can love someone is by not having them in your life. It is ok. You don’t have to be buddy-buddy with everyone. I have found that when I have pulled away the relationship actually gets better. I will be there for anyone in need and would do whatever is necessary to help anyone, but I refuse to be in a relationship with some who is toxic. I learned this on my own and I believe our kids need to navigate friendships alone too. I do believe we can guide them, but we don’t need to be up in their business all the time. They will never understand what is means to work through a healthy relationship on their own if we have our noses where they don’t belong.
I know not every situation is the same and not every kid is the same… I feel very strongly that we need to allow our children to feel things… success, failure, embarrassment, shame, and guilt. Real emotions… Our children need to feel these feelings while they are young.
And that is where we will start next week. God has been telling me for a long time to write a book called “Let Them Feel It” We will get into why we should allow our kids to feel the pain and why we shouldn’t protect them from the harsh reality of emotions.
Let’s Pray

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