Teach Them Diligently: Part two

Yesterday I wrote about Lou Priolo's book Teach Them Diligently. If you missed that and would like to read it, go here. Today I am going to share what I intend to do with what I gleaned from that book.

Priolo was hard-hitting in his position that if you aren't using the Bible when you discipline your child, you aren't disciplining biblically.

I do try to use the Bible as I discipline, but I end up using the same few verses over and over again. A couple of examples:

Me: "What was our 'C verse'?" (from our ABC Bible Verses book)
Child: "Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord."
Me: "That's right, honey. And you did not obey mommy when I asked you to come here."


Me: "Honey, I just saw you push your brother. Is hitting kind or rude?"
Child: "Rude."
Me: "That's right. And the Bible says that 'love is not rude'."

And then there are the times when I simply say, "Do not push your brother." Or, "You need to obey me when I say _______(whatever it is I say)." The times when I don't bring what God has to say about it into our conversation at all. If I'm honest, those times outweigh the times that I really take the time to do it right.

Okay, back to the book.

Midway through the book, Priolo writes,
We all have our own unique styles of sinning. While it is true there is no temptation that can overtake us "but such as is common to man" (1 Corin. 10:13), it is also true that each of us is tempted when we are carried away and enticed by our own desires (James 1:14).

Priolo then encourages parents to identify the specific patterns of sin your child struggles with. Then to identify the portions of Scripture that specifically address the correction of your child's sin. When I got to this part, I was reaching for my journal and a pen. I love this kind of practical application. So I did this. Then later with my husband, I read portions of the book to him and asked him if there were any patterns of sin in our children that I had overlooked.

When our list was completed, I found verses from the Bible that correlated with these particular sins. This was made easier by the fact that Priolo has an appendix in the book called, "Scripture Texts for Child Training".

This is not the first book I've read that provides a topical listing of sins and go-to verses for that particular issue. While this is helpful information to refer to, it isn't particularly practical to have all those tucked away in a book on a shelf. Out of sight, out of mind.

Ideally, these verses would be written on my heart and I could retrieve them at the appropriate times. Some are, but certainly not the number I would like. I do hope to be there at some point, but I am not there yet.

In the meantime, I decided to do this: I bought some poster board and made a chart with two columns: Put Off and Put On. At the top of the chart reads the verse from Ephesians 4: "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Under the Put Off column I wrote those sins that our children continually struggle with in our house, and in the Put On column, I wrote references for a verse (or two) that apply to that particular sin. I then posted this in our living room.

My hope is that this chart will serve as a visible reminder to me during the day when these sins rear their ugly heads.

When my son argues with me, I can glance at the chart, grab my Bible, and we can read this, from Proverbs: "The wise in heart accepts commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin." And then we can pray together that God would give him (and me!) an attentive heart, and read this, "My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words" or this: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak..."

When my daughter shows a lack of self-control, we can talk about putting off foolish behavior: "A fool gives full vent to his anger..." (Prov. 29:11a), and ask God for wisdom: "...but a wise man keeps himself under control." (Prov. 29:11b)

My desire is this: that my children would love the commands of God, and that His Word would be written on their hearts. That they would so know what He says that their behavior later in life would prompt that verse they learned when they were little.

Oh how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are ever with me.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
Psalm 119:97-104


  1. Sep. 5, 2006 - GOOD STUFF!!
    Posted by Michelle
    Are you SURE you did not put this on a spreadsheet that you can send to me????!!!!! This is very good stuff, Stacy...and will definitely provide some food for discussion in our home!! Good (Godly) wisdom here...and I LOVE the chart! Good thinking to have it right out there where you can refer to it so easily...I need that! GREAT JOB!!!

    p.s. how many times did your little perfectionist self have to re-do that poster to get it without any errors???? =) love you!


    Sep. 5, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by jengresak
    Well, I can't believe you made me wait 24 hours between the first "teaser" post and this one -lol! But I managed to only check your blog compulsively three or four times. It was worth it I must say : ) Excellent advice, excellent idea, excellent recommendation, excellent all around!! God bless! Thanks for your time typing all that up for us : )


    Sep. 5, 2006 - Its a good thing!
    Posted by Dana
    I got Doorposts For Instruction in Rightousness at the HS conference. I never thought to make up a poster. Thanks once again!
    Oh and we had the Thai Chicken Wraps - delicious!


    Sep. 5, 2006 - Thank You!
    Posted by Sandi

    What a great idea! We have talked through the areas that need work and have the scriptures to go with them. Putting them on a chart for ME and them is ingenious. This is so helpful to put onto action what we have learned.

    Great Stuff!


    Sep. 5, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Anonymous

    This is really quite excellent! I love the poster idea for easy reference. Thanks for passing this on.

    Ali (from Indiana)


    Sep. 5, 2006 - I love your blog!
    Posted by Sarah

    Your post was really timely for me! I’ve been thinking quite a bit about using more Scripture in discipline and the “Put On” “Put Off” idea is a great tool. I too use the same verses over and over and while all Scripture is beneficial, I just did not feel that sometimes it was reaching the heart of the disobedience. Your post also made me think that using scriptures is beneficial for verbal correction, not just for major discipline times….guess I never really thought to use God’s word at those times too! Do you use this at any age? I’m thinking of my 14 month old!!


    Sep. 5, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! I will definitely be using your poster idea at our house. I have the Priolo book but must confess that I need to get it back out and finish it! Thanks for the encouragement to do so.

    On a fun note, I tagged you in my last post. So, if you're up for it, pop on by. I don't think I've seen it on your blog yet. It's kinda fun because it's all about homeschooling resources.

    Great post today, Stacy. As usual!

    PS BTW, I really related to your comment about using the same verses over and over. I use those same ones you quoted all the time! =)

    Edited by Joni on Sep. 5, 2006 at 7:37 PM


    Sep. 5, 2006 - For my sweet blogging friends
    Posted by reformingmama
    I could conceivably copy them down for you.. IF Brock and Erica's issues are the same as my kids'! :) AND- (drumroll, please...) I only did the poster ONCE! There is one error on it but I LET IT GO. Also, when I erased the pencil marks (because I mapped it out a bit first in pencil before I moved to permanent marker), it left shiny spots on the poster board. Left those, too. Are you not so pleased? ;D

    Thanks for all the excellent encouragement! :D

    Ooh... I have that one, too. Very good. I was wishing my children were older, actually- so that THEY could make the poster! They could even do pictures, you know? Maybe you could put your kids to work on it.

    Yes. That's what I thought... helpful for me to have them up and visible. Thanks for your encouragement! :)

    Thank you for your kind words! :)

    You are so sweet. I love what you said about how sometimes our same verses we're using doesn't reach the heart of the disobedience. Yes. And for verbal correction, too. I'm loving that aspect of it... not only for the times that we end up administering the rod of correction, but when we just want to consult God's word for the other stuff, too. I've wondered about it with Isaias, too.. (is he too young?) I'm going to try it on a much 'simpler' level with him... maybe more of the "love is not rude" stuff.

    Thank you for your enthusiastic encouragement! I'm happy to see you'll implement it at your house! Yeah.. it's a tough one to finish; that book. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who had a rough time of it. Just meaty. Good stuff, but... meaty.

    Blessings to all of you!


    Sep. 6, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by KayinPA
    This is a great book! I need to go back and read it and apply more of it! Thanks for the reminders!


    Sep. 9, 2006 - Stacy
    Posted by ChildsGeography
    God uses you to teach me much. Your passion for Him and for your children, Stacy, so bless me.

    I deeply appreciate you.

    Ann V.


    Dec. 8, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Anonymous
    I just wanted to tell you that you have awesome handwriting. That poster looks wonderful!

    Oh, and also, of course you have very good ideas!! lol

    Tonja (Indiana)

  2. I found your sight while checking out my friend Liz's. I hope you don't mind. I am blessed by what you wrote here and will pray about doing what you did. I try to incorporate scripture while disciplining as well and it is difficult at times to remember to do so. Thank you for sharing.


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