KEYWORDS: children, parents, discipline, lord, kids, things

Shooting Straight, Part 5--Letter Links: Delinquent Parents?

August 9, 2004

Table of Contents

(ML #3503, GN 1091)

FD/MM/FM July 2004

Delinquent Parents

ML #1708‚ DB 2

1. PARENTS WHO CAN'T RULE THEIR OWN HOUSE & THEIR OWN CHILDREN DON'T BELONG IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE CHURCH OF GOD! They're a dandy bad example! Ah, on what infinitesimally small things do God's omnipotent wheels turn! Behold what a great fire a little flame kindleth & what a great sad defeat one little neglect causes!—Something they thought was little, apparently, such as disciplining their own child.

2. LOVE IS THE ANSWER, IT'S PLAIN AS DAY IN THE SCRIPTURE, "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth & scourgeth every son whom He receiveth!" (Heb.12:6) A parent who loves his children is going to chasten them & scourge them until they're able to be received. Parents with undisciplined children have disobeyed the law!—My laws, God's laws, Family laws‚ & they're even dangerous to have around!

3. DON'T BLAME IT ON THE POOR LITTLE KID! HE'S JUST THE PRODUCT OF THEIR LACK OF DISCIPLINE & THEIR LACK OF OBEDIENCE, THAT'S ALL! He's the fruit of their failure. It's all right there in the Bible! "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him!" (Pro.22:15)

6. I HAVE NEVER CHANGED MY STAND ON DISCIPLINE NOR HAVE THE FAMILY'S RULES CHANGED! If parents cannot discipline & control their own children, they have no business in any important job in God's Work. If the children are rotten they're apt to pollute & corrupt others, so you can't dare have them around for fear of the bad effect they'll have on others. If you don't discipline a child from the time it's a baby, it's going to be a failure & a flop & a mess & a problem by the time it gets to be a year old!

7. THE CHILD IS A PRODUCT OF THE PARENTS & their nature & character & spirituality or lack of it, including all of their faults. Delinquent children are the products of delinquent parents! I don't think you can blame me or Maria nor our Family nor our rules nor God nor the Bible.—It's your fault!

8. (MARIA: WELL, WHY DON'T PARENTS WANT TO DISCIPLINE THEIR CHILDREN WHEN THEY KNOW HOW MUCH TROUBLE IT'S GOING TO CAUSE IF THEY DON'T?) Because discipline is very hard work & it is a constant grind! You don't ever dare let up, not for a minute, not for one occasion, not on any score whatsoever, you've got to keep at it to make it consistent & constant. And that is hard to do!

9. 99 TIMES OUT OF 100 UNDISCIPLINED KIDS ARE A RESULT OF DELINQUENT PARENTS, BECAUSE THE PARENTS ARE GOD-DAMN LAZY!—Just plain lazy & don't want to go to the trouble of disciplining their children. "A child left to his own devices bringeth his parents to shame!" (Pro.29:15) They just don't want to go to the trouble of strict hard continuous discipline!

10. IF YOU ARE TOO BUSY TO TRAIN & DISCIPLINE & CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN & ENFORCE OBEDIENCE, YOU ARE TOO BUSY! You'd better not have any children then. You'd better give'm to somebody that knows how to take care of kids. God does not put up with parents or children who are only controllable part of the time! He cannot take a chance on people who possibly will fail when they are most needed. It's either all or nothing at all with God! God will not tolerate any percentage of disobedience!

11. IF YOU DON'T CHASTEN YOUR CHILDREN … IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S LAWS & DRIVE THAT CHILD'S FOOLISHNESS FAR FROM HIM, IF YOU SPOIL THAT CHILD …, YOU DON'T LOVE THAT CHILD!—You hate that child! You don't care anything about that child! You pretend to love it with spoiling, because you're God-damned lazy & you don't want to go to the trouble & the hardship & the constant grind & the suffering & the hurt you suffer of watching your child suffer for his sins & the fact that you have to administer the punishment!

12. BUT FAILURE TO DISCIPLINE A CHILD IS DOWNRIGHT WILLFUL DISOBEDIENCE! Don't tell me you can't!—You won't! Even if the parents are a mess at least they can try to make something out of the child! But that's the trouble, messy parents usually make messy children!

13. PEOPLE WHO HAVE CHILDREN THAT ARE UNDISCIPLINED, SOME OF THOSE PARENTS SOMETIMES CANNOT STAND DISCIPLINE THEMSELVES! Parents who fail to discipline their children are a constant hazard, because if they have let the Devil get in like that through their disobedience & their neglect & their downright rebelliousness against us & our Family laws & the laws of God & His Word, they are untrustworthy‚ they cannot be relied upon.

14. NOBODY IS INDISPENSABLE UNLESS THEY OBEY GOD‚ & if they are disobedient, rebellious, stubborn‚ willful, unwilling to take correction themselves, then we can't take a chance on them hardly anywhere. Unless they stop it‚ they're going to have to live with that in everlasting shame & contempt to see the damage their neglect & their disobedience & their rebelliousness caused & the suffering it caused their children.

16. YOU CANNOT HAVE ANY LINK BROKEN IN THE CHAIN OF DISCIPLINE, BECAUSE ONE PERSON WHO FAILS TO DISCIPLINE THE CHILD CAN UNDO ALL THE GOOD TRAINING that all the others have put into him. Lack of unity & cooperation between parents or among parents & teachers destroys any possibility of training & discipline. If any one person having to do with the care or discipline of that child fails to be firm in their term of childcare & lets that child get away with things that the others wouldn't let him get away with, that child is going to develop that weakness in that spot with that person which is going to destroy all the rest of the discipline, because if he thinks he can get away with it once, maybe he can get away with it other times, other places‚ with other people. That's where the lack of cooperation between parents on child discipline, the lack of unity destroys any possibility of training that child & disciplining that child, if parents disagree.

17. (Maria: You have to have all the parents, all the childcare workers, all agree to stick to the same rules, same standard.) Of course! They absolutely have to be agreed with standard rules & standard obedience.

18. MOST CHILDREN CAN BE FORCED TO BE GOOD. If all those caring for them use strict discipline‚ faithful, consistent, continuous unrelenting discipline‚ they learn very soon that crime doesn't pay. It's not the poor kid's fault, that's the sad part about it, it's the parents' fault.

19. THE MOST VITAL PART OF THIS WORK IS OUR CHILDREN. Our children are the Future & we must preserve & protect the Future. If we have failed our children, we have failed our Future & our whole work will fail through that failure, our failure & the failure of our children because of our failure.

20. (MARIA: THE BIGGEST LESSON FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY, THE BIG SHOCKER & what's really going to wake them up is to realize that what seems like a little thing, just a little lack of discipline behind closed doors in the evenings, in this case is so serious that it could completely damage & upset the whole Work of God!) Yes! Be sure your sins will find you out! Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap! (Gal.6:7) It's a pretty important problem in the Family of God.—And people had better realize how serious it is!

21. NO MATTER HOW FAITHFUL YOU ARE IN EVERY OTHER AREA & every other job & every other thing, if you have failed with your children you have failed God in the most important job He has given you to do!—And that's to prepare & save the Future, which is your children! And if you don't get it done now you're not going to save this Future, but in a future time you are still going to have to do it, come what may, whether it takes the Millennium & all Eternity‚ God is going to hold you to it!

22. BUT THIS DAY IS GONE FOREVER & CAN NEVER BE RECLAIMED! What you have failed to do in the past & today or even in the future is going to be unredeemable, irreclaimable, gone forever, lost to eternity, & some of you are going to have to suffer everlasting shame & contempt for it forever, for the failures, the things you could have done & didn't do, & things you did you shouldn't have‚ & all the damage & problems it's caused!—If you don't stop it NOW!

23. IF YOU FAIL IN YOUR CHILDREN YOU HAVE FAILED! He can hardly say to you when you arrive at His feet, "Well done, thou good & faithful servant" if you have failed in the care of your children! It doesn't matter how faithful you've been in anything else if you've failed in your most important job—your children!

24. LORD JESUS, HELP US, LORD! HELP OUR FAMILY EVERYWHERE! Help its leadership to deal sternly & toughly but in love, but with the love of the lash. "If ye be without chastening then ye are not sons but bastards!" (Heb.12:8)

25. LORD, HELP ALL OF OUR PARENTS to see their failures, their mistakes & rectify them‚ change‚ repent of them & do better & not be afraid to apply the rod & spare the child, rather than spare the rod & spoil the child!

26. PLEASE HELP THEM TO DO A BETTER JOB ON THEIR CHILDREN & REALIZE THAT THEY ARE THEIR BIGGEST JOB & OUR CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE & we must preserve them for Thee & Thy use by training them right, teaching them right & teaching them to behave & obey, disciplining them … to make them behave & be good examples, good testimonies for Thy Kingdom, good citizens‚ obedient, subdued, quiet, faithful, children to be proud of & thankful for, because we have been faithful parents, diligent disciplinarians & we have trained up our children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart therefrom! In Jesus' name, amen.—How about you?—And yours?

Hold on to the Reins

ML #3239‚ GN 841

1. (Mama:) I love you and appreciate each of you very much! I think one of the things I appreciate most about you is your willingness to continue following the Lord. Though you may fall sometimes, your willingness to get up and try again, to keep going no matter what the cost, is what the Lord looks at! That is the key to victory! In our race of life for the Lord, falling down is not a serious handicap if we can get right back up again and ask Him to help us keep going! In fact, sometimes it helps to keep us even closer to Jesus, as we realize again how very desperately we need Him! Praise the Lord!

2. All that to say‚ I hope none of you are letting the Enemy get you under condemnation about your failings with your children, especially since we've started shining the spotlight more on this area in the GNs. Well, it's really the Lord Who's shining the spotlight, as He knows it's time that we really attack in this area and make some serious progress!

3. I know it seems overwhelming at times. If it seems that way to me‚ just putting myself in your shoes, knowing all that goes into the average day in one of our Homes and then thinking about the very great needs of the children and how much the Lord is asking us to put them first on our priority list—after our time with Him and His Word—I can imagine how much more overwhelming it must be to you at times. Please fight the discouragement of the Enemy. I know you will probably be tempted with it, and most likely fall into it sometimes‚ as the job is immense and the needs are very great, but you don't have to stay there! Get up and try again! Praise the Lord!

4. I really admire each of you—parents, shepherds‚ older brothers and sisters, and concerned Family members—who are doing all you can to help fill this urgent need that we have with our children. Even if the progress looks slow and you sometimes wonder if we're getting anywhere, I can assure you that the Lord's solutions never fail. As long as you're doing your best to follow Him‚ He will make up for the lacks and put the ground beneath your feet.

5. The reason the Lord is pointing out your weak areas is not to discourage you, but rather because He wants to help you do better! But in order to help you as He'd like to‚ He has to have your full cooperation, and that means your seeing that the need is desperate and that you're not capable of filling it! Then you're ready for His solutions, His answers, and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to bring them to pass. Praise the Lord! Thanks for being willing to make the sacrifices and fight the good fight. The Lord is proud of you, I'm proud of you, and some day your children will thank you, with tears of joy in their eyes, for laying down your life to give them this heritage of faith and Godly foundation!

6. We've covered some of the Lord's major answers and solutions for the needs of our children in the messages He gave in "How-to's of Home Education," "Tapping In Together," and "Shepherding Our Children and Young People!—New Weapons for a New Day!" (GN 794-796), which you received a few months ago. One of these was about the importance and value of our home education, where the Lord even walks you through the day and shows you how to pour more into your times with the kids. Another was on the importance of learning to hear from Him with your children, how the foundation that that gives them is unparalleled, and how they are going to desperately need that link with Him in the days to come. He also talked about using the new weapons in your shepherding, and the wonderful difference they can make. I pray that each of these Letters has been a blessing to you‚ and that you're doing your best to apply them.

7. This GN covers the subject of Godly, loving, consistent discipline, which is the responsibility and right of every parent to exercise in the lives of their children, as they use their God-given authority to set rules of behavior and implement penalties for breaking those rules. This responsibility that you have before the Lord to set boundaries for your children and lovingly enforce them when they are trespassed is a subject not foreign to our Family, but an area that we've sadly fallen down in‚ and which we desperately need to do better in!

8. It goes hand in hand with the previous messages from the Lord regarding the care of our children and young people, for you can't do the one without the other. You must have good discipline in order to maintain a healthy environment for your kids which is conducive to learning; while at the same time you must be challenging them and providing them with new and exciting learning opportunities if you want good behavior from them. And, of course, to do both of these you need the Lord's help most of all!

9. We have received reports of situations in the Homes where the children are undisciplined to the point of people being hurt, property being damaged, the children not being able to learn what they need to learn because of lack of discipline and organization, and our sample to others being so affected that it causes them to stumble! This is very sad! I'm afraid it's to the point of crisis, and we need to do something about it now! Lord help us!

10. It is crucial that you take the time to prayerfully read this GN and discuss as a Home how you can apply it and make the necessary changes. Peter and I will be praying desperately for you. We know that as you seek the Lord for His solutions to your individual situation, He will come through and help you, not only by giving you the answers you need, but also by helping you implement them lovingly and wisely.

God's Gift Is God's Work!

11. Following is a message from Dad which explains why we discipline our children, and the need for it. Dad reviews the reasons why authority should be exercised in the lives of our children, in the form of rules of conduct and loving, firm correction if these rules are broken.

12. (Dad speaking:) Children are a gift from the Lord, but His gift is also His work—not only physically, but also spiritually. Having children really teaches parents a lot of lessons. You learn lessons on giving‚ lessons on sacrificing, lessons on patience, lessons on love, lessons on finding the balance between being firm and being too permissive.

13. One of the God-given responsibilities of parents is to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. When the Lord gives you a child, He's also giving you the responsibility to mold that life into a vessel for Him. You're His hands, His feet, His eyes, His love, His care, and even His firm hand of correction.

14. All throughout history men have admitted the need for discipline. King Solomon said that "He that spareth the rod, hateth his son. But he that loveth him, chasteneth him promptly." He also said, "The rod and reproof give wisdom‚ but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." And echoing these words of wisdom from King Solomon is the old English saying that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. There's also another verse that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

15. Well, in order to train a child, there has to be some form of parental authority exerted in the form of a disciplinary standard. The parents are supposed to rule the house of God, but all too often it seems like the children are ruling the house through their disrespectfulness, their rowdy behavior, and their wild‚ unruly spirits.

Children Are a Lot Like Horses!

16. Some of our kids are getting to be like wild horses. You parents just can't seem to keep them under control! You're letting them get away with all kinds of atrocious behavior in some cases. Kids have a lot of energy and they will run wild and create havoc if you don't firmly hold on to the reins and steer them in the right direction.

17. Children are a lot like horses. They can be stubborn, but at the same time, if they're gentled with a lot of love and care they will become obedient to your slightest bidding. You've got to train children, just like horses, from a very young age. If you start lovingly and gently teaching and training them, just like a horse, it won't be necessary to apply the bit.

18. Just like a horse that has been gentled‚ you'll be able to ride that creature with only a bridle and you won't have to apply the bit. With a horse that is yielded and obedient, you just have to use the reins to tug slightly on the bridle to the right or to the left‚ and then they'll go in that direction.

19. With an obedient horse, you barely have to touch their sides with your feet and they'll begin moving; you barely have to pull the reins and they'll come to an abrupt halt.

20. Whereas with a horse that is unruly and hasn't been trained from the beginning, just like a child that hasn't been trained or disciplined‚ you have to put the bit in and often have to use a lot more force to get them to obey and do what you ask. You have to pull pretty hard on the reins to one side to get them to go where you want. You have to really dig your heels into their sides and kick them in order to make them go. You have to pull real hard when you want them to stop.

21. As you're walking along with this unruly horse, they often decide to do their own thing, or turn to eat grass or bushes on the side of the road. These horses that haven't been trained as well are much more difficult to harness and control. So as you can see, horses are a lot like children.

Start Training Early with Good Discipline and Boundaries!

22. If you start training children from the very beginning‚ then they'll grow to love and respect you, and during their young formative years they will rarely stray from the straight and narrow, and it will usually only require a slight tug on the reins of the bridle to get them back in line. However, once they start making their own choices, and the Lord starts holding them partially accountable for those choices, it's a whole different ballgame.

23. The foundation of good discipline and boundaries you've given them certainly helps‚ but they also have to make the choices for good and for the Lord. Often when they're in the process of that, they can give you a pretty hard time, but all through that time you have to remain firm and loving, steady, and very prayerful as to how the Lord would have you handle things.

24. In any case, training children right from the very beginning saves a whole lot of heartache later on, and even if and when you do encounter difficulties, you've given them a solid foundation of fear of the Lord‚ and a healthy respect for the ways of living and the laws of life, which will help both them and you and make things a whole lot easier. Whereas some of our Family kids nowadays are like wild, unruly, untamed horses that are just running wild, because they're not being trained and held in as they should be! You parents have just got to take control of the reins and pull them in and teach and train them!

25. Some of our kids are so unruly, you wouldn't know the difference between Family children and those who aren't in the Family! Some of our children are like miniature Rambos, and they sound like walking televisions. Beloved, these things ought not so to be!

26. If you parents can't rule your own spirits, your own children, then how are you ever going to be able to control your own house, much less rule anyone else? Having loving discipline and taking control of your kids is not impossible. It is possible to lovingly teach and train your children, yet at the same time remain firm and solid in your convictions.

Standards and Consequences!

27. The worst thing for kids is not knowing what the standard is and not knowing what's expected of them. If they know that they'll be punished for breaking a certain rule‚ then you can be sure they'll try to avoid breaking it. Of course, sometimes temptation will get the most of them and they will break that rule you've set down anyway. That's where the punishment comes in, and that acts as a deterrent to keep them from breaking the rule again. They're a lot less likely to ever break that rule again than they are to break one which has no consequences or punishment.

28. However, if there are never any consequences, the wildness of the children comes out. They try to test you and see how much they can get away with. Kids hate to be nagged‚ just like you hate to be nagged, and pretty soon they don't even listen to you anymore. If you want to keep your kids under control, then you'd better set down some guidelines and rules and also some punishments for breaking the laws of your Home and family.

29. What ever happened to good old-fashioned discipline? The parents are the head of the family, and the children are supposed to obey those that have the rule over them and submit themselves to their parents.

30. But there is a catch; you parents have to watch for their souls. You've got to watch out for their souls and make sure they're growing and progressing in the right direction, because you're going to have to give account before the Lord one of these days. When you come before the Lord on that day, will you be able to do it with joy? Or will you be covered in grief, knowing that you didn't teach and train your children and rule your house with loving discipline?

31. If children know what's expected of them‚ they'll usually keep within those bounds. But if there are no bounds, then the wildfire just spreads. The longer you leave the forest fire of your children's behavior unattended, the further it will grow and spread and the more it will destroy!

32. If you don't put out the fires of unruly behavior‚ disrespect, disobedience, and unloving behavior as soon as they start creeping in, then you're going to have quite a brush fire to fight one of these days! You may not be able to salvage all of the trees; you may not be able to salvage your children's lives for the Lord.

33. I believe in giving children a lot of love, but I also believe in laying down the law and making it easy for them to be good. By having rules and guidelines and putting a bit of a bite with your bark, you'll be making things easier for your children. You'll be ensuring their future happiness and, most importantly, you'll be making their life and future service for the Lord simpler and more problem-free. There is so much in the Word about discipline‚ but it seems that some of you parents are overlooking most of that good counsel about the care of your children.

34. It may be a fight to help your kids get back on track and steer them in the right direction if they've been used to ruling the house and doing as they please. But the sooner you pull in the reins and help them to stay on the right track, the better. The longer you put it off, the harder it will become, and the greater the personal loss will be to you and your family!

Check Your Own Heart First!

35. If your kids are in a sad state, then I'd suggest you ask the Lord what you‚ as their parents, can do to rectify the situation. When your children have problems, you need to look at your own heart and see what areas you need to work on and improve in. You need to see what areas of their care and discipline you're slacking off in. You need to see what areas in your personal life you aren't following closely in.

36. Usually when people excuse others, it's because they want others to excuse them. This can often be the case when the discipline of the children is left to disintegrate in the wind. Perhaps the parents aren't obeying in a certain area of their lives, and so they excuse their children and don't feel that they can crack down on them and their bad behavior.

37. The first step to having the faith and conviction to bring your children back to the standard of the Word is to check your own hearts and see whether you're following the Word as closely as you should be. Once you've determined that you're following closely and doing your best for the Lord, loving Him with all of your heart and hearing from Him in prophecy about your lives and the lives of your children‚ then you can go about helping your children and drawing them closer to the standard of the Word.

38. It can be done, folks! Having well-mannered, well-behaved, sweet, respectful, dedicated kids can be achieved. If you're staying close to the Lord and hearing from Him each step of the way and for each of your children, if you're following the Word closely‚ if you're keeping a uniform standard, if you're showing your kids lots of love and care, then you're bound to succeed. It all boils down to taking your responsibility as a parent seriously.

Are You a Faithful Keeper of the Jewels?

39. Just think, the Lord's entrusted some precious jewels into your care! Maybe you have one, maybe you have 14. It doesn't really matter how many. Are you being a faithful keeper of the jewels? Are you shining them and buffing them and cleaning them and keeping them safe in your care? Or are you allowing them to get dirty, chipped, broken or cloudy?

40. The jewels are your responsibility because the Master Jeweler has given them into your care. Are you going to keep them safely under the shadow of your care? Are you going to shine them and make them even more beautiful? Or are you going to shirk your responsibility, cast your jewels before the swine‚ and allow them to get dirty and lose their worth?

41. I know that as faithful caretakers of the jewels, you will want to do all you can to keep the children that the Lord has given you with all diligence. You will want to do all you can to keep them happy, inspired, close to Jesus and full of His love. Then when you get to Heaven, you'll be able to present your showcase before the Master Jeweler‚ and He'll say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant! You have been faithful to keep these jewels with all diligence! Enter thou into the joy of the Lord."

42. When you get to Heaven, you'll be able to present your children before their Heavenly Father and He'll say, "Well done, My good and faithful parents! You have been faithful to care for and love these, My children, that I have placed in your care. You were faithful to lovingly keep them on the straight and narrow way, and you raised them up as stars that will shine forever and ever. Each of your children will be as a star in your crown forever and ever. Enter thou into the joy of your Lord!"

43. Won't that be well worth it, to hear those words "well done" when you get to Heaven? Hearing that "well done" will make it worth it all! Every sacrifice will vanish into oblivion! Every trial will diminish and be forgotten! Every burden you had to carry in the care of your children will disappear with the joy that you'll feel on that day!

44. So keep your children diligently. Know the state of your flock and look well to your herds. Hold their reins securely, and lovingly lead them in the right direction. It won't be long now‚ and each of your children will be greatly used in the years to come—on this Earth and in Heaven and the world Beyond.

45. All of the training that you pour into them will not be wasted. Each and every talk time‚ each and every time of prayer, each and every time in the Word will count unto you as righteousness and will count unto them as valuable training for the future.

46. Children are our future. They are my vision of the future‚ my hope—and most of all, they're the Lord's children. He's counting on you to train them so that He can use them for His glory. Please don't fail Him or shirk your God-given responsibility to care for‚ love and discipline these, the jewels of the future! (End of message from Dad.)

47. (Mama:) Thank the Lord! Lord help us to be faithful keepers of the jewels! But what if some of our young folks have gone astray from the straight and narrow way, despite our best efforts to keep them on the right track? What about the rebellious ones who leave the Lord's service and go so far back as to get involved in drugs or crime? Will parents get any reward or "well done" for them, when it seems like they've failed?

48. If you're wondering about this, you might want to review "The Silver Lining" (ML #3166, GN 762), especially the message in paragraphs 87–113. Dad says, "Every bit of love and time and prayer and energy and sacrifice that has been invested in the lives of the dear children will bring forth great reward to the parents! … These young people will never be lost to God's Kingdom! They will always be His children … and all that the parents have given will eventually come back to them in the form of rewards, satisfaction, happiness and great joy at sooner or later seeing their children serve the Lord!" (ML #3166:90,91,106).

Continue Fighting to Hold the Standard High!

49. Here's a message from the Lord on how to uphold the standard in a loving way with our young people and not be weary in well doing. To get both the love and conviction we need, we have to go to Him, of course! He can show you just what the proper balance is as you seek Him in desperate prayer, and can help you to help your young people over the hurdles and obstacles of the Enemy in their lives.

50. This message, as well as some of those which follow, applies to JETTs and teens as well as children.

51. (Jesus speaking:) Spare the rod and spoil the child. Spare the standard and weaken the child. Spare the Word and the ways of My Spirit and the standard of the Family, and watch the child stray from the path of My will and go his own way.

52. The children of the children of David are under siege by the Enemy who is trying to destroy their faith and their usefulness to Me‚ and to affect the service of others through their bad sample. Although it's a great battle for their spiritual lives and service and happiness in Me, you must fight for them. Most of all, you must fight to uphold the standard and to be an encouragement to those who are willing to uphold the standard—your fellow laborers. These are they who try to help you with the upholding of the standard, by guiding and correcting your children or the sheep of your fold. Otherwise‚ if you give resistance and the children give resistance, your fellow laborers will soon be discouraged and give up.

53. It's difficult to direct the path of a JETT or teen, especially a rebellious, disrespectful young person or group of young people who don't want to follow the standard, and who even mock you for trying to uphold the standard. It's very difficult for My veteran soldiers who have been raised with the standard of My Word and who know what's right and what's wrong, when they see blatant disrespect for the standard of My Word and My Spirit from some young people. It's a great test of their patience. It hurts them deeply to see such treasures of My Spirit being spoiled through rebellion and lack of love.

54. But I say unto you, My precious veterans of the standard, that even though it's a struggle to uphold the standard in the face of some young people who don't want to follow it today, be not weary in well doing! For even if you receive not the appreciation and credit from those young people, you do it unto Me, and I will be your strong reward‚ and you will shine brightly in My Kingdom one day for all to see.

55. If you find yourself in a situation where the good you do is evil spoken of, and if your attempts to guide the young people to do the right thing and to forsake their wayward ways are met with resistance and scoffs, I say unto you, hold on and press on. For I will hold each man accountable for his actions. I will hold each young person accountable, for they are of the age of accountability. If they receive not the gentle instructions of their elders, then they will have to receive the stronger instruction of My hand in their lives.

56. So I say unto you‚ be not weary in holding high the standard of My Word. Continue to be a sample of praising Me, of prayer, and of loving My Word. For if the young people see that you falter and stop holding high the standard, then they will think that there was no truth in it‚ that even their elders fail in their faith to follow My standard.

57. So you must continue to fight the battle, even though you be weary, as a sample of faith and trust and love for Me‚ and your sample will influence those who are yet moldable and able to be salvaged. Those who are still flexible and not totally hardened to the ways of My Spirit will eventually fall upon the rock of My will and allow themselves to be broken and used of Me more fully, and it will be because you have stood strong in the face of great difficulty and were willing to be the light that they so desperately needed.

58. The children of the children of David must pass great tests of the spirit, and they must be persuaded in their own mind that what I have spoken in My Word and the standard of My Word is true and right. They are now being purged and whitened and made to examine their own convictions and faith‚ and some will fall by the wayside because of unbelief, and because they're not prepared to make the sacrifices needed. But others who are being tested will pass the tests, and much of this will be because those they see around them are living My Words and are happy and fulfilled and greatly used of Me.

59. So hold on, and continue to hold the standard high of loving Me, of prayer, of praising Me, of living My Law of Love, of living My Words‚ of all the ways of My Spirit, so that others can see and know the way to follow.

60. This is also a test for you, My veteran soldiers. These are the days of preparation of which I have spoken. For you fight even now, feeling at times that you fight alone in the battle to hold the banner high, and it is a test for you. But you will be victorious if you faint not.

61. You say‚ "What can I do as an individual to try and hold the standard high when I'm met with resistance, and even labeled by some young people? If I can't win their confidence and am met with resistance, what can I do?" You can be a sample of "love suffereth long," and part of that love is to continue to do the things which you know are needed and will help these young people to get back on track.

62. Love isn't only patience and meekness and quietness. Sometimes it means reporting on bad behavior and counseling and desperately praying about what to do. Sometimes it means speaking up about wrong behavior and wrong attitudes and the things that are happening that are weakening others' faith and spiritual well-being. This is part of love, and sometimes this part is necessary to help these young people stay on the right track and see the light to follow.

63. It takes much continual desperate prayer on the part of all the Home members, the teamwork‚ and the adults involved in order to know which way to go and what to do to help their young people over the hurdles and obstacles of the Enemy in their lives. If you find you're one of the adults who is fighting this battle, you must continue to stand up for the truth and do your best to hold the standard high, no matter what the cost—and to get the strength and the wisdom to do it, you must come to Me for My instruction.

64. You can't just ignore bad behavior in an attempt to win their confidence. You must strive for a good balance in working with young people. You've got to be a friend and win their confidence and not just come across as a strict, self-righteous rule–bearer, but you've also got to love and respect them enough to speak up against their waywardness and bad behavior. The reason you speak up, either to them or to their shepherds, is because you love them enough to try to help them; you love the Family and what it stands for, and you love My Word and My standard and what it stands for.

65. So if you see outright bad behavior that you know is going to be to their hurt or the hurt of others, such as a critical spirit, being violent, using foul language, gossip, mocking My Word or the standard‚ excessive movie watching or listening to poisonous music‚ manifestations of ungodly, worldly attitudes, or allowing the pollutants of the world into the Home—all of these are inroads of the Enemy to destroy the faith of My children, and My veteran soldiers are responsible to uphold the standard and fight against the pollutions of the Enemy in their lives. (End of message from Jesus)

66. (Mama:) Thank You, Jesus, for Your wonderful answers! Even if Your Words are not easy to receive, because we know it's going to be a fight and it's not going to be easy to implement them, still‚ we thank You for them and we know we need them! Please help us, Jesus. Give us the strength to put them into practice. Help us to be loving‚ to do what we do out of the pure motives of love for You and love for the children we're with. We know if we do that, You will bless it and help us. Help us not to be self-righteous, or react in our own spirit, or out of anger or frustration. If we do feel angry and frustrated, help us to take it to You first, and ask You to create a clean heart in us, and show us exactly how to put this counsel into practice. Jesus, You are merciful and loving and patient with us. Even when You chastise us‚ You do it out of such love, and with such understanding. You don't compromise; You give us what You know is best, but You do it tenderly. Help us to follow that example, Lord. In Your name we ask.

Finding the Balance Between Freedom and Discipline

67. Following is another very interesting message from Dad, which brings out the need for a good balance between letting the kids have fun and tightening things up sufficiently. You might find that some of the messages which follow apply to your older children as well—your OCs, JETTs, etc. Please do pray specifically about the needs of your children and young people, and the Lord will help you apply this counsel rightly and will help fill you in on the special needs that your kids have.

68. As I'm sure you're aware, young people have an inborn need for variety‚ excitement, action‚ and in many cases a completely different type of fun than we as adults need. Sometimes, due to a lack of experience or maturity, it's easy for some young people to get carried away in what to them is only "fun," but what appears to be bad behavior to others.

69. Dad brings out that while young people have this need, and the Lord wants to fill it, they must learn to handle it wisely. And you as adults need to learn to accept the young people as they are, without trying to make them fit into your mold. It's really a fine balance.

70. Hearing this, some of you might worry, as you wonder how you're going to find that balance and what is going to transpire in the meantime. Dad also gives the solution on how to find the balance in this message, and makes it very clear that you're going to have to ask the Lord for His help and discernment—not just once, but every time!

71. This is a real key, folks, and a very important part of our young people's training! If you tighten things up too much, to the point where they feel stifled, they won't be very receptive to the training and correction they need, because they won't be having their other needs met. At the same time, you can't be avoiding confrontations and failing to administer the necessary and Godly discipline that they need just because you're unsure of yourself and wondering whether this is expected and acceptable behavior for children and teens, or whether it's time to pull in the reins. You need to be getting your instructions from the Lord and working together with the young people to find a good balance which will be pleasing to the Lord.

72. I can't emphasize enough the importance of learning to go to the Lord about these things. And in many cases, the Lord might want you to go to Him together—with your young people or children, so that you can both listen and receive His instruction.

73. Dad recently said the following when referring to learning how to judge between when a situation needs correction and when we can let our children and teens burn free and expend the energy they have so much of:

74. (Dad speaking: ) The only thing that's really going to help our parents and shepherds apply this correctly is getting down to business with the Lord and making a good solid habit of coming to Him more than they have been—whether to ask specific questions about things that their teens are doing or want to do‚ or just taking times of quiet and listening so the Lord can check them about things that they haven't even thought of‚ or give them some needed encouragement and direction in their shepherding of the kids. It's something our parents desperately need to learn, and they're just going to have to get down to business with the Lord about it if they expect to make this grade!

75. The Lord is asking just as much of them as He is of the kids. It's going to be just as big a battle for the parents as it will be for the kids. Because the Lord's not going to let the parents go back to the way they disciplined in the past, or rely on their past experience in shepherding. It's a new day, the kids have new needs, the Lord is giving new counsel, and it's a whole new grade for our parents to make. But the Lord knows they can do it! Praise the Lord!

76. The quicker they learn to tap into Him for counsel, the better off they'll be‚ and the easier it will be for them. So encourage them all you can that the way to learn and apply it is to "tap into the power"—the One Who knows it all and can answer every question, solve every problem, and even prevent problems that would normally arise. What a wonderful gift the Lord has given the Family through this direct communication! What a privilege! (End of message from Dad)

77. (Dad speaking:) It's the nature of youth to want to enjoy life, to experience life. They want to see things, go places, have adventure and fun, and the Lord has made them that way! It's just part of life, folks! They feel the need to get some of those things out of their system, and the reason the Lord made it that way is so that they can then settle down a bit more and get hitched up and get on with serving the Lord. Of course, the Lord expects them to serve the Lord in their youth as well, but there's a lot involved in being young!

78. Youth are naturally rambunctious, active‚ lively, spirited, and they're looking for similar qualities in their entertainment and diversion. That's only nature. They also haven't learned all the lessons that the older adults have learned, therefore they aren't as prayerful, careful, sober, studious, cautious, deliberate, thoughtful or oriented to planning. Those are things that come with age, responsibility and maturity, for the most part.

79. That's why young people make some of the choices they do about movies‚ music, their friends and even their life—it comes from their nature. That doesn't mean that those choices are right or even wise, of course! If they make an unprayerful or unwise choice, then it can and often does contribute to increased foolishness, shallowness or lack of depth and maturity. But it's difficult, as you know, to legislate righteousness—or to legislate teens! The Word is the antidote to all of that‚ so your best bet is to pray desperately to find inspiring and alive ways to feed them the Word, as that is their greatest protection.

80. There is a cycle of adolescence that they're all going to go through. You just have to live through it and the quirks and oddities that come along with it and praise the Lord for the teens, because you were once one too!

81. I've told you before how the Enemy is fighting them so hard because they're the hope of the future, so that's yet another reason why they're having more of the Enemy's junk thrown at them. Consequently, they're bound to fall and make the wrong choices from time to time, and some do so fairly often until they commit themselves or have a few sobering experiences themselves. If they're not willing to learn from the mistakes and experiences of others—which oftentimes young people are not particularly keen on—then they have to go through the school of hard knocks themselves, or at least a grade or two. Some get the point quicker than others.

82. Please have patience with them‚ though! Some just take longer than others to come around. Ask the Lord for a look inside their heart‚ to see if their heart is generally in the right place or not. If so, then pray and love them through. It's your responsibility as parents and shepherds to know the state of your flock. You don't want to be entertaining the Enemy in your midst, so you have to be able to discern the difference—whether it's simply the Enemy attacking, or a teenage phase your son or daughter or another young person is going through, or whether they're purposely making wrong choices and are headed out, and are just contaminating and polluting others in the process.

83. How can you know the state of your flocks? By asking the Lord‚ of course! What may look to you like a rotten apple could just be a desperately needy young person who's hoping for some shepherding and help. With a little love, prayer and determination, they could have a turnaround and you could find yourself with a solid and committed disciple on your hands. It's happened before, folks! Don't fail any of these young people by neglecting to hear the Lord's voice and receive His instruction for them personally. Amen? (End of message from Dad.)

How Is All This Possible?

84. (Mama: ) You might be wondering how you are going to be able to add more to your schedule, or give more to your kids, when your days are so busy. You might wonder, "How is it possible? I want to do that, but something's gotta give. We've got to eat, survive, take time with the Lord, wash the babies' diapers and feed them, and a thousand other things each day‚ so how can we do all of this?" When we brought this question before the Lord, He sent Dad with a very encouraging answer, which I think will lighten the load considerably. I won't give it away—I'll let Dad tell you himself!

85. (Dad speaking:) When reading these messages, you're probably thinking, "Well‚ Dad, this is all well and good. What you and the Lord are saying is all true and we don't deny the counsel you both are giving us. We agree with what you've shared‚ but how does this translate into practical terms?

86. "How is this good counsel brought down to reality? I'm going flat-out as it is. I drag myself out of bed every morning and take care of my kids from seven in the morning until midnight. Along with teaching and training my children, giving them schooling, giving them Word time, I've also got to cook the meals, take care of the laundry, and keep the house clean.

87. "We as a Home have so much to do. There's fundraising, witnessing, follow-up, and we have to do these things in order to survive! Then there are other emergencies that come up—fixing the car, fixing the washing machine, fixing the plumbing, taking the kids to the dentist or doctor, business appointments, etc.

88. "Dad, there's just so much to do, so how are we going to be able to give our children even more attention and care? I don't see how it's possible with all of the many burdens we already have!"

89. I understand how easy it is to feel this way. I know that you parents really deserve medals of honor for all of your sacrifices and dedication to the Lord‚ the Family and your children. It's like you're running a three-ring circus. You take care of so many things all at once and accomplish a great deal for the Lord.

90. With this message, I'm not implying that you have to spend more time with your kids, although this may be the case in some situations. I'm basically trying to renew your vision and help you to see what an important ministry you have and how you can help your children to become better soldiers for Jesus. Perhaps what's needed in your case is making your time with your kids more quality, not necessarily increasing the quantity.

91. The main point I'm trying to bring out here is that kids need discipline, guidelines, and standards. Having a tighter standard for your kids doesn't necessarily have to take more time. At the beginning, when you're establishing the rules and when you're counseling with the Lord about your situation‚ and when you're sharing your ideas with the kids‚ it may take a bit of extra time and sacrifice, but in the end it will be well worth it. You'll reap the rewards of happier‚ more loving, more obedient and more respectful kids.

92. It's not really a matter of putting more hours into the care of your children—unless that's what the Lord shows you personally to do. It's more the frame of mind, the attitude, the desire to expect more of your kids and to lovingly put guidelines in place and reclaim your God–given authority over the kids that some of you have abdicated.

93. I'm not getting down on you for what you do or don't do. I think you're all super moms and dads and you really take the prize when it comes to dedication and sacrifice and being real fathers and mothers. I know that you're trying to work on the schooling of your children, and you really love them and care for them. But one of the things that's the most lacking and that I've seen needs to be worked on is the control of the kids—the discipline.

94. You parents can't afford to let the children rule your house, or control you! In some cases the kids are doing just that. I know that you have lots of work to do and so much stuff to take care of. You're trying to juggle so many things‚ so I know you can't afford to have children who aren't disciplined.

95. Just think about it in a different light: If your children are disciplined and well-behaved, in the long run your workload will be considerably lighter and the burdens will not be nearly as weighty. It may take a little extra effort in the beginning, but I really don't think you can afford to not put your foot down. You need to lay down the law for the good of yourselves and your children.

96. You think you're barely surviving now and barely have enough time to cook the meals, wash the clothes, take care of the children, do the business, raise support, go out witnessing, do the provisioning, get Word time and time with the Lord. But if you don't harness your kids, then things are only going to get more difficult as time goes on.

97. This may take a bit of an initial effort, if your kids have been used to getting away with things in their lives. But in the end, taking control of your kids and lovingly leading them in the right direction will save your time, energy, and strength and will make you all a whole lot happier. Do you get the point? Do you see why this is so important?

98. See, I'm not giving you this counsel to make things more difficult for you, or to place unnecessary burdens upon your shoulders. I know how busy you parents are and I know how your heart aches because you're not able to accomplish all you'd like to. I know how your heart aches when you think about the condition of your children, and so we've brought this solution.

99. When you look at this solution from afar off it looks like an added weight and burden. But if you have faith and try to put some of this advice into practice in your Home and family, then you'll find that slowly but surely things will get easier. The kids will become more controllable and happy; your burdens and worries will be condensed and will grow smaller and smaller.

100. I'm sorry if this looks like a big mountain to climb. Maybe to many of you this counsel looks like a rock in the road that you'd prefer to just pass by, rather than move and do something about.

101. But won't you please be like the shepherd who had a whole herd of sheep, and yet still took the time to move the stone, correct the problem‚ and make the pathway more passable? It took some effort for the old shepherd. He had to really heave and push with all of his strength, but the obstacle was finally out of the way. He then received a box of gold and the letter from the king.

102. This is what it's going to be like in your spiritual life. Perhaps you've come to this rock in the road—this rock of how to care for your children‚ how to lovingly discipline them and control their spirits. You've got a whole herd of children and you have to stop and take the time to move the rock. You're going to have to push with all of your might and really make an effort, but underneath you'll find the box of the golden promises of God! The letter will read: "To the parents who cared enough for their children to move this obstacle out of the way, these golden rewards of happiness and unity are for you. Love, Jesus."

103. I know it seems hard! I know it seems impossible‚ but getting down to business with the Lord about it for your personal situation will help to lift the huge burden it could be. The Lord will give you specific counsel one step at a time, which will really help. Determining in your heart to fight through to victory will loose the forces of Heaven to help you, and from then on life will become smoother as the days go by. It's going to be a constant battle, just as it always has been, but if you follow the counsel I've given about taking control of your own children and household, then things will get easier and the burdens will become lighter. And as you continue coming back, the Lord will continue giving you the next step on the road to victory.

104. You'll find your children more willing to help out in the Home, more excited about accompanying you out witnessing, more tolerant of their school time, and more receptive to your counsel and Godly instruction. All of this makes for happier kids, a happier Home, and happier parents. Then subsequently the burdens, worries, and cares that weigh heavily upon you as parents will be so much lighter.

105. I know the burdens of caring for your children are heavy, and that's why you have to be constantly casting them on the Lord, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Keep taking your problems and questions to Him and He'll give you the solutions.

106. Get together with your children and teach them to hear from the Lord and receive solutions to their problems and questions. "A little child shall lead them" (Isa.11:6b). Yes, your children have simple, childlike faith and they too can hear from Heaven. Solve your problems together‚ but whatever you do and whichever way you decide to do it‚ make sure that you're lovingly ruling the house of God and keeping your children on the straight and narrow path.

107. You can do it! The Lord wouldn't have required it of you if He didn't think you were able! He has a lot of faith in you, and so do I. Please don't worry or get discouraged. Changes won't happen overnight, but they will happen!

108. Trust me, and trust the Lord most of all. He's not going to let you fail, as long as you're holding His hand and obeying His voice. He's more concerned about your children than you are, and He's going to help you raise them up as stars in your crown that will shine forever and ever. Praise the Lord? He won't fail! (End of message from Dad)

Laying Down Your Life For Your Children!

109. (Mama:) Lastly, here is a beautiful message from Jesus, with His promise to give the victories and the solutions as you begin to obey—the price of which is laying down your life for your children. The Lord acknowledges that the problems are many and they are complex, but yet He has the solutions and He will give them as we continue to look to Him!

110. Dear Family, I love you very much and will be praying for you. I wish I could step into each of your Homes, help you with the kids, counsel with you about each one, and pray with you for them. I wish I could take the baby so you could have a good night of sleep; that I could teach a class to the kids so you could have some free time to plan for the next week of school. I cannot do these things in the physical, but believe me when I say I am right there with you in the spirit, and I'm praying desperately for our sweet Husband to lighten your loads and give you strength. I know He is there with you—and will fulfill every promise and bring you through victorious!

Much love always, Mama

111. (Jesus speaking: ) These, My Words, were given for this moment. They were given for today, and though they seem simple or even overly simplistic, yet are they My solutions.

112. In a way, it is true that the victory in overcoming these problems is going to take a lot. It will come from many sources, and the solutions will be many-faceted. Many factors will have to work together to bring about the desired results. This is because each victory is the victory of one more life won for Me and for My service.

113. All are Mine; all My children are in My hand and under My control‚ but they must be won for service for Me. They must be won, and so for each one to decide to give Me their all, there is a constant battle and struggle until the moment of decision.

114. Then even after that, there are more battles, for the Enemy seeks to quench their service and fruitfulness for Me, so this battle will never end until you join with Me in Heaven. But I can give you the weapons and tools to fight effectively, that you might win on the behalf of all My little ones!

115. While I tell you that the solutions are many and complex, yet at the same time are they very simple. It involves desperation for My hand to work. It involves a fighting spirit and determination to lay down your life for My children.

116. It involves the love of one willing to give his life for another—My love, and seeing through My eyes. It involves humility—being willing to be made of no reputation, to follow Me explicitly, and do anything and everything needed to rescue even one of My children.

117. This is all! It only requires your life, given in sacrifice for theirs. Does the price seem high? It is. But that is the price I paid for you. I gave My life to rescue yours. I gave My life as if there were only one of you—you, My precious little lost sheep.

118. I gave My life to give you happiness, and this is the solution for My children of today. Someone must give their life. Then will the love flow freely; humility will abound. The desperation of knowing you have nothing will keep you close by My side‚ listening attentively, and thus effective and victorious.

119. So although the problems are great, and you are in desperate need of answers‚ many-faceted answers for complicated situations, begin with this—laying down your life, as I laid down Mine. A simple‚ yet costly solution. As you obey and give all, I will lead you and give you the answers. Come to Me, and as you die to self, I will live in you. Together we will rescue our little ones! (End of message from Jesus.)

Start Early

ML #3274, GN 878

1. (Mama: ) I love you very much! A few months ago you received three GNs about our children's behavior and the Lord's admonition to "hold on to the reins," which I pray were a blessing for you. As I was praying more about the topic, I felt the need to share with you more of the messages we've received from the Lord about the need to discipline, and specifically why we discipline‚ and the importance of beginning to train your children at a young age. I was especially concerned for you young parents, as we've heard and seen that many of you have a hard time disciplining your children for a variety of reasons.

2. I want to clarify right from the beginning that discipline means training your children—training them to lead a disciplined life, and eventually to discipline themselves. If discipline is something that you only do "to" children, the end result will be that as soon as they get out from under your control, they go wild. But if you discipline them in the sense that you teach them and train them to lead disciplined lives, then the end result is that eventually they're able to discipline themselves for the most part.

3. So in these messages from Jesus where He talks about the need for discipline‚ He's not just talking about correction or the consequences for unacceptable behavior—although that is a very important part of it. He's talking about the training that your little ones need, the step-by-step teaching, the instruction, the boundaries and guidelines, the good sample and the consistency.

4. The dictionary definition of discipline is: "1. To train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self-control to. 2. To teach to obey rules or accept authority. 3. To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience." So while correction is a necessary part of teaching and training your children, it's only one small part—although it can be one of the most difficult parts. Here's a little message from Jesus, where He defines what discipline is.

5. (Jesus speaking:) The word "discipline" means different things to different people, and in truth there are several definitions. I have combined these, and in these messages when I refer to "discipline" or tell you of the need for discipline, I mean all of these things:

6. Loving, gentle training and teaching; clear definitions between right and wrong; boundaries set up for your child's good‚ and yes, correction or consequences when those boundaries are crossed; good samples set forth for your children of abiding by the rules for living life; and most of all, a firm foundation of My Word and My unconditional love for them to hold them steady through life.

7. All of this is part of My definition of discipline. It's much more than correction or punishment—although that has its place, and many times is the most difficult part for parents. Discipline must involve loving correction if it is to be well rounded and effective, but the gentle training and teaching, boundaries and consequences must be present as well. (End of message from Jesus)

Reasons Why Some Don't Discipline

8. (Mama:) Those of you who are parents or who have carried shepherding responsibilities can probably relate to what I'm talking about when I say that it's very difficult sometimes to mete out correction. It hurts, and often you'd almost do anything to not have to talk to the person or administer the correction to the child, because you know that it's going to temporarily hurt them, they're going to cry, and it's going to be very difficult. You love them and you don't want to see them hurt. You wish with all your heart that there was some way to get around it, that they could learn the lesson some easier way.

9. But because you do love them, you know from the Word that discipline is good for us—it "yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them who are exercised by it," and it will actually keep them from being hurt much worse later. Discipline is never easy at the time—for the parent or the child—but in the long run it bears good fruit.

10. I know there are a variety of reasons why some of you have a hard time disciplining your children, or struggle with that area of their training. The Lord also understands that there are many factors that have hindered you from having full faith to commit to lovingly disciplining your children. But He also gives the solution, right here in this next message.

11. (Jesus speaking:) I know there are many things that contribute to the problem of some of the little ones not getting the training and correction that they need. There are many reasons why some of you don't have a desire to discipline, and there are yet other reasons why some of you who do have the desire to lovingly discipline don't follow through with it.

  1. Some of you have had bad experiences and memories of the past. Maybe you felt you were over-disciplined as a child‚ or you suffered some discipline that you felt was unfair, and you're trying to avoid doing the same thing with your children.
  2. Some of you have more passive personalities and try to stay away from confrontations with your children.
  3. You've seen some of your peers, or other children, who you know received consistent or strict discipline all their lives turn out to be very wild or even rotten-apple teens. You feel that's a backlash from the discipline they received, and you're trying to avoid the same thing happening with your kids.
  4. You don't feel qualified to discipline your kids or that you'll be able to be consistent‚ so you wonder why you should even bother.
  5. You don't want to go to the extreme with your kids, so you've opted not to discipline much at all.
  6. You may not have much time with your children each day, and you don't want to make them unhappy and upset during that time by disciplining them. You want to enjoy them and you want them to enjoy you, and you feel that discipline ruins a happy parent-child relationship.
  7. You try so hard to be "understanding" of your child that you wind up excusing them for nearly everything they do‚ rather than understanding them but still teaching them what is and what is not acceptable behavior.
  8. You don't know if discipline even works. You wonder if the kids will eventually learn the same lessons on their own, without the hard work of your trying to teach it to them. Maybe you haven't personally seen the good results of loving, consistent discipline, or the negative results of a lack of it. You lack the motivation to persevere with your own children because you're unsure if it's even worth it or the right thing to do. You'll begin to see it as your young ones grow and go through battles, but for many of you it's not yet to the point where you see clearly that many of the battles your children experience are due to a lack of discipline—consistent, loving, fair and gentle guidance and training.
  9. You haven't been able to agree with your mate or with the other members of the Home about the discipline standard for the kids, so you haven't established rules and guidelines to go by.
  10. Discipline is a lot of work and you're just very busy; you haven't given it the priority it should have. Also, when you're with your kids, you're often very tired and don't feel up to disciplining them.
  11. You feel horrible when you have to discipline your child or make them cry, and you try to avoid it at all costs.
  12. You've seen bad samples of people using discipline to unleash their frustrations on a child, or disciplining only when they're angry. To you it seems like the more patient and loving thing to do is to let things pass and not discipline.
  13. In order to discipline fairly, the children have to be challenged and happy and busy—not bored or left on their own. Otherwise it's unfair to them to expect them to behave if they're not motivated and overseen. Your Home is trying to get on its feet in some areas and the kids have not been as high a priority as other matters, so they don't receive the supervision and "quality care" that they need to stay busy and be happy. You want to start "when you can get organized‚" but that just keeps being put off.
  14. Some of you lack discipline in your own lives.
  15. Some parents have a very hard time accepting or believing that their children are misbehaving and need correction or discipline, regardless of what others try to point out or mention.
  16. The fear of court cases and persecution makes it difficult to know how to discipline your kids without feeling like you might be putting yourself in danger of losing them.
  17. The worldly climate of the day is that it's not politically correct to discipline‚ especially any kind of fair and loving corporal punishment, and so you've adopted the mindset that disciplining and correcting your kids is a thing of the past, that the "modern" way is to let your children make their own decisions and learn for themselves as they do what they please.
  18. Maybe you're not so familiar with the Word on the subject, and you feel that part of the new day is taking more of the "understanding approach" with your children, rather than clear guidelines‚ consequences, and consistent discipline. After all‚ "love is the most important thing," you reason, so discipline gets put off or neglected, even though it's a part of love.

12. All these are contributing factors, yet the solution is very simple. You must simply decide to believe My Word, and I will help you to overcome the past and any mindsets that hold you back. You must simply decide, "Yes, I believe the Lord's Word. I believe that our Family standard about discipline is right. I believe that no matter what I see or cannot see, I must ask the Lord what my child needs specifically and follow through on it in accordance with the standard of the Word, for the good of my child."

13. You, My dear parents, must get on board in this area and make the decision. Read up on it in My Word if you feel weak in faith. (See the accompanying list of references, "What the Word has to say about discipline and training.") Part of the reason you lack the faith is because you're weak in the Word in this area. Ask for prayer; ask Me to help you see it clearly, to give you the burden. It seems like such a big task to you, and it's true, it is. But once you make the decision and commitment before Me, I can help you much more with the training of your children. You won't have to always be wondering, "What do I do now? Should I discipline or not?" because I will be there speaking to you in your heart, showing you what to say, how to speak to your little one, how to express your love in the form of discipline, for this is an important part of love.

14. When you make this decision to accept your role as a parent, a teacher, a trainer of your children, then I am able to give you My full anointing for the task. You have Heavenly helpers at your beck and call, waiting to fill in for you‚ to strengthen you, to anoint you and be through you all that you must be. You don't have to be perfect or the perfect parent—just avail yourself of the help of Heaven! (End of message from Jesus.)

Start Early and Reap the Benefits!

15. (Mama:) There are probably other reasons some of you have a hard time disciplining, but those are some of them. The Lord said that the first step is to make a decision to believe His Word‚ to believe that discipline is good—and not only good but necessary, if you're going to raise happy, well-adjusted children. In this GN I want to share with you some of the messages the Lord has given recently‚ which I pray will help to increase your faith along those lines and give you the vision for how desperately discipline is needed in the lives of our little ones.

16. Something that should encourage you to want to learn to discipline is the realization that sooner or later, your kids will need direction and discipline in their lives. You're not going to be able to raise well-adjusted, happy and sociable children without any discipline whatsoever. If you don't give them loving, consistent discipline when they're young, then when they get older they'll be much harder to handle, and you'll wind up having to really crack down on them to keep them from hurting themselves or others! If you don't teach them how to behave, you'll face times when they're being bad and you'll wind up getting frustrated with them and yelling at them or acting unfairly as a parent—but it won't be their fault. It'll be yours, because you haven't taught them!

17. When you look at it that way, you'll see that the loving thing to do is to teach your kids from the beginning—gently, lovingly, consistently, showing them how to make the right decisions, laying the boundaries for acceptable behavior, and administering some form of consequence when they cross those boundaries. You can't expect them to learn good behavior on their own; it's a long-term process that requires your consistency, love and fairness. It's probably your biggest challenge and the hardest job you'll ever face as a parent!

18. Another plus to consistently administering loving discipline in your children's lives is that you'll wind up enjoying your children a lot more in the long run. You might not enjoy the moments when you have to correct them or discipline them‚ and at the time it will seem like a lot more work to teach them the right way to do something rather than just letting them do what they want to do. But in the long run, you'll find that you've saved yourself a lot of work, and you'll enjoy your times with your children much more.

19. The Enemy hates our children. They're not only precious to you, but they're very, very precious to the Lord. They're His little ambassadors of Heaven, and their sample and witness is powerful! They're destined for a very important job in the future—helping to rule the world with Jesus in the Millennium, as well as being His little witnesses of the Endtime. The Enemy would like to see to it that they're not prepared for those jobs, and one way that he tries to hinder their preparation and training is through convincing you that you shouldn't discipline them, that it's just too difficult, that it doesn't do much good, or that it's even the wrong thing to do.

20. But the fact of the matter is, children need discipline—the Bible says so. They not only need it in order to grow up to be productive and useful members of society—whether in the Family or not—but they need it in order to be happy and secure in their relationship with you, their parents. We in the Family aren't the only ones who believe that either—there are plenty of experts in the field of child education and development who will tell you the same thing—that children need and want their boundaries to be defined, and that they're much more happy and secure when they receive loving discipline from their parents and caretakers if they cross those boundaries.

21. You've probably heard how Dad referred to Dr. Spock, a famous pediatrician and well-known author of childcare books who died a few years ago‚ and how he ruined a whole generation of children through advising the "permissive" approach—that children will automatically learn what's right and wrong and set their own limits and boundaries without any guidance. (See ML #606:70,71.)

22. Well, 30 years after his book was first published‚ Dr. Spock had second thoughts. In 1974‚ when he was 70, he called for a return to the more disciplined practices of his own childhood and apologized to parents who had, upon his instruction, raised a generation of "balky, pesky and bratty" children. "This is a cruel deprivation that we professionals (he named child psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers, social workers and "pediatricians like myself" as guilty) have imposed on fathers and mothers," he wrote in a Redbook magazine column. In other words, children do need discipline.

23. The Lord has given so much good counsel along the lines of how to discipline, and has emphasized again and again how very important it is—vital, in fact—in the training of our little ones. I know that this concept isn't new to you. You might feel that you've heard all this before, so what's the use of hearing it again. But please pray and ask the Lord to help you see this with fresh eyes‚ to receive His Words and understand the problem and the solution He's offering.

24. I know that you're probably not looking forward to making changes in this area, because training children is a lot of work, and being loving and consistent in discipline is a very difficult job—one that doesn't go away even for a minute, and requires years and years! And if the Lord keeps blessing you with more children‚ it just keeps going! But it pays off! In fact, you'll reap the benefits of it for eternity, because you're giving your children the opportunity to go on to be happy and a blessing to others, and those rewards will keep coming back to you forever!

It's a Tough Job, But It'll Be Well Worth It in the End!

25. (Jesus speaking:) My dear loves, My precious ones whom I have called to be parents to My Endtime children, I have given you a very important mission. I've given you a high honor in placing their training in your hands‚ and I depend upon you.

26. More than just being a comforting and reassuring parent, you must also help to guide and train your children if they're to be used of Me in the future. The clay is soft and moldable when they're young, and loving discipline is needed if they're to be formed and shaped into the men and women of God that I need them to be.

27. The choice is yours: You can let them go their own way now, when they're young, and pick up the pieces after them, try to control the damage and keep them from hurting themselves or others, and then in the end have to watch them go through much more difficult times as they grow older and My hand is upon their life and teaches them to obey and love. Or‚ you can give them what they need now in the form of loving and consistent attention, setting down rules and guidelines for living in a loving way, and teaching them to abide by those rules, even if it means giving them correction to teach them the consequences of breaking those rules; then watch them grow to become useful tools in My hand, well adjusted to life, and accustomed to obeying and living lovingly.

28. If they've been trained from their youth to live circumspectly, to respect others, to obey, to discipline themselves and abide by the rules laid down, they'll be happier, more well adjusted, and more fulfilled in whatever course they take. Those who haven't learned those basic principles grow up to be more selfish‚ more demanding, and less happy with life, for they have to learn the hard way that rules are to be kept, and that there are consequences for breaking the rules.

29. You might not see it that way now. You might feel that they'll learn eventually, and that it's much easier for them to learn on their own; they won't consider you the ogre, and it's much less work for you. Even if they're somewhat unruly, it seems easier to you to cope with the fits they throw and their demanding behavior than it does to discipline them and keep them occupied, challenged and happy. Or, if they haven't learned to obey, it seems easier to comfort them when they hurt themselves than it does to be constantly trying to keep them out of trouble and make them obey the rules.

30. I understand, dear ones, that the job is great. But you must ask Me to change your mindset, because even though it seems like administering consistent discipline and keeping them occupied, challenged, learning and happy is the more difficult way now, in the end it's well worth it! Not only will they learn more and mature more quickly and eventually begin making the right choices themselves, but they'll also be happier‚ they'll be more of a blessing in your witnessing, they'll learn to help care for the younger ones. And as they grow, they'll be more fulfilled‚ for there will be places of service and opportunity open to them because they've been well trained.

31. My precious parents‚ I know the task in front of you seems large—and it continues for many years. Disciplining and teaching your children to obey and live lovingly is not an overnight process, and it does not bring immediate victory. It's often an uphill battle. But haven't you found that those things which are worth the most, cost the most? If it were easy, it would not be such a precious gift of love.

32. But because it costs so much—your time, your strength, your endurance, your patience, your wisdom, your love, your perseverance, your continuing on even when it's very difficult—it's one of the most precious gifts you can give your children, besides the knowledge of My love and My Word. It prepares them for life. It prepares them for their service for Me, or for whatever life they choose to lead. It takes the soft clay of their life and slowly‚ gently, day by day, molds it into something useful—else it hardens and must be broken and reshaped before it can be used.

33. I give you the key, dear ones, as in all areas of your children's training: Ask Me. Come to Me with empty hands and pour out your hearts before Me. Ask Me to help you, to fill you with enough love and conviction that you're willing to commit yourselves to this task‚ and then carry through on it every day.

34. Each day will need to be a new commitment. It's not only building the habit, because even after you've broken the bad habits of simply ignoring the need for instruction and discipline and attention when your children misbehave, you'll still need to come before Me regularly for further guidance and instruction. For their needs change often‚ and if you're to be successful in your training, you must look to Me for how to adapt to their needs.

35. But I can help you, and I will help you. I've given you those children to train for Me, and I have great need of them. So the moment you look up to Me and commit yourselves to doing your part, I open the windows of Heaven and will give you all the Heavenly help you could ever need or desire to help you in your mission. Thank you‚ My dear ones, for being willing to take up your cross for Me and train your children. I thank you, and your children will thank you! (End of message from Jesus.)

Pouring More Into the Kids

36. (Mama:) In that message, one of the main things the Lord brings out is that if you're going to try and discipline your kids, you have to pour into them more. If you're going to teach them to respect property and not color in the wrong books, then when they have those books you have to supervise them. If you're going to teach them to pick up and put away one set of toys before they take out the next set‚ then you have to tune in to them as they play and, if necessary, help them pick them up and put them away. If you're going to teach them to share their toys and talk nicely to one another, then you have to talk with them, and be with them during their times of play to help remind them and show them how to speak lovingly and share.

37. Those are times when you might have otherwise just left them on their own—hopefully with someone in the room to supervise them, but not always really tuning in to them. When you make the commitment to teach your children those kinds of things, you're also making the commitment to spend more time with them—because it does take time, and it takes being with them, tuning in to them, and helping them to stay occupied, especially at the beginning.

38. Any parent or childcare worker knows that when children are bored, they often misbehave. So if you're going to be correcting them for their misbehavior, you also have to keep them occupied and happy enough to help them stay out of trouble, or else it's not fair to them.

39. So, like the Lord said‚ it's a big commitment and a lot of work‚ and I can see why you feel it's easier in some ways to just let them run wild and entertain themselves, even if it does mean some extra bumps and bonks, torn books‚ lost toys, and difficult bedtimes. But the Lord is saying that in the long run you'll find that it's much more worthwhile to do the hard work that is needed to discipline your kids—because you're in for a lot of heartache if you don't. Not only will they not learn all that they could, but they'll also probably be less happy and fulfilled in life, and those around them will be less happy, until they're able to learn the simple, basic lessons of obedience, respect, concern for others, self-control and discipline—often the hard way.

40. The Lord makes it clear that it's part of your responsibility as a parent to give your children that training. Parenting is more than comforting your children when they fall down, or making sure they get the proper nutrition and brush their teeth. You're responsible for their spiritual training as well‚ and the foundation stone of that is loving and consistent discipline—by which they learn a fear of the Lord, respect for His Word and His instructions, and how to live lovingly.

How Is It Possible When There's So Much to Do?

41. I know you're all very busy already. Parenting is a full-time job, not to speak of the many other responsibilities you have in your job for the Lord—Home ministries‚ responsibilities to your sheep and contacts, and then just the time you need to rest and spend with the Lord in order to be able to do the job. You try very hard, but still always feel like something is being left undone. Even if you really want to discipline your children and train them, you're never able to give them all that you feel they need, and it seems like a real impossibility sometimes.

42. It's easy to feel that you're failing in your job as a parent, because it's just humanly impossible to keep up with everything. I knew the Lord must have a solution if He was emphasizing the need to tune in to the kids more. So we asked Him, "How is it possible to tune in to your children full-time, and yet still keep up with the multitude of other things which demand your attention?"

43. (Jesus speaking:) I know that you feel this is an impossible task, to spend more time with your children and still get everything else done that needs to be done. You feel that you're already so busy, and if you have to spend more time with your kids in order to be able to discipline them, then forget it—it's just asking too much, it's not possible.

44. But I tell you that if you want to do better in this area of training and pouring into your children and correcting them, then come before Me with open hearts, and I will help you to apply this counsel that I've poured forth, I will help you to know how you personally can fill your children's needs for attention, input and instruction, which is all a part of loving, consistent discipline.

45. For some of you, I will tell you that you already spend enough time with your children, and I'll simply give you some guidance about how to more fully concentrate on them during the times you have with them. Others of you I'll give tailor-made counsel as to how you can juggle your other responsibilities in order to give the children more of your attention, or fill a particular need that one of them has. In some cases‚ maybe the solution is to combine the care of your children with others who also feel this need, so that you're able to take turns with the children, thereby giving them your full attention when you're with them and still attending to the other things you have to do during the times when you're not with them.

46. For some of you, I will comfort your hearts that you're doing all you can to pour into your children‚ to fill their needs, and the rest is in My hands—you must simply pray more for them and commit it to Me, and then trust Me to give them what you cannot. I will encourage you that even though you're not perfect and you feel that you fall short, yet you're doing all you can as far as spending time with them, and you need to just have faith to proceed and give them the correction, training and discipline that I know they need.

47. Each of you‚ My dear parents, carries a very heavy load. I know your frame and I know that you can only do so much, and I take that into account when I give you your children and your other responsibilities. I know that you won't be able to do everything that you see before you, but I know that you'll be able to do those things which are most important‚ if you look to Me and let Me balance your time and priorities.

48. So those of you who struggle with the realization that you'll need to pour into your children more as you start to train them and expect certain things from them, need not despair or throw up your hands in defeat because it looks like more than you can do. Simply turn towards Me, lay out your work and situation before Me, and receive My specific, personal counsel for your situation. Then proceed with faith‚ knowing that I know your children and their needs much better than you, and whatever I show you is guaranteed to work! (End of message from Jesus)

49. (Mama:) Thank You, Jesus, that You're so willing to help us each know how You want us to apply this counsel and how we can personally improve and train our children better. Please keep all of our dear parents from falling into condemnation—because no one is perfect, Lord. You know that, and You're still able to help us to do the most important things‚ the things that You know will make a difference and be the most fruitful. So help us to look to You, to let You manage our time, and thereby let You help us fill our children's needs in the best way possible.

As They Learn to Respect You, They'll Learn to Respect the Lord

50. In the next message, the Lord explains more about the importance of giving your children the training they need and deserve, part of that training being given through loving, consistent discipline.

51. (Jesus speaking:) The cornerstone of parenting and teaching your children about Me and My Word is laid with consistent discipline. They must learn to respect and obey you, their parent‚ if they are going to later respect and obey Me, their Heavenly Father. If they don't learn that you mean what you say, how will they know that when I ask them to do something, I mean it and expect them to do it? If they don't learn from you in the small things that when they behave unlovingly they reap sorrowful consequences, how will they know later in life that to love is to be blessed, and to be unloving is to invite sadness and heartache?

52. These are simple, basic lessons of the spirit, which they learn day by day with you, their parents. They either learn the right way or they're given a false sense of reality if you don't teach them. These are not things that are learned in a day, or in one or two incidents; they're slowly absorbed through everyday life, through your sample, and through your instruction to them and following through and teaching them to heed that instruction, and that is all part of the loving discipline that I'm asking you to give My little ones.

53. You are My hands, My gentle parents. I've given you great natural love for your children—not so that you would withhold the loving staff of correction and instruction‚ but so that you would administer it gently and with love, even as I do to you. To withhold it is not love‚ but rather permissiveness. Permissiveness might win you temporary favor with your children, but in the long run, as they grow and begin to search for their boundaries, you'll find that they're much more secure and happy and bonded with you, their parent, if you've laid down guidelines for them and are teaching them to live within those guidelines.

54. This is your job and ministry as a parent: To be My hands, My eyes, My lips, My love‚ and to lovingly guide your children as I guide you. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Earlier You Start Disciplining The Better!

55. (Mama:) As the Lord brings out in the following message, little children begin forming their ideas of right and wrong and their behavior patterns very early in life. The earlier you can start teaching them the better!

56. (Jesus speaking to the mother of a one-year–old:) He's grown and matured so much and is no longer just a baby, but has grown into a little boy with thoughts and ideas of his own. He's able to control his life and body and the things that happen around him much more. He's able to choose‚ to make choices about everything, and he does. You must guide him prayerfully to make good choices, the right choices, the ones that are good for him, that will help him to grow, to be loving and obedient to My voice and My will in his life. That is all part of discipline.

57. He's beginning to learn many‚ many lessons about life, and this is a very important time to give him as much good, positive input as you can, to guide his thinking according to My ways, and to teach him how to make good choices. You're doing this very well, My love. Each thing that you teach him, even in his play, is very worthwhile, and is building a good foundation for him to apply these lessons to other bigger things in life—how to play well, how to be gentle with his toys and with people, how to put things away, how to concentrate and apply himself as he learns things, how to interact lovingly with people. All of these lessons of discipline in his little life are very important and are not in vain.

58. These years of his toddlerhood will pass quickly and he'll soon enter another stage of childhood‚ and you'll be very thankful for the good training that you've instilled in him while he's so moldable and flexible. All that you're doing for him, all that you're teaching him, and all the loving discipline you give him now are preparing the way for the years ahead and laying a good solid foundation for his happiness. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Discipline You Give Them Will Last a Lifetime!

59. (Mama: ) This next message from Jesus is rather sobering, as He explains that the training you give your children when they're very young helps them to live more disciplined lives—more yielded, more obedient, and thus even helps to prepare them for their future obedience to His will and their future usefulness. He says that each child is different, and each one has special needs, and to be able to meet those needs, you have to ask Him!

60. (Jesus speaking:) Discipline starts early. Some children have more submissive and obedient personalities, and others more active and boisterous personalities. But the guidelines you set and the discipline you give them as very young children, before they go into the "terrible twos," will last a lifetime and have a great deal to do with shaping their character and even their future obedience and submissiveness to My will. If they're permitted to do as they please when young, this can oftentimes carry over into adulthood with weaknesses of selfishness‚ unyieldedness and disobedience.

61. You must realize that you're not just working with a child, but that you are forming an adult. You are helping them to grow and mature just as I am helping you to grow and mature. Your child is to you what you are to Me. You are little children in My sight, and although I do sometimes give you much leeway, I also have certain boundaries and give you safeguards and correction. This is the sample you should follow when raising your own children—giving them unconditional love, but at the same time giving them the rules and discipline standards to grow by. Otherwise they grow in body but not in spirit.

62. It is through hearing and obeying My Word that they will grow—and they learn that through learning obedience from you. If they are allowed to do as they please, their spirits do not learn maturity, love, obedience‚ faithfulness, which are cornerstones of a loving life. And so it is, that without loving consistent discipline, their spirits do not grow as they should.

63. Children learn and understand more than most people realize. They can also sense and feel things more than people realize because they're fresher from Heaven with a channel that doesn't have as much static yet‚ and in some ways are more sensitive to things around them or things that are going to happen. They can learn important principles at a very young age. Although they may not understand them in words, they understand the idea or the feeling.

64. They understand love, sharing, giving, correction, and many other things. They don't have to wait until they're six or seven years old, but they can begin to understand those concepts very young if they are taught, and sometimes to start later than two or three can be starting too late.

65. Of course‚ all these things have to be tempered with a lot of love and reassurance at the same time. You shouldn't give correction without giving love during and after the correction, or set guidelines without explanations, just as I don't do that with you.

66. When your child is young, that's the time for them to grow in these areas of giving and learning to be obedient, and learning that they're not always able to do what they want all the time whenever they want, throwing fits if they don't get their way. If they learn that lesson early on, it will serve them well throughout life.

67. You shouldn't be discouraged or disappointed in your children when they misbehave and need some training, correction and discipline, or see it as a sign that you've failed or that they're ruined for life. They won't be perfect, just as you are not perfect‚ and they will likely need lots of guidance, and loving‚ consistent discipline through their growing years as they learn these lessons. It's part of life, part of growing and maturing, and one of the ways that you as a parent help to teach them about life is through the loving discipline you give them when they need it.

68. Seek Me for your child, and ask Me about their behavior, and I will show you how to present these lessons lovingly and in a way that will be the easiest for them to understand and grow by. Every child is different‚ and every child has special needs. So if you want to be the best parent possible and want to learn to discipline your children with the most love and fairness, ask Me about each situation, and I will help you find the key. (End of message from Jesus.)

69. (Mama: ) Thank You, Lord, for giving us such good, clear counsel. I want to make it clear that when I say "discipline" in this Letter, in the sense of correction or punishment, I don't necessarily mean corporal punishment—swats or smacks or spanking.

70. As a Family, we're bound to abide by the "Family Discipline Guidelines" which have very clear rules for us, as parents‚ regarding the kind of correction or punishment we can lovingly administer. I want to share with you an excerpt of a prophecy that someone sent us which is an excellent example of going to the Lord and asking Him how to best teach and train your child, and what form of loving, moderate discipline, within the guidelines of the Charter, He knows would bring about the best results.

Boundaries and Consequences!

71. (Jesus speaking:) Make the boundaries clear, so that he knows there will be consequences when he oversteps them. They don't always have to be a slap‚ or even a stern correction. The consequence can be to not get what he's asking for if he asks in a whiny and unpleasant way. The consequence can be that you don't want to talk with him if he talks in that way.

72. When he realizes that the whining doesn't produce what he wants, then he'll stop. This is an example of a boundary that can be set, and the consequences don't have to be a swat. For greater offenses, such as throwing a temper tantrum, hitting or biting, it's good to have a greater consequence. Bad behavior such as this does deserve firmer discipline. It's good that he knows he can't throw a temper tantrum without getting a swat and firm correction, for this is very bad; it's letting his emotions and his rebellion run wild.

73. But in lesser things, things that are more a habit, the consequences don't necessarily have to be chastisement or a swat. They can be simply telling him that that won't work, that he won't get what he's asking for when he asks that way‚ or asking him to sit out the activity if he's not being loving.

74. The important thing is that he knows that there are boundaries, and that when he crosses the boundaries, he will suffer the consequences.

75. Whining is not a pleasant sound; no one likes to hear it. It expresses an attitude of discontent, complaint and murmuring, therefore it's good to nip this problem in the bud and not let it continue, to let him know that this is not the right way to be. I, the Lord, hate murmuring, and I love praise—and people are the same way; they hate to hear complaints, murmurs, and a whining attitude. They like to hear cheerfulness, happiness, happy talking, friendly talking. So this will be a blessing to others in the Home as well.

76. What you're doing now will make a difference for eternity. The handling of him now will make a difference for the rest of his life, and it will also make a difference for the rest of your lives, as far as how happy you are, how fulfilled you feel, how much enjoyment you have in being with him. So this is the goal—to teach him these things step by step. And while you're doing it, trust that even as Rome wasn't built in a day, you can lead him towards good behavior in these areas step by step.

77. A house is built very patiently, brick upon brick. At first it looks like an impossible task, but the bricklayer just patiently does his job and lays one brick after another, carefully and with precision. Soon there's an entire house, beautiful for all to enjoy. He doesn't say, "I don't want to just lay this one brick‚ because it's gonna take too many bricks to do the whole house." He just starts laying the bricks, knowing that as he does it slowly and patiently, the house will be built.

78. So it is with discipline, with setting standards, with guidelines for the children. You can say, "I don't want to set this one guideline, because it's going to be too much work. I'll have to lay down the law too many times." But you just patiently do it, one time after the other‚ after the other, and soon it's complete‚ and the child has learned another thing in his behavior.

79. So as you teach him these things, you will be very gratified and fulfilled and satisfied in seeing the good result that it has on him. I will help you and lead and guide you and strengthen you. And when the waves seem to be too much, I will lift you up and I will cause your burden to be lighter. It will get easier, you'll see. Many things will get easier as you go along, and also as your little one learns. As he learns more respect, as he learns better behavior, he'll become more and more of a joy to you, and even a help to you as time goes on. For this is what I have ordained him to be—a blessing, not only to you, but to many others, and even to Me. (End of message from Jesus.)

80. (Mama:) The Lord promises that it will get easier as you're faithful to discipline and teach your little ones. I know it's hard at first, dear Family. It's very hard. But it's encouraging to know that it does get easier, and in the long run everyone is much happier! Praise the Lord!

The Lord Has the Key For Each Child and Each Situation!

81. This next excerpt from Dad brings out again how much better it is if you can start to teach your children these things when they're young, and the importance of going to the Lord to find the key for each child and each situation.

82. (Dad speaking: ) Laying down guidelines for discipline is such a complex subject, and an even bigger job to put it into practice. What we do know, though, is that the Lord has a solution. The Lord loves our kids much, much more than we could ever love them, and of course He wants them to have everything they need, including the right kind of discipline to help keep them on the straight and narrow, to help keep them in line, to help teach them to make the right choices so that when they reach the age of accountability, they've had the training, the input‚ the correction, and the discipline that they need, and so that they've learned from experience the results of making the wrong decisions.

83. If they've felt on their little bottom the pain of the swat that comes when they disobey, then by the time they get a little older, when they're faced with a decision, they remember that and they realize that the Lord is going to discipline them if they don't make the right decision. Even if their parents aren't around, He can keep them in line and He will, because they're His children.

84. But see, if they haven't had that good discipline all the way up until that time, then when it comes time for them to make their own decisions, they have to learn the hard way, which is sad. It takes a lot longer‚ a lot more time, and it's a lot more painful, but the Lord always brings them around in the end.

85. The best counsel I can give these dear parents is to come to the Lord personally and ask the Lord what to do about their kids. Each child has a key. Every time they encounter a problem, there's a key for the situation that will really help; something that will help teach the child, something that will get the point across clearly, and the Lord will give them that key if they stop and ask Him. (End of message from Dad)

Inconsistent Discipline Is Confusing and Damaging!

86. (Mama:) Once you make the commitment to be faithful in the training and discipline of your children, there's another hurdle to cross, which is consistency. There are many reasons why it's hard to be consistent with your children's discipline:

  1. You're busy. There are times you're not tuning in to them, so you're bound to miss some times when they could have used correction or discipline. Pretty soon it gets easier and easier to let things slide.
  2. We live communally‚ so chances are several people are involved with the care of the children and their training and discipline, and to all agree and abide by the same standard requires a lot of unity, prayer, counsel, faithfulness, and sacrifice on everyone's part.
  3. If you're not used to disciplining yourself to follow the rules with the children consistently, it's easy to let your mood dictate how you mete out consequences for misbehavior. When you're tired, you may apply the consequence more; when you're in a good mood, you may be more apt to let it slide.
  4. You tend to give in to them when they plead or say they're sorry. Granted, sometimes they need to be forgiven and not reap the consequence, or there are legitimate reasons for their behavior that need to be taken into account. But to find the balance, you have to ask the Lord. Backing down too many times is the same as inconsistency‚ and pretty soon the children don't know whether you mean business or not.

87. Inconsistent discipline is terribly confusing and even damaging for children. They learn that some people will let them get away with things that others won't, and they tend to learn how to manipulate people into giving them their way rather than following the rules. If you sometimes follow through and sometimes don't, they'll always think that if they cry loud enough and long enough, you'll let them off the hook. This makes for a very difficult situation for the parents and caretakers, because the discipline that they give doesn't have the desired effect, and the child doesn't learn to obey the rules, always hoping that this time they won't be made to do so. It's unfair and frustrating for the teachers, or those who care for the children regularly and try to maintain consistent discipline with them, if the parents or others who take time with them don't uphold the same standard.

88. Following is a very sobering‚ detailed message from Dad about inconsistent discipline and the damage it does. Lord help us!

89. (Dad speaking:) Being inconsistent with your discipline is almost as bad as no discipline at all. When children are young‚ they take in great quantities of information all the time. They're constantly receiving information, assimilating it, and beginning to develop their thought patterns, information banks, habits and characters from the information they receive.

90. Much of the information they gather is simple and straightforward. They begin to learn a language by recognizing the words and the actions or feelings that accompany them. They learn colors from the things they see. Shapes and sounds are imprinted on their mind. Movement is recorded‚ and so on. By receiving correction for certain actions, they learn what is and isn't acceptable. The discipline that a child receives shapes his behavior.

91. It's a little bit like a pinball machine. The ball travels through the maze of objects on the game table, and as it strikes posts, falls into holes, or travels through a chute, points are gained and the score is registered. As a child goes through life, the discipline he receives registers with him and helps to determine how he will react to the same situation when it comes up again.

92. If the discipline is given haphazardly or inconsistently, just like the pinball flying across the game table‚ then the child learns to take things by chance. Just as the ball sometimes strikes a high point or low point and it's different every time, so the child thinks that because he got away with something one time, it may happen again. He understands that sometimes he's disciplined for his actions and sometimes he's not, so instead of developing a clear concept of what to do and what not to do, what's right and what's wrong, he develops the attitude that there aren't really any absolute boundaries—that maybe this time when he tries something, he'll get away with it.

93. Training a child like this is not training him at all. It's only teaching him that sometimes you get away with things and sometimes you don't. As the child grows older, he can develop the attitude that rules and guidelines are pretty haphazard and don't really matter, and he can bounce from one to another, like the ball in a pinball machine. With this attitude, the child doesn't learn yieldedness or submission, but rather to take the chance to break the rules and defy authority. Instead of learning responsibility from the effects his actions have on himself or others, he learns to recklessly plow through life without thinking through the consequences of his actions and how they will affect him or others.

94. A child who receives correction from one parent for his actions and no correction for the same actions from the other parent, can draw the conclusion that his actions are not bad, but that one parent is loving and the other isn't. The child can miss the point of his actions and equate it with how the two parents view him. This can lead to all kinds of misconceptions in how to relate to different people in his life. The child loses sight of his actions and behavior. He fails to learn that some behavior is good and other behavior is bad because it's harmful to himself or others.

95. With inconsistent discipline, the child begins on a selfish journey, to seek out those who give him no discipline and avoid those who give the discipline. Instead of learning what's right and what's wrong, the child simply learns what he can get away with in the presence of one parent and what he can get away with in the presence of the other. Instead of learning how to act or behave, he learns to rather be like the pinball, taking his chances and trying to hit the right post or bumper, and avoid the wrong one.

96. Children who receive inconsistent discipline can grow up with the idea that discipline is something bad, something to be avoided. They can feel that when they're disciplined, it's unfair, and it's because of the person and not because of the deed. They can seek to justify themselves for what they did, thinking that if they were around someone else, their behavior would be accepted, but it's only because the person now disciplining them must not like them or has something against them for some reason.

97. This concept can carry over into their relationship with the Lord. They can feel that when things don't go right or the consequences of their actions don't bring them happiness but pain, it's God's fault; He doesn't love them or He wouldn't be allowing them to be punished so or to experience the things they're going through. They can feel that God isn't fair, or misunderstand the discipline and not see it as coming from the hand of a loving Father who's concerned about them and wants them to do good and to bring no harm to themselves or to others. Instead, they interpret it that God must be a very harsh fellow who carries a big stick and just waits to whack those who don't do things His way.

98. Inconsistent discipline not only brings heartbreak and sorrow, and the parents see their child unhappy or discontent or hurting or harming others because of his poor behavior, but it can create a stumbling block between the child and the Lord. This makes it difficult for him to see his Maker as loving and kind, because he equates someone who loves him with someone who lets him do whatever he wants to do. Later he may find it difficult to accept or receive the Lord's love. He may find it hard to accept the Lord's forgiveness or understand that he's forgiven once he repents, even though the Lord has chastened him‚ because he equates chastening and correction with anger; so he feels that the Lord must be very unhappy with him.

99. Let me tell you, inconsistent discipline with young children is just about one of the worst things you can do! It completely confuses the poor child and makes him not want to receive any discipline at all. If he gets corrected by one parent or by one childcare helper for something and then he gets off scot-free with another one, then he doesn't even appreciate the correction or instruction he received from the one who's doing the right thing.

100. All he learns is that he's not going to be able to behave that way in the presence of that parent or childcare helper. Of course‚ that does him a little bit of good. At least when he's with that person he's going to be disciplined and not allowed to display his bad behavior. But as far as really learning to control himself of his own free will and to grow into a responsible older child, or learn the spiritual principles of yielding and submitting to the Lord and receiving correction and discipline at His hand, he's going to miss the boat.

101. Not only are such children going to be confused and frustrated, but it'll spill over into other aspects of their life too. They're not going to be happy. They're going to feel frustrated and just become more rebellious against the discipline that they do receive. They'll start to think if they don't have to take it from one parent or one childcare helper, why should they have to take it from the other one? So instead of learning how to behave correctly, they're really learning how to be rebellious, how to be defiant, how to be self–willed and go their own way, how to avoid correction and not to like those who administer it, whether parent, teacher, childcare helper, or even the Lord Himself!

102. There's always going to be some inconsistency, because no two people are the same, no two parents are the same, no two childcare helpers‚ and so on. There's always going to be a little variation, because people have different personalities, different ways of looking at things, different ways of interpreting what the rules are, and different ideas of how to enforce discipline when the rules are broken. There are many factors that go into all this, and it's not just a black and white matter. But what we're talking about here is when a child is obviously manifesting the wrong behavior and is being corrected for it by one person and indulged in it by another.

103. If the child screams and throws a fit with one parent and is corrected for it, but can go and do the same thing with another parent and not be corrected, the reinforcement to continue to throw a fit is stronger than it is to not throw a fit. In other words, the child will pick up on the negative much faster than he will the positive. If this continues long enough, then the child learns that he can get away with things if he just avoids certain people, and he can be just as wild‚ destructive or hurtful—or whatever the problem may be—as he wants to be, as long as he stays away from that certain parent‚ teacher or childcare helper who's going to discipline him for his behavior. The end result is going to be a child who's going to bring his parents to shame and maybe even hurt himself. Agreeing together and really making an effort to maintain a united Home discipline standard, as much work as that is, solves so many of these problems.

104. The child who receives inconsistent discipline can tend to grow up selfish and self-centered. He can also be more rebellious and have a much harder time of it as he gets older and isn't allowed to continue with his poor behavior. He will eventually be disciplined either by society, or by the Lord, or will find himself ostracized by others‚ just because he can't get along and hasn't really learned how to prefer the happiness of others to his own. So a child who doesn't receive consistent discipline can be on the road towards becoming selfish, self-centered, rebellious, and of course, very unhappy within himself.

105. That's not to say that a child who receives consistent discipline will not still have lessons to learn and problems to overcome‚ but at least they have a head start and bad habits will not have grown to the same extent in their life, as they naturally would without consistent discipline.

106. That's another thing the child that receives inconsistent discipline starts to develop—bad habits. He starts to develop the habit of seeing what he can get away with. Instead of learning his lesson in how to behave right, he learns to try to find ways to get away with his misbehavior. He looks at rules and discipline and someone correcting his behavior as being bad and not to be accepted, instead of learning and growing from the correction.

107. So parents, teachers, childcare helpers and caregivers, if you love your child or those children that you're taking care of, if you really have their well-being at heart and you're sincerely concerned about their training and their spiritual growth, as well as their happiness and their contentment in life‚ then I suggest that you get together and decide just how you're going to discipline them. Agree together on what rules and guidelines and forms of punishment you're going to administer and institute.

108. We've talked about this before. We've given you guidelines on the need for a united discipline standard before, but it seems like we have to go back and repeat it so that everyone will get the point. If you're inconsistent in your discipline, then you're not giving any discipline that's going to really last and help form a strong, Godly character in the child. You're going to weaken the child. You're going to promote the bad qualities, all the things that you don't want to promote. You're promoting selfishness, self–centeredness and rebelliousness, instead of promoting the right things, the good things‚ and it just confuses the poor child.

109. When the standard is unbalanced between those who care for the child, the child will automatically try to figure out who loves him more—mommy or daddy or teacher or caregiver. Since they all treat him differently and handle his behavior differently, he'll figure that some love him more than others. That's terribly unfair to the poor child. He should be receiving love and discipline from all, and not having to choose between them. It causes him to feel insecure, and when he feels insecure, he's not happy. Then his behavior can be anything from withdrawing within himself to becoming more wild and boisterous and letting out all his frustrations.

110. So you see, folks, there's hardly any good fruit from inconsistent discipline! It sends the wrong signals‚ it's confusing your kid‚ and it's not helping him at all. You may think you're saving yourself a little time and a little pain and a little suffering by not disciplining your child or letting him get away with things, but you're just creating bigger problems for yourself down the road. You're simply going to be faced with bigger difficulties and possibly bigger heartbreaks as you see your children go astray and suffer bigger problems, bigger difficulties, bigger breakings, by having to go through things that they could have learned at a younger age.

111. It's a big responsibility to be a parent or a teacher or a helper of any sort, and consistent discipline is one responsibility that you can't afford to shirk, or you'll be sorry in the long run. It requires real desperation, real prayer, and a lot of hard work, but the Lord can help you and He knows you can do it, amen? (End of message from Dad)

Andy's Story—The Negative Effects of Inconsistent Discipline

112. (Mama:) The Lord even sent someone to tell us his story of his time as a child on Earth. This isn't a happy story; it's a sad but true story about the negative effects of inconsistent discipline.

113. (Andy speaking:) Hello. My name is Andy and I have a story to tell you of how I was treated when I was very small. My mother and father loved me a lot. They prayed for me because they wanted a little boy, and Jesus answered their prayers and sent me to be that little boy.

114. It was wonderful to have parents who loved me so much. I felt secure and warm and at peace in my mother's arms. When my dad would hold me I could feel such strength and his power to protect me‚ and it gave me a feeling of trust and rest. Even as a little baby, those things were important.

115. It was very important to me to feel my mother's warmth and love, and my father's strong arms of security and protection. It gave me a sense of well-being which allowed my body, mind and spirit to grow and to form just the way God intended it to. It helped me to be balanced, to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit‚ and for my mind to develop in an orderly fashion. It was such a wonderful, loving atmosphere.

116. I was so happy that I just grew and grew and grew. That first year was so pleasant. My entrance into this earthly life was made easy for me by such a wonderful, loving, caring mother and father. I'm so happy they prayed for me, because then I got to go to parents who really wanted me. So when I came along, they did the very best they could to take care of me spiritually, physically and mentally. They were wonderful parents.

117. As I got older, I started learning to do things on my own and becoming more independent. There was so much to do and see. Right from the start, it was obvious that my dad wanted me to grow up to be a strong, fine, well-disciplined young man‚ so he never tolerated any behavior or any action or any activity that he didn't feel was right. I knew he loved me, though, and I respected him, although it wasn't always easy because I wanted to do what I wanted to do, go where I wanted to go‚ and explore the things I wanted to explore.

118. I had strong curiosity, and my dad would often stand in the way, and in my mind, prevent me from having fun and from doing what I really wanted to do. I couldn't always understand why I was being disciplined for this, that, or the other, but I knew my father loved me, and that made it easier to take. I guess you could say even at that young age‚ I had to learn to take things by faith, just because daddy said so.

119. My mom loved me too, of course, and she would give me a little discipline here or there‚ but I knew that if I just persisted, she wouldn't push the matter. I always knew I could do more exploring and do more of what I wanted to do when I was with my mom. I loved both my parents the same‚ but I learned very early on what I could do with my dad and what I could do with my mom.

120. As I grew older‚ as the years passed, my will became stronger and my desire to do what I wanted to do increased. I knew from my early days that my dad wouldn't let me do as much as I wanted to, so I'd wait until he wasn't around to do what I wanted to do. I knew my mom might say something; she might put up a fuss, but she wasn't going to stop me.

121. I loved to dig around in my toy box and pull out all these neat things to play with, and I would scatter them all over the floor. When dad was there, he would make me pick them up and not leave them lying around. Mom would tell me to move them, but I wouldn't, and I knew she wasn't going to make me. She would do it herself, because it was easier than trying to get me to do it.

122. But then a funny thing started happening. I don't know where it began or how it began; it just sort of started little by little. But somehow that love and respect that I felt for my dad when he would love me and then discipline me when I was very young began to turn to resentment when he disciplined me. I felt he was being unfair and unkind, because when I was with my mom, she was much more understanding, loving, and sweet. If I didn't want to do something, she didn't press the issue; she just let me do what I wanted to do. So I started to resent my father. I started to resent his heavier hand in my life and I didn't want to be around him as much as I did my mom‚ because she was more easygoing.

123. Then I started to resent my mom, too. I started losing my respect for her because she hardly ever stopped me from doing anything, whether it was good for me or not. She just let me do whatever I wanted to. Oh, she'd get upset with me and yell at me, but it didn't seem to bother me so much. The yelling and the pleading and sometimes even begging me to do things never really bothered me, and I just kept on doing what I was doing.

124. I was getting old enough to think that maybe the things I was doing weren't so good anymore, that maybe I shouldn't be doing them. But I'd been acting that way for so long, it became a habit. I remember even thinking that I wished I could be good, but I had made such a habit of being bad when I was around my mom that it was hard to break the habit. I resented being with my dad because I knew he'd discipline me, so I was getting into a sad state.

125. Deep inside I loved my parents dearly‚ but I was growing confused. I didn't understand what was going on inside. If I loved my dad so much, why was I feeling resentful and hurt and that he was being unfair to me? I loved my mom dearly, but why was I losing my respect for her and resenting her for not disciplining me?

126. Instead of feeling happy, warm, secure and loved, I began to feel confused and a little lonely and sad inside. I didn't know what to do about the sadness or the confusion, so I just decided that I would do what I wanted to do. I was going to set out to make myself happy because I was so sad and insecure inside. I wanted to do something that made me feel happy and secure again.

127. I started wanting all the toys for myself, and when my other little brothers and sisters who had come along after me wanted the toys‚ I refused to let them have them, because they were mine. I wanted them because I thought it was going to make me feel happy and secure again if I could have everything I wanted. The other children would come over to play and everything would be fine until they wanted to do something their way. That really got to me‚ because I wanted things to be my way. I wasn't just selfish like all little children are selfish, and have to learn how to share. Because I wasn't given consistent discipline, I didn't learn that there are rules for how to live lovingly, and so I wanted everything to be my way all the time.

128. I wanted to be happy and to feel secure, so I was being mean and saying hurtful and unkind things to the other children, and even doing mean things, because I wanted it all my way. I wanted to feel good, important‚ happy and secure.

129. I didn't understand all these things like I do now; I didn't understand what I'm telling you so clearly. At the time, I just had these childish feelings. These things were just going on inside my heart and mind. I didn't understand sadness so much, and I didn't understand insecurity. It was just a feeling that was there, and because the feeling was there, I acted the way I did to try to compensate for the feeling. It's not that I thought in my mind, "Oh, I'm sad now," or "I'm insecure." I guess you could say I just sensed it or I felt it, and because of that‚ my reactions came out the way they did.

130. As you can see, it was a downward spiral. Because I felt those things in my heart, I set out to make myself happy or make myself feel secure. But I just made others feel bad and unhappy, and I grew to be more selfish and more self-centered. And so the cycle began, and it was very hard to break out of that cycle.

131. Of course, there were times when I was very happy. I knew that my parents loved me‚ so it's not that I never felt loved or secure. It's just that it wasn't the way it was when I was little. I wasn't always sad and unhappy, but these were things that were happening beneath the surface‚ way deep down there. Sometimes I wasn't even aware of it, and neither were others.

132. I really had some rough years as a young child. I experienced a lot of heartache. I often felt misunderstood, and that made growing up that much more difficult.

133. Well, my life ended rather tragically in a car accident, so I never lived my life on Earth to the full, but I came to Heaven where I continued to grow and to mature. It was so wonderful to get Here! Things were very different. But you know, I had quite a bit to unlearn once I arrived. Some of the attitudes and thought patterns that I had developed on Earth had to be unlearned so that I could relearn things the right way.

134. It was God's mercy to bring me Home to Heaven early, so that I was able to learn the things I missed learning on Earth, and thus begin a happy life much earlier than if I'd had to live out my life on Earth. Because I didn't have a good foundation of consistent discipline and training when I was young, I would have had to learn many lessons the hard way in my adult life‚ and I know it wouldn't have been very happy or pleasant.

135. Inconsistent discipline seems like such a small thing, but it's a big problem and has big consequences. It was certainly a big problem for me, and it had big consequences for my feelings and my behavior.

136. There are many different levels of reactions to inconsistent discipline. There's the obvious one that people can see clearly, and that's when you get disciplined by one person and not by another. Then you don't really learn discipline and you carry on being naughty when you're with someone who's not disciplining you. You end up being more naughty than you normally would have been, just because there's such a big opportunity to be that way. Then lots of kids get in trouble or they hurt themselves, or they have bad accidents because they're not obeying and they're in that frame of mind that they can do whatever they want to do because nobody's going to stop them. Lots of children do real damage‚ either to themselves or to others because they get in that frame of mind. That's the big problem, the open problem, the one that people see the most, and it's a bad thing.

137. But what I've been telling you about is what happens inside when there's inconsistent discipline‚ and how it can make a child feel unloved and insecure, way deep down. That affects them not only then, but later in life too, and makes it more difficult for them to adjust and become a well-balanced, loving, caring, understanding adult.

138. In my heart I really liked the discipline, because it helped me to know what I should and shouldn't do. It made me feel secure because it gave me boundaries in my life. It made me feel loved because I knew someone cared enough to show me right from wrong. Though I didn't like it at the time and often showed my dislike by crying or doing other things that let my parents know that I wasn't happy about what they were doing, in my heart I still felt it was good, and I was thankful that I was receiving it.

139. I know if I'd gotten consistent discipline from both my parents when I was younger, I would have thought differently about discipline. I would have grown up with a different viewpoint on it. I would have seen that when Jesus disciplines, He disciplines in love, because He knows it's for my good and He wants me to do good and be loved and feel secure and grow up to be a responsible adult who can help others and take care of others and their needs.

140. So you see, consistent discipline helps children like me to have a healthy attitude towards discipline. Such discipline makes a child feel loved and secure, and gives them a healthy, loving fear of the Lord too.

141. Of course, the opposite is true if there is inconsistent discipline‚ like I received when I was very small. It made me develop the wrong attitude toward discipline from others and even from Jesus. Then instead of being open, kind, loving, warm and giving, I was growing up to be selfish and self-centered, feeling a little lonely and insecure.

142. That's my story of what happened when I was little and what was going on in my heart and mind because my parents were not consistent in their discipline. Of course, everybody's different and no two people will always discipline in exactly the same way, but I think you know what I mean. My problems developed because my dad was so strict and my mom let me get away with almost anything.

143. It would have even been better if they could have decided to each change halfway so that at least their discipline of me would have been consistent. It wasn't that my mom needed to be just like my dad, and of course, the goal was not for my dad to be like my mom. But it wouldn't have hurt for my dad to even tone down his strict discipline some so he would be more consistent with my mom, and my mom needed to bring hers up to a higher level. It would have given me a healthier outlook on discipline in the long run, to receive that consistent discipline on a regular basis from both parents. I love you. (End of message from Andy.)

Deciding as a Home On a United Standard

144. (Mama: ) Thank You Jesus for sending Andy to tell us his story, his firsthand experience. It's pretty sobering, and I pray it motivates you, dear parents, to get down to business with the Lord and your mate and the others in your Home to decide on a united standard for your children, if you haven't already, and really commit to upholding that standard together for the sake of your children!

145. If you and your mate, as parents‚ have not been united in your discipline standard thus far, you might wonder how to get back on track, to avoid the same things that happened to dear Andy happening to your children. The first step, of course, is to go to the Lord. Humble yourselves and accept that probably neither of you are all "right," but that you're going to have to come to an agreement somewhere in between, in accordance with the standard of the Word, your Home discipline standard, and in counsel with the Lord. Then begin to discuss things honestly between you. Read up on the subject together, and ask the Lord for His specific counsel together. It will take humility, love, and lots of good communication, but it will be well worth it!

146. It's not just the parents that need to agree—the whole Home needs to get united about it, because everyone winds up taking time with the children at one time or another. Even if the parents are united in their discipline, if others in the Home are not, the child can still suffer from the negative effects of inconsistent discipline. And it's not just the number of people disciplining that can be the problem; even one person can give a child inconsistent discipline.

147. Another important aspect of being united as a Home in your discipline standard is to be supportive of one another in front of the children. That's often difficult, especially if you walk in as one of your children is being talked to rather sternly, or being corrected or disciplined for something that you feel is a light offense or should be handled differently. But to speak up right then in front of the children or to say something like, "Honey, it's not such a big deal," or "How could you correct them for that?" is extremely detrimental and will tear down the standard that you're trying to build. If you feel that something is not handled correctly‚ talk to the person afterwards and share your heart and come to an agreement. But don't bring it up in front of the children!

148. One thing to remember about disciplining consistently is that in the long run it will save a lot of heartache and even unnecessary discipline‚ because the children will learn their lessons quicker. Whereas, if they are only corrected sometimes and other times they aren't, chances are they'll have to be corrected a lot more times and will take a lot longer to learn the lesson. Eventually they will have to learn the lesson somehow—whether they learn it from being lovingly taught and disciplined‚ or whether they learn it the hard way from sad experience, or from the Lord's chastening hand. So the loving thing to do is to discipline consistently.

149. Committing to disciplining consistently is a big job. If you see that you're weak in the area of consistent, loving discipline, it's likely that others will need to help you. You'll benefit from the counsel, help and prayers of others, and if you live with other parents and children, you'll definitely have to decide together on the discipline standard. Oftentimes as parents it's easy to become familiar with a situation, especially a behavioral problem with one or more of your children, and you don't see things as clearly after a period of time. Thus it helps to have others tell you how they see things.

150. Receiving suggestions or counsel from others about your child or the way you discipline or don't discipline is a sensitive issue, at least for most parents, and especially new parents. But if you can learn to accept advice from others, it will help you to have a more objective perspective. It will also help your Home to be in greater unity about the care of your children if you parents and teachers and other Home members all counsel together and pray together about things.

151. Of course, as the Charter states‚ the parents have the ultimate responsibility, and thus the final decision about the care or discipline of their children rests with them. But that doesn't mean that the parents are sufficient in themselves—we all need help, and especially in the area of discipline, outside input is often very helpful.

152. Discipline for your children can be one of those "hot topics" to discuss—a very subjective, touchy subject, which is often hard to discuss and agree on without taking things personally or stepping on someone's toes. But I pray that each of you will see the need enough from the message that Dad gave and from Andy's personal experience that you will be willing to lay aside your pride and really pray and ask the Lord to help you be able to discuss it together, accept each other's help and counsel, and commit to living a united standard for the sake of the children.

153. Let me just mention here that it's very easy to become critical of each other or start pointing the finger when you have to talk about raising the standard in any area. Those of you who don't have children yourselves, please really pray and ask the Lord to help you present any points that you have in a spirit of love and humility, remembering that parents not only have a very big job but a very long-term job, and there's often more than meets the eye to teaching a child even a simple lesson.

154. Likewise, dear parents, please remember that those who care for the children lay down their lives daily to do so, and also carry a very big load in their training and discipline. It's very frustrating for them if they try to discipline your children and don't feel your support‚ or you let the kids get away with things when they're with you that they wouldn't be allowed to do with their teachers. Please pray together that the Lord will help you to come to an agreement, and make a commitment to support each other in love for the sake of "our" children. Amen?

155. The Lord understands that it's a sensitive topic, and He gave a very good message about it, which I pray will be helpful for you.

Ask the Lord to Help You See the Need to Discipline

156. (Jesus speaking:) I know it's difficult for many of you‚ My precious, faithful parents, to receive instruction about the care and discipline of your children. It's easy for you to take it very personally‚ to feel quite offended about it. The Enemy tries to use your sensitivity as a way to get in and harm the children, because if he can keep you from receiving the instruction and counsel about how to care for your children, or keep you from receiving the counsel about their need for discipline in order to grow, then he's won a great victory. Because when you refuse counsel and the truth, you're not able to see things clearly as I see them, and so the children don't receive what they need.

157. The first step to being able to receive counsel or suggestions or instruction about the discipline of your children is to believe that loving discipline is of Me, and is in fact necessary in order to raise happy children. You must understand the need for discipline and believe that it's good and necessary—no matter how much it hurts you to have to discipline your child, and no matter how hard it is for you to do it, no matter how much time it takes—that it's worth it and will bear good fruit in your child's life. If you believe that, you will be much more open and receptive to the suggestions of others and the conviction of My Word, and much more desperate to ask Me about things personally, because you realize what a very important responsibility it is and you want to do it right for the benefit of your little one. You also must realize that you aren't sufficient for the task by yourself, but that you need the help and opinions of others.

158. Discipline is constant hard work, and there isn't an easy way out. This is one of the reasons that some people don't discipline their children—because it's a lot of work and it's easy to get weary in well doing and opt to let them go their own way. It's a fight to keep that commitment and conviction strong in your life.

159. So to begin with, you must be convinced in your own mind that you're doing the right thing by giving your children loving‚ consistent discipline, and making it a priority to devote the time it takes to train them. Otherwise, when it gets difficult, when the children cry, when one of them begins having behavior problems that don't seem to be improving‚ when the battles seem long and you feel weary, you won't have the strength to keep going if you don't see the need yourself and believe that loving, consistent, Godly discipline is the answer—ordained of Me to help shape and train your children to become what I've created them to be.

160. You must see that your kids will not become the men and women of God that I've called them to be if you don't discipline them. If you don't train them from the very beginning to love Me and fear Me, if you don't teach them about the results of their decisions, the consequences of their behavior, then when it comes time for Me to work in their lives‚ the children will be confused. Whereas if they have a good foundation, laid from the beginning, they'll see My hand in their life and it will be easier for them to make the right decisions—thus easier for Me to use them. I depend on you, My parents, to lay the foundation.

161. So for these reasons I ask that you parents study My Word on the subject, so that you can clearly see the reasons why I'm asking you to discipline your children. If you don't see the need‚ then ask Me to help you see it. Ask Me to help you understand and give you the conviction and the desire that you need—that you must have—in order to follow through with good, loving, Godly, consistent discipline. Ask Me to give you the humility that's needed to listen to others' opinions and pray and discuss the standard together, and then commit to it together. You can ask Me to change your outlook, change your attitude, and help you to see the need and have the conviction to follow through‚ to guide your children lovingly with My wisdom.

162. You must learn to see it as a part of love—not as a punishment, or a lack of patience or tolerance, but as a loving gift, a labor of love, that you're willing to go through the pain in order to guide and direct your children aright. You're willing to lay down your life and endure the extra work, the difficulties, even the pain of hearing them cry when you correct them, in order to keep them from much worse danger and being hurt physically because they haven't learned to obey—or worse yet, in later life being miserable because they haven't learned to obey My laws for a loving life, which bring happiness and fulfillment.

163. Just like people pray for a burden to win souls, or pray for the grace and desire to do anything, you have to have that desperation in your heart to begin with before you can follow through and perform that which is needed and do My will. So pray for an open, yielded and willing heart, one that's willing to learn, and not one that is set in its ways and closed to instruction.

164. If you will put your will on My side and ask Me to help you to see the need and to learn, out of love for your child, then I can help you through the counsel of My Word and the instruction and suggestions of others to become the parent that your children need you to be—one who's not only patient, but also one who helps them learn the difference between right and wrong, and prepares them for life.

165. But you have to be open-minded first before you will receive in full. You have to have a vacuum before it can be filled. Once you've prayed and asked Me to help you, begin reading My Word on the subject and asking others for their help and counsel. Make a vacuum for Me to fill, and I'll help you to learn and grow in this area. (End of message from Jesus)

166. (Mama:) The key in all of this is to learn to ask the Lord, to go to the Lord about individual situations. Go to the Lord together as a Home about what rules to lay down as your Home standard, and what the consequences should be. Come before the Lord regularly with your mate or with the teachers in the Home, asking the Lord for His specific solutions to specific problems. And any time when you aren't sure what to do—or even if you think you know what to do—ask Him, and He'll tell you!

167. The Lord gives such good, specific counsel when you ask Him for it. He loves to tell us what's going on in our little ones' hearts and minds, why they do the things they do, and how we can best help them through the stages they're going through.

191. (Mama: ) I want to close with a beautiful message from Jesus which I think will be very encouraging for you. Dear Family, I pray that these Words from the Lord that you've read will motivate you to follow through, to seek the Lord about what changes you need to make, to unite with those in your Home about the standard for your children, and to commit to lovingly upholding it—for the sake of their future happiness!

192. I know you can do it. I know it's a big job, and the Lord knows that too, and has promised you lots of Heavenly help. You're not fighting this battle alone—Jesus is right there beside you, along with as many spirit helpers as you ask for, and Peter and I are with you through our prayers.

193. You probably feel the situation is overwhelming, so please go to the Lord right away and ask Him how He sees it, and what you need to do to begin. He'll make it simple. He'll show you the first step, and the next, and the next. You don't have to know all the answers or have all the strength. All you have to do is follow Him! Amen?

Please Be My Love For Your Little One!

194. (Jesus speaking: ) Today is the day! Today is the day to begin anew—to call out to Me for My help and wisdom, and for the love and faithfulness to be consistent with the care and discipline of My little lambs. I know you don't have the strength within you. I know it's exhausting, draining, and you feel as if it sucks the very life out of you at times—and it does! Virtue goes out of you when you pour out, pouring into someone else. Even I felt it when I gave and gave and gave, and felt I had no more to give. I had to rise early and seek My Father for the strength and grace and love that I needed to carry on.

195. So it is with disciplining children. It's a day in, day out responsibility—something that never takes a day off, never goes away, and is always with you. This is one of the main reasons why so few choose to discipline the way they're supposed to—because it's so much hard work, and once you start, if you stop and then try to start again, you find that you've lost much ground and have to backtrack.

196. Disciplining is one of a parent's greatest responsibilities‚ a large part of love, and it is My hand in the child's life. My love is largely manifest to them in the form of consistent‚ loving‚ gentle and fair discipline. If they're treated harshly, roughly, too strictly, inconsistently‚ or not given clear boundaries, it reflects directly on Me and how they perceive My love for them. They learn to love and know Me through the training which they're given from their parents, and a large part of that training comes from the way the parents handle the discipline.

197. So you see, it's very important! It's how they will come to know Me, My ways‚ and My love. If they're lovingly shown the right path and experience the consequences when they disobey, they'll learn the important principle that I cannot bless disobedience. If they're treated with love and fairness, they'll come to appreciate My justice and how I reward people according to their works. If they experience mercy, love, and understanding, they'll also feel My mercy, My love, and will be freer to express themselves, knowing that I always understand. If they have clear boundaries set, they'll come to be secure in My love and My ways, knowing the right from the wrong, and learning to do the loving thing.

198. These are all foundation stones in their training, and there's no other way that they can learn them at this young age, save through loving care and discipline‚ which you must give them. Yes, if they do not receive discipline as children, then I must discipline them when they're older, and they may in time learn the same lessons and come around to the same conclusions. But oh, how much easier it is for them to learn now‚ when they're young, moldable, and eager to absorb and take in! Now their values in life are being formed, the morals which they will stand by, and the foundation of their love for Me and their fear of Me.

199. If these things are lacking when they're grown, then for all that I want to use them I have no foundation. This is the time of building that foundation—stone upon stone, day by day. It's a tiresome job, a wearying job, and one that requires much love, patience, and wisdom. I know that you don't have that in yourself, but I have it here for you if you'll receive it.

200. Many parents look at the daunting task before them and they feel they'll not be able to finish it, so they don't even try. They're discouraged before they even begin, for they know that they don't have the strength within them. Yes, I know that you do not, but I've made it that way so that you might call out to Me on a regular basis to receive new insight, new wisdom‚ new strength, and most of all, an infilling of My love for this very important task. It's not something that can be accomplished in your own strength; it's the molding and shaping of a life, and only I have the wisdom and the knowledge of what's best for the precious little one.

201. Many things may change as their little hearts change. Many different things may be needed as they make decisions and grow and progress. Continuing with one set plan or method will not work, and will only harm in the end. That's why I've made it so that you must cry out to Me for My wisdom, My strength, and My love. For I know that you must have new direction and leading on a regular basis, in order to meet the changing needs of your child.

202. My loves, I know the task seems daunting, but I need you to do it. It's part of your responsibility as parents to be My hands, My eyes‚ My love, My care in your child's life. Without loving and consistent discipline, a large part of the foundation is missing, and in the days to come the building will be unsteady.

203. You may look at your little one now and think: "But it's so much more difficult to try and make them do the right thing. It's much easier for me to bend to their wishes than try to get them to bend to mine. Maybe I'm just being selfish by trying to get them to follow a schedule. Maybe I'm being too harsh when I enforce a rule. They cry and make a big scene, and sometimes are grumpy for the rest of the morning. Maybe it's just unnecessary and I should just live with it and wait till they're older before trying to get them to obey. Right now they need their childhood and their freedom, and I don't want to take that away from them."

204. My dear ones‚ you're not taking away any of their happiness by giving them loving discipline. To the contrary, you're building a foundation for security, love, and the great happiness of knowing My will and following it. So instead of depriving them of something, you're giving them a great gift. You're showing them how to live life to the full by My rules of love. In the end‚ that will bring the greatest happiness! You're preparing them to receive Me—My will, My law of loving and Godly living. This is a foundation stone for life, and without it, they'll have to learn the hard way and life will be much more painful.

205. You might say, "But how is teaching them to pick up their blocks or come when I call them going to prepare them for life? When they're older, they won't even remember these small things, and when they're older they'll be able to learn easily, for they'll understand more clearly."

206. This is not so, My dear parents. For though they may not remember these tiny instances, these little instances are molding and shaping your little one's character now, and they are preparation for the next grade. If they're not taught these lessons now, the lessons are much more difficult in the next class—and yet more difficult in the next, and the next, and the next. When the child is full grown, if he still hasn't learned them‚ then the stakes are very high and the price is much unhappiness and hurt—for both him and others.

207. So though it may be much labor for you now, it's a labor of love—for it is in love for your child that you teach them about life and how to live lovingly. It is My love for them, manifested in the form of loving discipline and training which you give them. Please be My love for your little one. Don't let it slide, feeling that it will hurt them or deprive them, or that it's too much work for you, or that you don't know how to complete it because you don't have the wisdom, and so you don't begin at all. I will help you, teach you‚ and instruct you through My Word.

208. I'll be your strength when you're weak, your help when you're tired. I'll do the work that you can't do—that of working in the heart of your little ones and guiding them from within. But I can't do that without your help. We must be a team, you and I, to train our little ones aright. I have great need of them in the days to come, and that preparation on Earth began at the day of their birth, and continues today. So let's follow the plan, let's have a good balance‚ and see what love can do!

209. This is not to say that there must be many rules, or very strict and unbending rules, or harsh correction. That is just as damaging as no discipline at all, for it will make them rebel. But there must be clear boundaries set out, and there must be consequences if the child crosses those boundaries. The key for you, My darling parents, is to remember that this is a great part of love, and that it's a very necessary part of your child's preparation for the days to come.

210. Thank you for your willingness to be My hands, My eyes, My love for them. I love them dearly‚ and will love them through you. I love you! (End of message from Jesus.)

Are You a Delinquent Parent?

ML #3388, GN 984

1. (Mama:) The serious state of our undisciplined children and the negative effect they're having on others was highlighted in "Keep Fighting!—Conviction vs. Compromise, Part 6." (See ML #3366, GN 969.) Parents having different disciplinary standards is the cause of much disunity. Well-behaved children are being corrupted in spirit by undisciplined kids, some of whom are so rebellious and worldly that they've become rotten apples, spoiling many others.

2. I want to address these issues more in depth. While I will talk somewhat about our children‚ the counsel the Lord has is mostly about and to you parents.

3. This GN clearly defines why parents being lenient or overindulgent is a problem. It will also clarify some "absolutes" on child-rearing. Also, some common erroneous mindsets are exposed and the right ones are confirmed.

Do Not Accept The Enemy's Condemnation!

4. "Problem parents" is not an easy subject to address, because there is the very strong possibility that you parents who have had children leave the Family will fall under the condemnation of the Enemy. You'll blame yourself and attribute your children's decisions to leave the Lord's service in the Family to your own failures as parents—your lack of consistent discipline, being too lenient, being too self-righteous, not spending enough time with them, not understanding them, not praying for them enough, allowing them to fall in with bad company, or not motivating them to get out witnessing and thereby learn what being a missionary is all about. I'm sure the list is nearly endless of possible "failures" and reasons why you parents will feel justified in blaming yourselves for your children's decisions that make you sad.

5. Whenever one of your kids leaves the Family, there's heartbreak. If they leave because they don't like the lifestyle‚ you wonder what you could have done to help them like it. If they leave because they want a boyfriend or girlfriend‚ higher education, a regular paying job, their own car, etc., then you wonder how you failed in passing on the Lord's values and messages about what's truly important in life—or more accurately‚ in the life beyond. If they're not interested in witnessing or are more into sports or fashion or whatever, you wonder if their apparent shallowness is a reflection of you. As a parent, you want them to be happy—although you wish they could be happy in the Family. But you also wonder how they could have so completely turned against your lifestyle, your values, the Letters, a love for the lost, and everything you brought them up to hold dear.

6. Earlier GNs explain in detail when you parents are or are not responsible for your children leaving the Family. The Letter "The Silver Lining" (ML #3166, GN 762-763/Lifelines 24) provides a good review on the subject. I suggest you reread that.

7. Another point to keep in mind is that good training and parenting of your children is not just for the purpose or goal of keeping them in the Family. They are better prepared to meet life—no matter what decisions they make—if they have a foundation in self–discipline, unselfishness and obedience. Once they come of age, they have to decide what they're going to do with their lives, so I don't want you parents with kids who have left the Family falling into the trap of the Enemy's condemnation‚ concluding across the board that it's because you failed as parents.

8. In spite of the risk that some people might misinterpret this counsel, I still need to highlight some serious problems with the present mentality of many parents. The Lord makes it very clear that some of you parents are failing your children by refusing to give them the discipline they need. These messages are strong and hard-hitting, and they don't offer much comfort for those of you who have already suffered by seeing your children leave the Family. In order to help you parents who have children out of the Family read this GN in the right frame of mind, I want to share a message that I pray will help you to dispel the Enemy's condemnation.

9. Remember, it is wrong to accept the condemnation of the Enemy! Condemnation is never of the Lord. No matter what the circumstances, and no matter how bad you might feel about your children's state or the decisions they've made or what you feel are your own failures in the matter, it's not right for you to take upon yourself the condemnation of the Enemy! It's one thing to be motivated to pray, communicate, and do better with your children. That's good. But to accept the condemnation of the Enemy that makes you want to give up, that takes away your faith that the Lord loves you and wants to bless you, and that gives you that hopeless sick feeling in your heart and spirit is wrong!

10. I pray that this first message will help you go into the reading of the rest of this GN series in the right attitude. But please promise me that if you feel the Enemy's sickening, heavy blanket of condemnation creeping over you, you'll stop right then and rebuke him in the power of the keys! Do not accept it! Entertaining the Devil's condemnation is not going to help anyone or anything!

11. If you have questions about the upbringing of your children, the decisions some of them have made, or what your lacks or failures were in the big picture, please ask the Lord. But only do so as a learning experience, so you can do better today, and so you can right any possible wrongs with your kids and renew the fellowship‚ trust and love between you.

12. The thrust of this GN is how to help the children you parents are still raising, those you still have in your daily care now. We're not talking about those who have left the Family, whom you have little influence over, except through your prayers and occasional contact. Of course we know you want to help them too and provide whatever support and assistance you can. Some are doing well and some aren't, just like many kids who are still in the Family. But our focus in this Letter is on the children that you are presently raising, the ones you're teaching and training daily. There is real potential in this arena for lives to be changed and turned around. Even problem kids can be helped and salvaged. Those are the ones we want to focus our attention on right now.

13. But to do that‚ I have to talk about some evil trends and attitudes that have taken root in the Family. It's very easy to take this counsel and apply it across the board, including to past situations, and that's why you parents whose children have left the Family are likely to really get hit with feeling sad and extremely discouraged. This is a tender topic, and I know there's potential for some parents to misinterpret this counsel. I don't want that to happen.

14. So we brought the following questions to the Lord: If a parent is or has been delinquent, if their child leaves the Lord's service in the Family, will He hold the parent responsible? How much is the child, if he is of age‚ held responsible for his own decisions, regardless of the lacks in his upbringing and training? What about that concept that rotten-apple kids are the fruit of delinquent parents? What about parents who seem to be faithful and diligent, and yet some or many of their kids are either really naughty and rebellious, or they have left the Family for one reason or another, perhaps because they felt they weren't cut out for it?

15. (Jesus speaking:) There is not a just man upon the Earth that does good and sins not. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and even a just man often falls. There is none righteous, no, not one. Nobody is perfect, and so in some ways your life may seem to be a string of mistakes. There is not one parent who can raise his kids perfectly, simply because man is what I made him: imperfect without Me. This is so that man's righteousness cannot get the credit, but rather so that I can get the glory; otherwise man would take the credit to himself and would not need Me.

16. So there is no parent that is perfect or that has raised his children perfectly. But there are delinquent parents who‚ when they should have learned from their mistakes and made progress, took a different stand. For My Word says, "Chasten your son while there is hope, and let not your soul spare for his crying." This means that there is a definite time when the parent should chasten even if the child is crying. Parents who have taken a stand or operated outside of this precept have simply been delinquent in using the full counsel of the Word in their children's upbringing.

17. It doesn't mean to be angry, harsh, or to actually harm your children, of course; it simply means to correct with firmness, appropriate firmness, enough to correct the problem. If parents haven't applied enough firmness to correct the problem and thus the problem persists year after year, age after age‚ child after child‚ then they are delinquent in administering My counsel. They have chosen another way—often because they don't want to go through the pain they feel in their hearts when they have to discipline their children. This is delinquency.

18. "He that spares the rod spoils the child." If the child is delinquent and is showing attitudes that are not of Me, such as anger, hatred, extreme pride, unloving behavior, stubbornness, whatever the problem is that is born in the heart of a child—if the parents don't take measures to correct these problems, then they are simply being delinquent, having chosen to operate and handle their children in their own ways, which will not bear the fruit I intended.

19. So in some ways‚ the way the child grows has to do with the training, correction and discipline that are administered during the growing stages. Now as I've said, no parent is perfect and all have fallen short, but it is one thing to "fall short" and another to be "delinquent." Delinquency is when the parents have decided not to follow My counsel, and it is usually a result of choosing to be lenient in times when firmness would bring forth the proper fruit.

20. But there comes a time in every child's life that, regardless of whether he had delinquent training or not, he becomes responsible for his choices. A parent cannot force a child to obey. A parent can lead, discipline consistently, set boundaries‚ show understanding, compassion, and love, but eventually that child grows up and comes to a point where he is going to make decisions for himself. A child may find it easier to make the decision to follow Me if he has had better training and better samples, better role models. But even the children of some of the best role models have decided not to follow Me, and, conversely, the children of not-so-good role models have decided to follow Me. Why is that? It's because I have given man free choice—absolutely free choice—and there is a point where every person makes a decision or a series of decisions on which way he is going with his life.

21. The fact is that even if the parents have been delinquent, the children have still been exposed to the Family, they basically know what it is all about and what it stands for, they have been exposed to lots of My Word, they have seen many samples or know of or have heard of samples of Family missionaries. So even if they grew up stubborn or coddled and without the benefit of "tough love" when it was needed, they have still been shown the door to full–time discipleship, and whether they walk through that door is up to them.

22. There is a point where the parents can no longer be held responsible. The parents are simply responsible to provide the best training they can, to show the best sample they can, but then the child is completely free to make his or her choice. And that choice is not the responsibility of the parents, regardless of whether they were delinquent.

23. A delinquent parent may simply make it harder in the long run for his child, because the child‚ as a result of the delinquent training, has further to bend, more to yield to Me to follow in My footsteps. He has a longer way to go. Yet he has still seen the way and it is still very possible for him to make the choice to follow. Remember, I accept a man not according to that which he has not, but rather that which he has. And if a man has a willing heart‚ I will get him over absolutely any obstacle.

24. Look at yourselves! Haven't you all overcome many great obstacles in your lives? What about your training? Most FGAs were brought up in the System, and most were far from My training. And yet you came to a point where you were able to make the complete 180-degree turnaround, the revolution in your lives that it took to forsake all that you knew and to pick up your cross and follow Me. It's no different with your children. The decision to follow Me is a decision to sacrifice yourself, and that decision belongs to the child. If the child has not been trained to sacrifice himself, then he will not be used to giving Me his life, and when the point of decision comes, he may find it harder to yield himself up to Me.

25. The concept that rotten-apple kids are the fruit of delinquent parents has some truth to it, for he that spares the rod, spoils or makes rotten the child. But that doesn't mean that the child still doesn't have a big head start over children brought up outside of the Family. That child is still without excuse deep in his heart. Do you think that when that child stands before Me that he will have any more excuse for not following Me than you have? Of course not! If anything, he will have much less of an excuse than you, having been brought up in the midst of the sanctuary of My presence, in the midst of My missionaries.

26. So though delinquent parents might produce rotten-apple kids to a certain extent, still the ultimate responsibility rests on the child himself for his ultimate decisions. The child cannot really in all truth lay the blame at the parents' feet. If anything, the child should lay the credit at the parents' feet for whatever they were able to do with him.

27. "Taking the blame" is one of the hardest things to do, and when a person passes from childhood to adulthood‚ at that point in time he must accept the responsibility for his decisions‚ regardless of the circumstances. That is part of what adulthood is all about, and in fact, that is one of the measures of adulthood—how much a person takes the responsibility for his own life. If a person lays the blame on his parents for his state in life‚ he has remained a child to a certain extent, or at least has not grown into full adulthood regardless of age, for full adulthood also means full responsibility. One who does not take this responsibility for his life simply does not take on full adulthood. He continues to blame others; he has not humbled himself to accept responsibility for his own life.

28. So once a person starts making his own choices in life, he cannot really, in truth, blame his parents anymore. He is making the choices. Regardless of whether his parents brought him up well or were somewhat negligent, the child still has the full ability to reach out to Me for My help. My hands are always extended and ready to get you over any hurdle. But if a person does not reach out to Me, I can't help much‚ for it must be his choice. I have the power that is needed in any situation, but if the person doesn't reach out to Me to grasp that power, that help, he simply is not availing himself of all that he could. That is his responsibility, and that is his choice.

29. There are two types of parents to look at in this scenario that we are talking about. There are those parents who try to discipline consistently and try to uphold My standard and My Word, and though they make mistakes and sometimes fail, they are going in the direction of upholding My standard. Then there are those who are not trying to uphold the full counsel, who have made exceptions to the full standard. This is how you tell whether a parent is delinquent or not. Both fall short‚ but one is trying to uphold the standard even in his imperfection, while the other has simply let the standard fall to the ground. But in either case, the child eventually comes to a point of decision himself. And though the parent may want to take the blame or feel he has to take the blame for the child's choices, nevertheless, in the long run it is the child whom I hold responsible for his choices.

30. So if you as a parent have tried to uphold the standard and My full counsel, though you have made mistakes, and maybe at times have even dropped the standard, but then have picked it back up and enforced it again, I would not call you delinquent parents. And if your children have left, you should not take the blame. You have done what you could. Even perhaps if you couldn't do as much as you would have liked or couldn't give your children the time you feel you should have given them because of your work for Me, still, though you may want to take some blame for this, the bottom line is that your children have had some of the best samples in their lives of any children in the world. No, you are not responsible. They have seen the message, and the ultimate responsibility is theirs. They also know that no man or woman is perfect, and to demand a certain amount of perfection from you is simply an attempt to relieve themselves from their responsibility for their own lives.

31. You who have dropped the standard, who have not believed the standard was best for whatever reason, still, your kids have come of age just as you did in the past‚ yet with much more on their side than you had as far as making the decision to follow Me or not. Though you may have dropped the standard, it is not My will for you to condemn yourselves. It is never My will for you to condemn yourselves. There is none perfect, and even without perfection I can do miracles if there is a willing heart.

32. Your children have tasted of the Family, and whether you brought them up "right" or not, they have still had such an opportunity to follow Me that the blame cannot truly be laid at your feet. "He is of age, let him decide." Sure, other children of other parents may have had it easier to decide because of their training, yet still some of them chose not to follow, so you cannot put the full blame on the training or lack thereof. The ultimate responsibility is the child's. And any person who cannot take full responsibility for his life regardless of his circumstances simply has not taken on full adulthood. Taking the blame, taking responsibility, is adulthood.

33. Any thought that threatens your service for Me is simply not of Me, and it is not My will for you to be dragged down or hindered in your service to Me by thoughts of remorse or failure. For once a person is remorseful, once he has recognized his possible failure and is sorry, I immediately come to him and forgive, and I take his hand and say‚ "Come, let's walk together into the light of a brighter day." I do not hold your sins and failures, or even shortcomings, against you. But you know who does? Yes, the Enemy of your soul who does not want you to walk on. I am the lover of your soul, I ask you to forgive and forget. He asks you to remember and to blame yourself.

34. So in either case‚ those parents who have done well, yet their children left, or those who have not followed the standard fully and whose children have left, I ask you all to come, follow Me. Leave your children's choices in their hands, for the responsibility is now theirs. "Only one life, 'twill soon be past." Give Me what you can of the rest of your life, for in the end, I am able to bring victory out of seeming defeat, beauty out of ashes, and to make all things work together for your good. And I will. (End of message from Jesus.)

35. (Mama:) I hope the Lord's perspective will be a comfort and I pray it will dispel the Enemy's condemnation once and for all. There are also two key points of instruction that we need to concentrate on.

36. First, note the definition of a delinquent parent. The Lord is not looking for perfection. That's impossible. Delinquent parents are those who have deliberately chosen another standard of child training and discipline than what is put forth in God's Word. Delinquent parents are those who haven't disciplined their children with proper firmness, often because they can't stand the pain they feel when they have to discipline their children. Delinquent parents are lenient and overly permissive.

37. The second point, and this is extremely important: While all of our children will eventually have to take responsibility for their own decisions, regardless of how diligent their parents have or have not been, and all our children have the advantage of having seen the sample of the overall Family, those who receive proper discipline and training will have an easier time making the decision to serve the Lord full–time as His dropped-out disciple.

38. By improving the disciplinary standard in the Family‚ we are not only working to keep our Family children and young people from being contaminated by kids who have gone astray spiritually and are possibly even entertaining evil spirits‚ but we also want to make it as easy as possible for our children to decide to serve the Lord full-time when they come of age. You parents can't make their decisions for them, and you can't force them to serve the Lord, but you can give them the advantage of good training and a disciplined life. You can help them along their way.

39. Dad said in "Keep Fighting!—Conviction vs. Compromise, Part 6" that sadly some kids are already too far gone to be salvaged, but that many can still be helped! (ML #3366:79-80). Let's remember that! Many can still be helped! That's what this series is all about, salvaging those kids who have problems and are not growing spiritually as they should, but who can be won and helped. While we as parents will not be blamed for the decisions our kids make when they come of age, that doesn't mean that we can just abdicate our responsibilities as parents. That doesn't mean that what we do as parents doesn't matter. That doesn't mean that we won't be blessed according to our faithfulness with our kids. The Lord still wants us to do everything we can to be the sample we need to be‚ to give our kids the foundation in the Word that they need, to protect them from the evils of the world, to help them be a good influence on others, etc. In order to do that, many of you parents need to make some big changes in your personal lives and attitudes.

40. This is an important follow-up to the "Conviction versus Compromise" series, because often your own compromises and sins are what cause you to lose the faith to expect what you should from your children. You feel like a hypocrite expecting adherence to the Word and Charter from them if you're compromising and disobedient yourself!

41. Peter and I pray desperately that the counsel in this series helps to shine the Lord's spotlight of conviction and truth in your hearts, and that you'll have the courage and humility to admit where you've gotten off track and to cry out to the Lord desperately, in the power of the keys, for victories.

What Is the Root of the Problem?

42. Now we'll go on to the Lord's insight on parents who aren't disciplining their children. I want to make it clear that when we talk about discipline of children, it is according to the standards and guidelines in the "Family Discipline Guidelines" Letter (ML #2919, Lifelines 21) and the Charter. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination promoting harsh, unloving treatment of children. That is wrong! Peter and I do not agree with or promote unkind, mean, angry, erratic‚ hurtful, or forceful discipline of children or young people! I do not want to see a backlash in which you parents or other adults "get tough" in anger and frustration, which would only make your children more rebellious and possibly even fearful and bitter. What we need is consistent, loving discipline, according to the wise counsel already given in the Word. We're not changing the standard; we're just asking that you parents uphold it.

43. To begin to see where you might be off track, it's important to be aware of the main disobediences or sins that have caused so many parents to become delinquent parents. We were aware of specific bad habits and wrong attitudes that many parents have, but I felt there must surely be some spiritual cause or root behind this very widespread problem. Here is the Lord's insight on this.

Compromise and Lethargy

44. (Jesus speaking: ) Essentially, the root of the problem is compromise and lethargy. And unfortunately, just as compromise has seeped into many areas of people's spiritual lives and walk with Me, so it has been the hole in the dike which allowed the Enemy's lies, worldly attitudes and mindsets to seep into the very important area of rearing and raising children within My Endtime Family.

45. Many Family members have allowed their minds, eyes and ears to be infected with the Enemy's propaganda‚ attitudes and mindsets when it comes to raising children. Many parents have looked more to current worldly leanings, writings‚ theories, teachings and philosophies on raising children than to My Word, teachings and standard. They've listened more to worldly counselors, and even System relatives and parents, than to My voice, My written Word, My elders and My veteran parents‚ from whom they could learn much.

46. The evil demon of lethargy has lulled many into a sleepy stupor when it comes to child training, causing them to be short-sighted in vision; weak‚ indecisive‚ wishy-washy, lacking the strength to train the children aright, and specifically to discipline their children when needed. Because of lethargy, many lack the strength and the perseverance to follow through when it comes to discipline.

47. Raising children requires hard work, much sacrifice, unconditional love, long hours, prayer, seeking Me, talking and reasoning with children‚ explaining My principles and values to them, and pouring into them. A key factor in training and raising children is consistency of training and discipline in order for your efforts to be rewarded. Lethargy and its companion, laziness, have stolen the strength of consistency in discipline from many parents. Their desire and vision to follow through with consistent discipline has slowly ebbed away.

48. Because the parents' sample has been weakened and watered down through compromise—and they know it—they lack the faith to be firm with their own children. Little disobediences are the by-product of compromise and lethargy‚ and have become the "cigars" in the way of the parents' connection with Me. [See ML #604:1-3.] These "cigars" of disobedience have caused the parents to waver and lack faith to uphold My standard when it comes time to discipline their own children, for they know they're not hitting the mark in many areas of their own lives.

49. They haven't looked to Me for the answers, nor to the written Word on the subject of child training, but they've looked more readily to the standard of the world and the many unhealthy worldly attitudes on raising children, which the Enemy fosters and feeds the masses.

50. No longer have they separated themselves in this way from the world, but have allowed their minds and hearts to be swayed in the wrong direction—toward leniency and a fuzzy‚ undefined form of discipline and standard. They've chosen to walk down the broad road the world has paved for child-rearing; the road that has no clearly defined borders or boundaries; the road that leads away from godliness and Christian behavior, and instead toward waywardness‚ "anything goes," the "let kids be kids" mindset, "let them be, they'll learn eventually," unruliness, lack of self-control, unhappiness‚ and eventual destruction. This is the road the Devil is paving very carefully for the children of the world, for slowly he seeks to secure them soundly as his—children who have no morals and no standards, and whose parents have no control, power or authority over them.

51. The Enemy has duped the world into believing that discipline—and especially any form of physical discipline like moderate reasonable spanking or even swatting—is detrimental and harmful in every way to the child's mental and emotional growth. This is a very powerful damaging lie, which has now become firmly entrenched in the world, and unfortunately‚ many of the young parents within the Family have also fallen for this lie. The Enemy has made the parents of the world afraid to discipline their children. They don't want to alienate their kids, nor do they want to suffer some trumped-up charges down the road, due to misunderstandings or false reports. Since they don't know what else to do, they have chosen to do nothing, but to simply hope for the best as they let their children go their own way.

52. You know, however, that a child left to himself brings his mother and father shame. What might look like the easy, non-confrontational path eventually becomes a bitter road full of heartbreak and regret. You, the children of David, have much more understanding and insight than the poor floundering parents in the world. You are without excuse. For you know the wise and loving boundaries of discipline, and you have at your disposal godly counsel on how to teach your children to obey, without breaking their spirits or driving them away in rebellion.

53. Unfortunately‚ however‚ many of you parents have not taken advantage of the wisdom and insight available, but you have allowed compromise and lethargy to pull you away from the godly standard, and you have become more and more like the lost, confused, wavering parents of the world. As a result‚ many of the children of the Family are looking more and more like children of the world. (End of message from Jesus.)

54. (Mama:) I doubt that this message is a surprise to many of you. Here again we see one of the many sad fruits of lethargy and compromise; it has stolen the strength of consistency in discipline from many of you parents. But that didn't happen from one day to the next. The Lord says it has "slowly ebbed away." Little by little you got off track.

55. I know you want to do what's right. Of course you love your children. But this lethargic, lazy parenting that you've now become so accustomed to that you hardly even recognize it, crept in slowly‚ one little compromise at a time. This is something worthy of serious reflection and prayer. Think back. Do you remember the times when the Lord's still, small voice was trying to get through to you, trying to motivate you to spend the time necessary to correct a problem, right a wrong attitude, or teach a lesson to your kids? But you blew it off‚ convinced yourself that it wasn't important, or that you could do it tomorrow, and gradually you didn't hear those checks anymore. That's what the Lord means when He says your desire and vision to follow through with consistent discipline has slowly ebbed away.

56. Another very key point that I know is hard for you moms and dads to hear is that part of your lack of faith to be firm with your kids is because your own lives are so compromised. You know how much kids hate hypocrisy, so you have felt you couldn't uphold the standard with your kids when you are guilty of many of the same sins. Are you allowing too much worldly influence in your life in the form of TV, sports, books, alcohol, Internet browsing, etc.? Have you become too lazy to get out witnessing like you know you should? Have you quit getting your daily Word time? Do you fail to exercise your gift of prophecy or take your prayer vigils? Do you eat a lot of junk food, and not exercise? If that describes your lifestyle, then it's no wonder you don't have the faith and conviction to expect your kids to uphold the standard in the Word.

57. If you're not deep in the Word‚ really close to the Lord yourselves, but instead have become deeply entrenched in the System, then you can be sure you're getting a lot of ungodly input on child–rearing. The System is full of propaganda that screams, "Don't discipline your kids." That's the way of the world—total independence, no boundaries, just let kids have their way. Unless you've actively fought to put on the Lord's mind in this area, to keep your attitudes in line with the Word, you can be sure you have strayed and been weakened by the world! You can't just passively sit back and expect that you'll have the right reactions. You have to fight to be right with the Lord and cleansed from the System. You have to be aggressive and take initiative to be doers of the Word! You have to work to be in the world but not of it! And if you haven't actively, aggressively, determinedly, seriously and desperately kept your mind clean through the Word‚ then the chances are very great that you're polluted by System propaganda.

58. The Devil is on the attack! He's not sitting around, passively letting things develop on their own. He has gone to war to destroy the youth of today, and he is especially interested in our kids! He wants to make you afraid to discipline your kids. He wants you to think it's a thing of the past to expect obedience, respect and adherence to the boundaries you and your Home set. Don't you see? He wants you to be just like all the hopeless, lost, mixed-up parents of the world! That's exactly what he's doing! And in many cases, he's succeeding!

59. If you haven't recognized his attacks and taken definite steps to fight back, then at this point in time you're losing the battle, whether you realize it or not! Quit being dead in the spirit and oblivious to the Enemy's plan. Wake up! I know you love your kids, but do you act like it? Don't let the evil spirit of lethargy blind you to the spiritual warfare. Fight back! Get serious with the Lord! Get rid of the compromises in your own life, put on the Lord's mind, and be a doer of the Word, so you can expect your children to obey and respect you and do the right things.

60. Here is more insight on the root of our parenting problems.

Lack of faith in the Word, lack of obedience, and laziness

61. (Jesus speaking: ) Problem parents suffer from a variety of problems, which can be attributed to the spirit of lethargy and its influence, although there is also more to it than that.

62. One major problem is that some have harbored doubts and have not believed My Words of instruction—My Words in the Bible, My Words through David, and My Words through recent prophecies regarding the training of your children and the importance of discipline. Some have given My Word and My standard mental acceptance, but haven't really followed through on living and behaving as I have instructed. Others, who are further astray, have made conscious decisions that they would not discipline their children‚ or at least not in such-and-such a manner‚ or that they wouldn't be as strict as their parents were, or as others who they disagreed with were. Some parents do claim to believe in discipline‚ but their idea of what constitutes discipline is amiss, and also, they may or may not really believe that the bad fruits of not disciplining are as serious as they've been made out to be.

63. This is a serious foundation problem—a problem of disbelief, of lack of faith in My Word, and lack of obedience to it. This is a problem that is very difficult to correct—although, of course, possible—because it requires a complete change in mindset and attitude on the part of the parents. It requires them to mentally and physically accept something that they've been resisting, struggling with, simply ignoring, or actually rejecting for many years—My standard and viewpoint on discipline. Many have distorted or incorrect ideas of what discipline means, or of what the right standard is, and when you start off on a misguided foundation, everything goes downhill from there.

64. The other major factor that has affected many is laziness, leading to self-indulgence‚ as well as indulgence toward their children. It takes a lot of diligent effort and faithful follow-up to discipline and train children properly, and that's a lot of work, as any parent or anyone who has cared for children knows! It's so much easier, or so it seems, to start to let things slide, to not ride herd on the kids, to ease up, to slack off, and sadly, many have taken this "easier" route.

65. You could compare it to the way many in the Family have looked at follow–up in witnessing: It has been promoted in the Word for years as a good thing, an important thing, even an essential thing, but look at how many people have not given it the time and attention it needed! It's taken months, or rather years now, of giving the call, promoting the tools, pushing the vision, and now it's happening in most places‚ but for many it was a big change of mindset. Was it because nobody knew follow-up was important? No. Was it because nobody wanted to do the right thing? No. It was mainly because it just seemed like so much work, so much trouble, and if it wasn't absolutely essential to the immediate day-to-day running of a Home and work, many opted to just not do it‚ or rather, to not really fully dive into it and immerse themselves in it, but to do as little as possible.

66. That's the way many people have gone about disciplining their children too. They know they have to have some standard‚ and will correct their kids on the majors or if they get way out of hand, but they're not really building a proper foundation; they're not giving the solid, Word-based training and consistent oversight and shepherding that is needed.

67. There are other related major problems too, such as parents who do discipline their children, but don't teach them self-control and self-discipline, and don't give them enough godly background and insight into what's right and wrong. These are children or teens who will behave themselves if with a strict adult, but when left to themselves or placed in a new situation will run riot and wreak havoc, because they're only obeying to please that adult‚ or out of fear of punishment, rather than out of love for Me or fear of Me. This fear of Me, which goes hand in hand with a personal relationship with Me, is an essential building block and foundation stone of good training and discipline that‚ sadly, many Family parents have neglected to train their children in.

68. It comes down to parents not including Me enough in their lives and in the lives of their children. If they were as close to Me as they should be, as filled with My Word as they should be, as believing of My Words as they should be, as full of faith and conviction as they should be, putting on My mind as they should be, then they would pass this on to their children through their teaching, and even through their very spirits and attitudes and daily lifestyles.

69. Another problem which is fairly widespread is parents who are not investing the time with their children to teach and train them and love them and give them the attention that they need, and so of course they lack the conviction to discipline their children, because they know they're not meeting their needs. Children need consistent love‚ teaching, training, input and care. Discipline is only one aspect of that. So those parents who are not making their children one of their primary focal points, who aren't willing to sacrifice and work hard to invest the time in teaching and giving their children the attention and quality time that they need, are generally very weak and compromised in the area of discipline as well. (End of message from Jesus.)

70. (Mama:) Many parents don't discipline their kids because they don't believe in the standard put forth in the Word—the Bible and the Letters. Some parents say they believe, and they don't actively or consciously reject the Word‚ but they don't follow through, they don't live the Word, so that makes the Word of little effect. A mental acceptance or passive belief isn't enough if there isn't obedience to the Word. Others have made conscious decisions to not do what the Word says‚ primarily because they don't necessarily believe the counsel in the Word is the best way, and they want to do things differently. I'm sure it's no surprise to you that this is a common practice of many second-generation parents. They openly declare, "I will never discipline my child the way my parents (or teachers) disciplined me."

71. I'm not going to say that all you SGAs were disciplined well. Maybe some of your parents, teachers or shepherds were terrible disciplinarians. Maybe they were harsh and unrealistic. Some probably had problems with anger or they lost control. That is wrong.

72. But that's not what we're talking about here. Peter and I don't expect today's parents to follow bad samples of the past. That would be ridiculous. But to reject the godly counsel of the Word just because some people didn't apply it right is also ridiculous.

73. I'm not asking you SGA moms and dads to be harsh or unloving in your discipline. Maybe some of you were raised in that way and you've vowed you'd never be that way with your kids. But what you may not realize is that in trying so hard to not be like your parents or like Auntie so-and-so or Uncle so-and–so, you're becoming like the System! You've gone too far in your quest to do it your way; you've not only turned your back on past child discipline methods that you feel were wrong, which very well might have been wrong, but you've turned your back on the Word. You've thrown the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. So now your indulgent, too lenient‚ inconsistent approach to child-rearing lacks absolutes and solid boundaries. I'm sorry to say this, but if you keep that up, you'll eventually see the fruit of it in sad‚ rebellious, incorrigible children.

74. I ask you to please count the cost. Look ahead, into the future. Think of your kids when they're teenagers. The little fits and tantrums that you're ignoring today will turn into arguments‚ hatred, and even crime. Remember what the previous message said, because that's where you're headed: "…down the broad road the world has paved for child-rearing; the road that has no clearly defined borders or boundaries; the road that leads away from godliness and Christian behavior, and instead toward waywardness‚ 'anything goes,' the 'let kids be kids' mindset, 'let them be, they'll learn eventually,’ unruliness, lack of self-control, unhappiness, and eventual destruction. This is the road the Devil is paving very carefully for the children of the world‚ for slowly he seeks to secure them soundly as his—children who have no morals and no standards, and whose parents have no control, power or authority over them."

Give Your Kids a Grounding In the Word!

75. Another problem the Lord has highlighted, which contributes to the lack of discipline and the poor spiritual state of many of our children, is that they're not receiving a good grounding in the Word, and instead have an inordinate desire for movies, computer games, and the things of the world. Dad explains some of why this is and what you can do to counter it in the next message.

76. Of course, this is not a problem that can be solved overnight‚ and you'll have to seek the Lord about how to bring about the changes in your personal home and family in a way that will not turn the kids off or make them resentful or rebellious, but rather inspire them to go even further in their personal dedication and desire for the things of the spirit.

77. (Dad speaking:) A revolution is needed in getting back to the Word and back to the basics with our children! The world has changed, and so what kids born in the last 10–15 years have come to expect is also different from what the SGAs expected when they were young. It's a world of multimedia, entertainment handed to you on a silver platter, and everywhere you look there are commercials and ads and symptoms of materialism. Even in the poor, third world countries there are signs of materialistic invasion and allure everywhere.

78. So it's understandable that the kids of today expect more, in a way. But with that comes the danger of dissatisfaction with the Word, with the simple things of life, with godly, unselfish, unmaterialistic living—and, sad to say‚ many of you parents haven't really sought the Lord as to how to counter that. You've been sucked in yourselves and have let your children get swept away‚ to the point where now it will require a real effort in the spirit to get things back to where they should be.

79. Whether you're with your kids full-time or they get much of their education and daily life instruction from teachers or others, you're still responsible for their training and grounding in the Word. What are the activities you do together with your children based around? Is your activity of choice for Family time or free day watching a movie or playing a computer game? Or is it doing something fun and inspirational together based around the spirit?—Such as reading through a Heaven's Library book together, playing a Word–based game, going witnessing or on follow-up, provisioning a meal out and witnessing to the manager, learning graphic design and using computer time to work on the mail ministry or a local publication for your sheep, or having an evening with one of your contacts and their children, where your children can witness and pour out to the children of your friend and give some of what they have received!

80. If your kids roll their eyes or whine at those sorts of ideas, then something's wrong! Because our children have a huge future in front of them‚ and if they're going to be prepared for it, they need a good‚ solid foundation in the Word, in the basics of witnessing and our life for the Lord, and in the ways of the spirit.

81. But this won't happen if you parents aren't hooked on the Word and ready to live it! Kids can sense hypocrisy, and they don't like it. You parents should be willing to make the sacrifices needed to live the Word, to make it a living testimony to your kids, and if you take time to ask the Lord and are willing to invest time in teaching your children the Word and all there is to know about feeding the sheep and shepherding others, the possibilities are endless as to the fun activities and ideas that you can do together, to replace the extensive System input and mindless activities that some of our children spend so much time on these days.

82. That's not to say that you can never watch a movie with your kids or play a computer game with them. But the point is that right now way too much of that is going on, and our kids are missing out on the fun and excitement of the spirit that could be happening. It takes a lot more work, more planning and preparation and effort in the spirit, to pull off an activity or a witnessing adventure as opposed to putting on a video, but the effect on their spirits is beyond price, because it's affecting their perspective on things, it's preparing them for the future, and it's going to stick with them for years to come. (End of message from Dad.)

Important Counsel For Young Parents

83. (Mama: ) To expose the wrong attitudes among some of you SGA parents is not a popular subject, and you're probably not liking this very much. But it's serious, and as much as I don't want to upset or embarrass you, it's my responsibility to show you the error of your ways. I suppose it looks like I'm picking on you, when you probably know of many FGA parents who are also delinquent. Yes, that's true. I know of many too. I would venture to say, however‚ that much of the FGA problem is rooted in laziness, the second major problem the Lord brought out in the message you read earlier. It's not that they have necessarily rejected the Word. Well, some probably have, but it's not nearly as widespread with the FGAs as the SGAs. A majority of FGAs know the Word‚ both the Letters and the Bible, and they do believe, but they have become weary in well doing, especially those who have had many children.

84. I have heard that many FGA parents look more like grandparents now—indulgent and spoiling their children. They operate very differently than when their first kids were little. But as I said, I believe this is largely due to laziness, or because they're afraid that if they discipline their teenagers or set a strict standard of behavior for them, they will be unhappy and will decide to leave the Family. This too is a serious problem, and the result is the same—undisciplined, bratty, spoiled kids, sometimes rotten apples! But it's much easier to correct these problems than a lack of faith in the foundation of the Word, because when you have rejected the Word, as the Lord pointed out, you have to have a complete change in mindset and attitude. You have to accept something that you've been resisting, struggling with, ignoring or actually rejecting—the Lord's standard on discipline.

85. Because this takes such a huge step of faith‚ I asked the Lord for more on this. Faith cometh by hearing the Word. I didn't figure one little prophecy would be enough to convince you of the need to think and act differently, especially if you're one of the many people who have a great respect for the teachers, lecturers and gurus of the world. If you've been taking in their doctrines and studying their methods‚ then it will take some definite effort to be washed with the Word and to put on the Lord's mind on this matter.

86. It's up to you if you choose to believe what the Lord has to say. I can't make you believe it and change. But I want to warn you through the next two prophecies of what problems you will likely face in the future if you continue to refuse to give your children the consistent‚ loving, firm discipline they need.

87. These messages are directed to you younger parents. Please call on the keys for openness to this counsel, and know that I'm sharing these things with you because I love you and your children. Later there are more messages that apply equally to the FGAs, and the principles of these messages can be applied to all parents, regardless of age.

The minutes are ticking by …

88. (Jesus speaking:) The Enemy has come into the SGA ranks of My Family with a great deception and trickery‚ and that is in the area of raising and disciplining their children. He has gone to great lengths to parade the mistakes, failings, and shortcomings of their parents in their minds. He has taken care to blow up the negative and to flaunt in the SGAs' minds the fears and worries that they have about their children‚ under the guise of advising them to raise their children differently than their parents did. He has woven this together with their own battles as children and young teenagers, and has brought to mind the times when they felt hurt, mistreated, or overlooked. He has spun a very subtle and gentle yarn of untruth and distortion, which has swayed many SGAs toward a lenient, laid-back, overly tolerant viewpoint concerning the discipline of their children.

89. I look upon this leniency and this attitude with great sadness. My sadness comes from knowing that the path these SGAs are choosing to walk down in the training and discipline of their children will result in their children being unhappy, discontent, and difficult to satisfy and please. The SGA parents, in turn‚ will also find themselves at the destination of frustration, impatience, and sadness for not having trained their children aright. They will have to stand by and watch their children make their own choices without having a firm foundation to base their decisions on. They will not have the ability to guide their children, because their children will have lost respect for them and for their counsel. As they grow up‚ they will be determined to have things their own way, to be independent, to place themselves above the counsel of others, the good of the work and others, and most importantly‚ above My will and leading in their lives.

90. I'm not concerned with whether you SGAs choose to train and discipline your children like your parents did—that is not the point. The first generation as a whole did the best they could with their children. They poured the love, time, care, and attention they had into you SGAs and older teens. They also gave you all the Word and spiritual training they could. They gave their all for you, and though there were some lacks, they loved you. You can't deny that. They made mistakes; they failed in some areas. But you should know that every parent fails in some area, and I'm sorry to tell you that you SGAs who are parents are also failing in some areas. You're failing your children in not giving them the boundaries and the true love that they need in the form of discipline.

91. When children are young, it's the most important time to teach and train them. At the same time, however, when they are so young and still so influenced by normal young, childish behavior‚ it's also the most difficult time to see the consequences of lack of discipline. It's easy to excuse bad behavior by saying your child is just having a hard day, or is tired or grumpy, or is just being foolish and is unable to get full control of him or her self.

92. Young parents, the minutes are ticking by. Your children are being molded every day. The moldable clay of their little lives is hardening, and pretty soon you won't be able to change it. Sure, you will be able to bend a little here, and move an arm or leg this way or that way‚ but the overall character of your child and his or her foundation is now being set in the stone of their life. Once that is set, it's quite difficult to change. As a parent, your duty is to shape the clay of your child's heart, mind, and life, and show them how to dedicate themselves to Me and others. You are meant to show them how to live a godly life, how to discipline themselves, how to walk circumspectly.

93. I know that you don't like to be put in a box and told to conform to the way your parents did it. That's not what I'm telling you. My instruction to you is that you must get desperate to raise and train your children with love and godly discipline as I instruct you to in the Word. Forget about any mistakes your parents may have made. Can you trust Me? Can you trust your children to Me? I'm the One Who gave them to you in the first place. I'm the One you need to receive your instructions from. I'm the One you should be following when it comes to modeling your parenting and discipline skills.

94. How much have you sought Me about your children and their behavior problems? How much have you asked for My counsel? Have you been open to Me pointing out the weak areas in your parenting and discipline standard? Many of you have closed yourself off to outside help from the FGAs and other parents because you don't want to submit to someone else's idea of how you should train and raise your children. Well, it's leading you down the wrong path, and your children that you love so dearly are the primary ones who are going to suffer throughout their lives because of your decision to do it your way.

95. The instruction, counsel‚ and standard are all in the Word. You don't have to hear it from someone else if you'd just take the time to pick up the GNs and the older Word and study it. Then hear from Me about how to apply it to your own kids, and what tailor-made instruction and application they need, and then you'd be set! But right now many of you are shunning the Word on the subject, lumping it all together with the FGAs and the older parents who want to give you some counsel on how to train your kids. You figure that they're your kids, so you should be able to make the decisions that concern their lives and training‚ and you don't want anyone else to meddle or get involved, because they might mess things up and screw up your kids!

96. Well, I have news for you—they are My kids, and they're on loan to you! So if you plan to raise them as Christians, in the fear of Me and with godly admonition, then please listen to Me and heed My counsel and instruction about how to do it—which at times includes heeding the counsel of shepherds and other wise counselors who are My voice to you.

97. There is no perfect parent in the world, and while I know that you have the best of intentions, you will be missing the mark if you continue down the path of leniency and over-tolerance. If you aren't willing to discipline your children, then you're heading down the wrong road. And I'm not talking about harsh discipline—I'm talking about godly instruction and correction.

98. Will you think about it, please? Check your heart to see how much of My instruction and counsel to you about disciplining and training your children you have pushed aside and neglected or even rejected altogether. Please let go of the Enemy's ploy that's causing you to weaken your convictions and compromise in this area of raising your children to be solid Christians, disciples, and witnesses. Let go of how your parents raised you. Stop dwelling on the mistakes they made. Determine and decide today that you're going to raise your children the way I want you to.

99. Can you give not only your own life to Me‚ but also your children's lives and training? They are the hope of the future, and the only way they will become that hope is if they are trained aright, according to My Word, My counsel, My standard. (End of message from Jesus.)

100. (Mama:) Please note where the Lord says that the most important time to train your kids is when they're young. You might excuse their problems now or think you'll tune into them later, when things "get serious," but it doesn't work that way. They're developing habits, personalities, and character now! They're building their relationship with the Lord now! Please don't let foolishness‚ shallowness, laziness or lethargy cause you to miss taking advantage of this most important time in your children's lives.

Discipline is part of love!

101. (Jesus speaking:) It saddens Me to hear of the second generation adopting this attitude of not wanting to raise their children the way their parents raised them. And then to use it as an excuse for not disciplining their kids is even more disheartening. I'm actually proud of the way your parents raised you SGAs! Granted, there were mistakes made. No one is perfect‚ and your parents are no exception. But they did their best to impart to you My love and a foundation in My Word and godly principles. This is one of the foundation stones of your faith, and one of the main reasons that you're here today, storing up rewards in Heaven, and doing the most important and well-paying job in the world!

102. I'm also proud of each one of you of the second generation who are still here and serving Me. You have hung on through a lot, and you have received a wealth of training and wisdom that is beyond your years. So when I look at you, I see success! And a good part of that success is attributed to your parents and the way they raised you. They raised you according to My Biblical principles and in My nurture and admonition. They raised you according to My teachings—the Word, the standard.

103. Not only is this sort of attitude a direct hit at your parents and all the hard work, time, love, and sacrifice they poured into raising you, but it's a direct hit at My Word, My godly principles, and David's teachings.—Not to mention all the written Word the Family has received over the years on the subject of childcare and raising children in My nurture and admonition. It hurts Me when I hear this. It's a slap in My face and in the face of all My first-generation parents, many of whom gave up much and sacrificed much to raise you, sometimes in adverse conditions on poor mission fields.

104. Granted, some parents were stricter than others‚ but they did the best they could, knowing they were raising disciples, and for the most part did their best to pour into you the training and Word that had been poured into them. Training and discipline were part of their lives, and they knew from the standard of My Word and Biblical principles that it was part of their duty to train you, My gifts to them, in the way that you should go.

105. Now the following may come as a shock to some of you—especially those of you who have decided to embrace the worldly attitudes of leniency and very little discipline—but it's better to err on the side of being too strict than not strict enough. Many people of all ages testify to this—that even if they felt their parents were too strict with them and it was hard on them in some ways, still, they acknowledge the long-term fruit it has borne in their lives as opposed to leniency and indulgence.

106. The repercussions of being too lenient and indulgent are far more hazardous to your children's spiritual and emotional development than being too strict‚ especially nowadays when the line between right and wrong behavior is slowly becoming hazier and more undefined with each passing year. This is all part of the Enemy's plan to pull the next generations into the gray zone of muddied and confused morals‚ values, and behavior, to draw them away from Me, away from light, away from the truth.

107. Correction and discipline are part of My love to all My children—young and old. Those I love, I rebuke and chasten. Those who are My children I purge, strengthen, guide‚ and instruct. If I do this in your lives to draw you closer to Me, to strengthen you, to purge you, to make you more fruitful, should you do any less with your children? Should you extend them any less love and care than I extend to you? Do you place yourselves and your carnal wisdom and reasoning above Me and My ways and what I know to be the best for you and your children, whom I have created?

108. Just as it is a manifestation of My love and care in your life that I correct you and provide you with clear boundaries, clear do's and don'ts, so I expect you to do the same with your little ones. You're failing Me if you don't‚ and you're failing your children if you don't supply them with this very important side of love—correction and discipline. They need the security of knowing their boundaries, for a child left to his own devices will bring his parents shame.

109. So to you, My second-generation parents, and to parents of all ages, I say, "I expect it of you!" If I guide and instruct you in the way you should go, how much more should you do the same for your children, who know not the way on their own?

110. I ask you, where did this attitude of leniency and not giving children the discipline they need come from? It certainly didn't come from My Word‚ and it didn't come from David's teachings. You have allowed the Enemy to seduce you into believing more in the vain babblings and wisdom of the current clime of the world and man than in Me and My godly standards and teachings.

111. If you continue to cleave to the worldly standards and teachings on raising children and fail to give your children the discipline and training they need, then I promise you that your sorrow, troubles, and problems will be many. You will not see your children stand beside you as part of My Endtime army. You will have lost them to the world. Lost, because you failed to show them the way. Lost, because you failed to give them the loving discipline they needed.

112. How many of you will weep in latter years for what you failed to give your children in this way, all because the teachings of the world appealed to you more, because they cost you less, they required less of you as a parent. But, oh, the sad path it set the feet of your children upon. (End of message from Jesus.)

113. (Mama: ) These messages are very straightforward. I know you young people don't need me to spoon-feed this to you by pointing out the important warnings and explanations. The choice is up to you. You can choose to receive this Word, believe that it's of the Lord, and change‚ or you can choose to reject it and continue on as you are. This is a personal decision between you and the Lord.

114. But I do urge you to please study this and ponder what the Lord is saying. Really think about it. Look at your children and think about their future. What do you want for them? What kind of teenagers and young adults do you want them to become? What kind of future do you hope they'll have? Do your children respect you? Will they continue to respect you? When your children look at you, what do they see? Will you have to watch your children make their choices later in life without having a firm foundation in the Word, in yieldedness and the fear of the Lord? What is the moldable clay of your little children's character becoming, minute by minute? Will your children suffer because of your sins?

115. This is a question of your own obedience to the Lord and the Word. You, as Christians, will be held accountable by the Lord for the way you discipline your children, and you won't be able to blame anyone else. It's up to you.

116. This isn't about your parents, or some mean auntie or uncle of the past, or the problems with past Victor Camps, or anything else that has caused you to turn against the Word. This is about your personal obedience to the Lord and the Word. Later down the road, if your children are unhappy, discontent‚ and difficult to satisfy, if they don't respect you, if they always want things their own way, and they place themselves above the Lord's will and leading in their lives, then it won't be your parents' fault or some FGA's fault. You will be held accountable for your lacks, for your disobedience to the Lord.

117. While your children will eventually be held responsible for the decisions they make when they reach the age of adult accountability, you are responsible to prepare them for that time, to make it as easy as possible for them to give their lives to the Lord in full surrender by giving them the training and discipline they need and deserve, and by being the right sample to them of having the Lord first in your lives, putting on the Lord's mind, and being doers of the Word. While parents are not held responsible for the decisions their adult children make, that doesn't mean you have no responsibility to train your children up until that point. Of course you parents are responsible, and the Lord holds you responsible for your part of the child-training process. Then when your children reach adulthood, the full responsibility of the child's decisions passes to his or her shoulders. But until that time, the Lord holds you parents responsible.

118. The Lord says that the Enemy has spun a very subtle and gentle yarn of untruth and distortion. You might not even recognize such a web, or it might seem perfectly legitimate to you. But I beg you to call on the power of the keys and pray desperately that you can put on the Lord's mind on this matter by letting the Word establish your thoughts. Rebuke the evil spirit of Pan that might be influencing your thoughts and deceiving you. Do this even if you think you're right‚ even if you don't believe what the Lord said in these messages. Still‚ have the love and conviction to at least go to the Lord in desperation and openness‚ and let Him speak to you.

Symptoms of Delinquent Parents

119. When you're very close to the situation with your kids, it might be hard to discern if you've become delinquent. You parents are likely to be quite familiar with your kids, and you've undoubtedly developed a routine and certain expectations. You've got distinct and probably deeply ingrained habits in your interaction with your kids, and you probably have some kind of pattern of discipline (or lack of discipline) established. You're used to the way things are. Because of all that, it's often hard to know how you're doing. You might need some kind of outside opinion or evaluation to shed some light on your parenting techniques. Also, some specifics from the Lord and Dad on the general weaknesses of delinquent parents could possibly check you about some problem areas in your own lives.

120. I believe you parents will sincerely want to know how you're doing and how you need to improve. Therefore, I asked the Lord to tell us, practically speaking, how can you know if you're a delinquent parent? How can a parent know if he/she is overindulgent? What are some of the telltale signs and common weaknesses in the parenting of delinquent parents? These next messages shed some light on these and other questions.

121. (Dad speaking:) Delinquent parents are usually lazy and lethargic. In some cases, they've been raising and training children for years—as is the case when they have a large family and have been parenting for years—so over the years they've grown lazy. In other cases the parents are younger, from the second generation, and they often don't know where to start or how to go about raising their children in the right way, mainly because they're too lazy to study the Word and do what it says. So one of the main telltale signs of delinquent parents is that they're often spiritually lazy or lethargic in some way—either by nature or because they've grown weary of the fight.

122. Another way to discern whether a parent is delinquent is how faithfully they apply the Word to their own life. If a parent is very faithful to read and study the New Wine and you see them implementing it in their life‚ there is a high chance that they do the same for their children. These types of parents who are studiers and doers of the Word will also do the same with the Word that's been put forth on the subject of child-rearing and child discipline. If they're following the Word closely themselves‚ they're most likely going to be following the Word to the best of their ability when it comes to the care of their children.

123. If you find a parent who doesn't really dig into the Word, who doesn't have a real hunger for the Word, who isn't implementing the new moves of the spirit in his/her life, then you can almost be certain that they're not digging into the childcare Word and implementing that in their children's lives. How can they expect a certain standard of their children when they don't expect it of themselves? They can't. It's hypocritical. So, as I said before, in excusing their children, they're excusing themselves. A love for the Word, a hunger for the Word—or a lack of it—can be indicators of whether parents are delinquent.

124. Those who have allowed System influences into their lives can become delinquent parents. Some parents allow themselves too much freedom in the areas of worldly input, and so they also lower their standard for their children in this area. If a parent is walking the fine line in the spirit, so to speak, then they're probably going to allow their children to walk the fine line. The kind of parents who allow negative influences into their own lives—either through the Internet‚ through ungodly movies, through too much worldly knowledge, through System music, etc.—are also not as on guard about the negative worldly influences their children receive. These are delinquent parents.

125. Some parents have allowed the System's standards of child-rearing to influence their thoughts and decisions. Some parents accept the word of worldly authorities over what the Lord says in the Word. A faithful parent will study the Word and believe the Lord's Words. A delinquent parent will question the Word, yet at the same time take the word of the System's so-called child–rearing authorities as gospel truth. They have an imbalance in their views and accept the word of the System above the Lord's Words. The way the parents of the world operate and how they treat their children or what they allow their children to do starts to seep into their lives and influences what they allow or don't allow with their children.

126. This is one of the biggest problems with many of our Family parents. They look at the world and how the world operates and think that it's not so bad. Many have lost a perfect hatred for the System and its ungodly standards. Many look at something that is accepted in the System in regards to child training and care and think that it's working fine for all of the rest of the world, so why should we in the Family have this rule and that rule or be so "strict" with our kids?

127. Some even think that the Family makes too big a deal about things in the System—the dangers of the System, the dangers of leaving children to their own devices, etc. They start to doubt and question why we have so many rules and guidelines for the discipline of our children. This is a result of believing the System's word above the Lord's Word—of letting your mind become so clouded with the ways of the world, that they tend to begin to look just as good‚ if not better, than our ways.

128. Well, I'm sorry, but the world is headed in the wrong direction! More and more they're going the way of "to each his own," or "do your own thing and be independent," or allowing their children to find their own way in life. It may not be proving to be so problematic at the moment—or at least the problems may not be that apparent to those who don't have their eyes open to see them—but it's where it leads to that is disastrous. It's where the kids in the world are going to be when they grow up that is scary.

129. Most System parents have lost sight of the most important aspects of child training. They don't focus on training their kids spiritually, emotionally or morally. They don't want to discipline them; they just want them to be happy and have whatever it is they think they need to be happy. This kind of ethic breeds children who are willing to go to any lengths to achieve so–called happiness—even stepping on others‚ hurting others, knocking others down, and even at times doing physical harm to others. It also breeds children who don't have patience, who don't know how to do without something, who don't know how to handle disappointment, and have many other serious flaws in their character.

130. Of course, our children have so much more right from the start! They have the Lord‚ and they have a whole lot of Word at their fingertips if their parents will be faithful to feed them. From birth our kids have a head start on the world. But it's sad when our parents abdicate their responsibility and turn into lazy or lethargic parents—just like the System. It's not that there are no guidelines. It's not that the parents aren't informed or haven't been told what to do. It's just that some are not willing to make the sacrifices it takes to be a parent to a disciple. It's a lot of hard work, and so many have gotten lazy and abdicated their responsibility.

131. There are many reasons for delinquent parents‚ but the main reason is the spirit of laziness and lethargy and the influence of the world. In the Family we're supposed to be training disciples, children who are going to shine for Jesus today and in the future. We're not in the business of raising children who are just like other children out in the System. If you want that for your children, then the Family is not the place for you. If you want your kids to go to System school and get the same experiences as their peers in the System, not to have to live a frugal faith life, then maybe you should reconsider your place.

132. The Family is where we're raising the rulers of tomorrow, and in order for our children to be what the Lord needs them to be, you parents have to be the rulers of your house today. You've got to stay true to your responsibility as Family parents. (End of message from Dad.)

133. (Jesus speaking: ) Discipline is training; it's part of the love parents show and have for their children. It's something that you, My children, have heard many times: "Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." How do you think your children are going to get the training they need? They need to be shown the way, they need to be trained‚ they need to be disciplined. I know you parents want to see your children grow up into strong disciples for Me; you want to see them turn out right. Well, if you're going to see that fulfillment in their lives you're going to have to train them, and that means discipline—loving, caring and consistent discipline.

134. It's not easy training a child, and it's even harder when you have many children to train. It takes work, but the rewards are so great! Each one of your kids is precious in My sight, and your rewards as parents are great! I know your hearts‚ and when I look at them I see great love for your kids. But I also see that in some of you the spirit of lethargy has entered in and deceived you by blinding you to the fact that what you think is just letting your kids "grow and experience life in their own way, on their own terms" is actually delinquency in your training of them, which is hurting them. It's stunting their growth as mature and dedicated disciples for Me.

135. Why do you think the world is such a mess? Well, for one, it's the Endtime and the days are growing darker, but part of that darkness has been caused because parents in this modern day have refused to discipline their kids. In refusing to discipline them, they have refused to show them right from wrong‚ and thus the world, especially the western world, is sinking further into darkness by the day.

136. The spirit of lethargy has completely engulfed many of those that dwell on the Earth and has caused them to abdicate their responsibility to their kids. They have shunned My Word, which admonishes parents to discipline their children, and have believed the Deceiver's lies that tell them that the way to love their children is to let them find their own path through life without the guidance of discipline. Unfortunately, this same spirit has entered into My Family to some degree‚ and is trying to corrupt parents in the Family into adopting the same thought patterns.

137. Imagine sending your children out into a wild and dangerous jungle without a map and without the survival skills for such a journey. You couldn't expect them to learn everything on their own. Do you think you'd have the attitude of "just let them find their own way and learn how to make it on their own"? No loving parent in his or her right mind would do such a thing. Yet many parents who truly love their children prepare them for life in this manner—by sending them into the jungle of this world without the map of My Word and proper preparation of "survival skills." Such parents think they're doing their kids a service by being so overindulgent‚ or they just don't see the fact that they're raising them with a lack of discipline in their lives. Either way it's being a delinquent parent, and the sad thing is that in the years to come both the parents and their children will suffer because of it.

138. There are many ways in which parents are delinquent with their children. Each situation is different, and you parents must seek Me and ask Me if there are areas in which you're falling short in the training of your children. Human nature makes it difficult to be able to see your own shortcomings or the shortcomings of your loved ones. It's difficult to see and be confronted with where you're wrong or what your children's weaknesses are. Parents need the help of others as well in seeing these things. However, many times these things are not black and white. It's difficult for others to help when they don't feel they have a handle on what the problem is or it's a matter of "your opinion versus mine" when talking with the parents about their child–rearing. That's why you must seek Me, ask Me‚ hear from Me.

139. If others in the Home feel that in some areas there is a delinquency on the part of the parents with their child-rearing, then there is a very good chance that there are some problems. Many parents don't like to acknowledge the fact that their "darling angels" may have problems and that the cause of some of those problems may be a lack of discipline in their lives.

140. Not having a disciplinary standard that is followed consistently is one of the main paths leading to delinquent parenthood‚ and if it is not rectified, will result in delinquent parents and delinquent children. There are many reasons parents don't have a disciplinary standard for their children. In some cases it's because the parents are so busy with other things they haven't taken the time to think and pray and seek Me about how to discipline and raise their children. They just manage day to day, but don't really invest in the training of their children's future by having a specific clear standard by which they will raise their children.

141. I know that you parents are busy, yet I do have the solutions for you if you come to Me and seek Me. While child training and discipline do take time, it takes a lot more time to fix the problems created by overindulgence and lack of discipline. You busy parents need to look at things that way.

142. In other cases, parents have been deceived by the spirit of lethargy into feeling that to have a whole disciplinary standard is too strict and structured and they just need to "let things flow" and take each situation as it comes without having any standard to follow. This is a trick that the Enemy has used with many good Christians in the world today, and the spirits of lethargy and Pan both work hard to corrupt the minds of those who will listen to their twisted views.

143. Some parents are lost when it comes to having a disciplinary standard; they don't know where to start or what is the best way to raise their kids or solve the problems they face with their children. These parents need help, yet they don't want help from others. In their pride, they think they have to be the "all in all" for their kids. They think that they have to have all the answers and all the solutions. But because they don't have the answers, they become delinquent because they won't accept the help of others.

144. Thinking that one or two parents have to have all the answers for their kids is simply not true. In fact, it couldn't be further from the truth! Why do you think I have given you the blessing of communal living? So you can share all things—and that includes sharing the responsibility of training your children. No one parent or set of parents has all the answers; everyone needs help from someone else.

145. I certainly have given parents great insight into their children and the way that they think and why they act the way they do. This is part of parenthood and something that I give to each parent to some degree or another. Yet the help of others is something that I have blessed you in My Family with. Others in the Home may not see as much as the parents or have as great an insight into the children as their parents do, yet they can also see things that the parents can't see because of that "blind love" that I have given the parents for their children. An open exchange of thoughts regarding the children and their training is vital.

146. Inconsistent discipline is another way to know whether you are being a delinquent parent. There is nothing that hurts your child more in regards to child-rearing than inconsistent discipline. Inconsistent discipline is a result of having no set standard, and thus at times you can be strict with your child and at other times you can be overly lax. It's that fluctuation in your child's training that confuses him or her and causes your child to rebel against your authority. Letting things go with your kids and then having to get upset in order to regain control of their behavior is not what is going to raise happy and secure children.

147. A delinquent parent can swing from being overly lax to being overly strict and back again. The training and raising of your children must be done with a balanced and even hand‚ not straying too far to one extreme or the other.

148. Not being willing to listen to others' suggestions or observations about their children is another sign of delinquent parents. Many delinquent parents think that they know best when it comes to raising their children and that they don't need to listen to others. They feel that because they love their children so much, they're the only ones qualified to raise their children. They think that they're good parents and their kids are doing fine, when what has really happened in many cases is that pride has blinded their eyes to the truth and they won't believe it or accept it.

149. Yes, parents love their kids. And yes, overall the parents are ultimately responsible for their kids and generally have a greater insight into their children's hearts and minds. But to turn a blind eye and refuse to listen to others or see the bad behavior of their children is bad parenting and is going to hurt the kids in the long run‚ and parents who refuse to listen to others in their Home in regards to their children and their children's behavior are delinquent parents.

150. Making excuses for their children's bad behavior and refusing to let others be involved in the disciplining of their children are other signs that parents are being overindulgent and lax in their children's training. Many parents think that this is not delinquency but "understanding" their children. It's important to understand and give love to your children; that's the most important thing you can give them, but not at the expense of letting them get away with bad behavior and making excuses for them. They will learn if you teach them, and a big part of teaching your children My ways is through loving discipline.

151. While the raising of children‚ which includes discipline, is the responsibility of the parents, because of the communal lifestyle that I have asked you to live, you are "one wife"; thus the children of one couple or parent, though still the main responsibility of these ones, are also the responsibility of all. The Home should discuss together its discipline standard so that those in the Home other than the parents are aware of how to discipline the children in accordance with the guidelines set. To refuse anyone but yourself the right to correct your children is being a delinquent parent, and as I have said before‚ delinquency in parenthood will not bear good fruit. (End of message from Jesus)

Summary of specific symptoms

152. (Mama: ) As you can see, there are several main weaknesses of delinquent parents: lethargy, laziness, excessive influence of the world, and not believing the Word.

153. Under the umbrella of these main weaknesses there are many more specific "symptoms." I'll list them for you here, to make it easier for you to assess your own parenting, or to ask someone else to do so. Delinquent parents are often:

 •too lazy to research the Word.

 •too lazy to do what the Word says.

 •weary with parenting, especially true of those who have many children.

 •not studying and applying the Word to their own lives, not having a hunger for the Word, and also not digging into the childcare Word and implementing it in their children's lives.

 •taking in too much System influence (worldly input) in their lives‚ and allowing their children to do the same.

 •believing System advice and standards over the Lord's Word.

 •being skeptical about the Word, but taking the counsel of worldly authorities as the "gospel truth."

 •accepting that the way it's done in the System is okay, and wondering why we have to have so many rules and be so "strict" in the Family.

 •playing down the dangers of the System.

 •giving children whatever the children think they need or want to "be happy."

 •letting kids find their own path and experience life on their own terms‚ with no boundaries or discipline.

 •not having a specific clear disciplinary standard or not following it.

 •caught up in the immediate day-to-day work of raising kids, but without a defined standard.

 •influenced by the evil spirits of lethargy and Pan.

 •not accepting the help of others, wanting to be the "all in all" for their kids.

 •disciplining inconsistently—sometimes being too strict, other times being too lax; letting things go and then getting upset to regain control.

 •unwilling to listen to others' suggestions and observations about their kids.

 •making excuses for their children's bad behavior.

 •not letting others be involved in the disciplining of their children.

 •refusing anyone but yourself the right to correct your children.

154. As the Lord pointed out and as we know, it's sometimes hard to see your own shortcomings or the shortcomings of your loved ones. The natural reaction is to get defensive and upset if someone talks to you about your kids' problems or your weaknesses in raising your kids. Most people immediately justify themselves. This is not right.

155. I know you parents love your kids‚ and if you're really serious about training them right, giving them the best head start and foundation for their future decisions, and you truly want to put on the Lord's mind regarding child training‚ listen to others. Be open-minded. Search the Word. Ask the Lord about not only the points in this GN, but anything others might want to bring to your attention. Seek out the opinions of others as safeguards, and pray desperately in the power of the keys for humility and a willingness to obey and be a doer of the Word.

156. Peter and I will be praying very desperately for you all, parents, children and helpers. We all need each other. The task is much too big for our human hands, but with each other's help and through calling on the keys of the Kingdom‚ putting on the Lord's mind, and being doers of the Word, we will accomplish His will! Praise our awesome Husband, the Keeper of the Keys!

Much love and prayers,


Additional Reading

I Have Set You in Tribes

157. (Jesus speaking:) Parenthood is a high calling, one that I give to those whom I know are capable of handling the job. When I give a child to a man and woman, it's because I know that not only does that child need you, the parents, but also that that child is going to be an instrument in your lives, just as much as you will be in his or hers. The child needs the parents, and the parents likewise need the child. I use that child to teach the parents invaluable lessons; that child has the ability to mold and make the parents as much as the parents do to mold and make the child.

158. The things I am able to teach a man and woman through parenting a child or children are limitless, if they are in tune with Me‚ close to Me, and constantly seeking Me for guidance. Parenthood is a great task. Not only is it a monumental responsibility to teach and train a young life, but it is also an awesome responsibility that I give to parents to learn all they can from the experience of parenting.

159. For you, My called and chosen brides‚ I do not intend for parenting to be a venture in which parents choose to go so far and no further. When I give you a child, I expect not only that you will care for and nurture that child‚ but also that you will take this high calling, this blessed responsibility, and learn all that I have for you through it.

160. To derive maximum benefit from the calling of parenthood, you must walk close by My side every moment. To benefit the most from your parenting responsibilities, you must seek the counsel, advice and safeguarding of your brethren. When all these things come into play‚ there are no limits to what you are able to learn and to your growth and progress.

161. In the world, the means and methods by which parents raise their children are more often than not contrary to My ways. I did not create parents to raise their offspring alone. I set the solitary in families; I planned for My people to live together in unity and harmony, loving and helping one another.

162. My plan for child-rearing is not according to that of modern man and modern society. I never intended for one set of parents to go it alone in raising their children. This method of child-rearing is an invention of modern man, inspired by Satan to weaken and tear down. Satan knows the strength of unity, and in this modern age, he has fought with all his strength to break down, hinder and destroy My plan for successful child-rearing.

163. In the days of yore I set My people in tribes, in families—that is, in large families, not merely a mother and father and children—for I intended child-rearing to be a family affair. My plan was that through the togetherness of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and cousins‚ all might live in unity, serving Me to the best of their ability, and likewise that all might unite to give the children of the tribe the very best care.

164. It is the same for you today. I have set you apart, in tribes, giving you a greater family, so that together you can work in love and harmony, helping one another to accomplish My will—whether it is reaching the lost of the world with My Word, or teaching and training your young ones in My Word and ways. My will is that you help one another, trust one another, bear one another's burdens, and demonstrate the unity of My Spirit to your children.

165. When it comes to raising your children, My plan is that you will work together in love‚ harmony, and unity of spirit. My plan is that you will join in ideas‚ vision and goals regarding your child-rearing. I call you to be unified in every way, including in the raising of your children. In My Family, though parents do bear the ultimate responsibility for their children, I lighten their load by spreading the blessing of child-rearing on many shoulders. You have caregivers, friends, aunts, uncles‚ many shoulders on which to lean, for all must take a part in, and, in fact, do have a part in the children's instruction and care.

166. This is, however, a big responsibility for all concerned. It must be a two-way street, one of open and honest communication, of yieldedness, of willingness to listen and learn from one another, of giving and taking, of safeguarding one another. If any party in this equation is not doing his or her part, or is failing to live up to the correct standard that I have given in My Word‚ the plan will not work as successfully as it is meant to. Everyone must learn to listen, must feel the responsibility‚ must give and take, and must accept the safeguarding of others.

167. This is often especially difficult for the flesh parents of children, since they feel they have the final say, the most important say. This is true; however, wise parents realize they need all the input they can get. Wise parents realize that in leaning on the safeguarding and strength of their co-workers‚ they will then be able to give their children the very best care and training.

168. Parents of all ages, this is where you can do better. I know your hearts, I know your deep desire to give your children the very best care, and I also see you try to do your best, yet in My love and great care for you, I ask you to consider this: What is the best you can give your children? The very best is to lean on Me‚ and on the strength of unity that I bless you with when you are united in obedience to Me. This is obedience to My will, as well as obedience to the tribal plan I give to you in living My One Wife vision.

169. If you are to do your best in child-rearing, if you are to give your children the very best of care, if you are to walk in full obedience to the express plan I have given the children of David—your best is to lean on the strength of unity in child-rearing that I make available to you.

170. My plan for you is to live in unity, in harmony, speaking the same thing, joined in unity for the care of your children. Anything short of this is not in complete obedience to My will. I give you parents many others—shepherds, caregivers, helpers—who all have a part in helping you raise your children. All must be united in visions and goals. This includes supporting and backing up one another when it comes to the children's care, especially in front of the children themselves. It takes great love, faith, and humility to accept the safeguarding of others. It takes admitting you're wrong when necessary. It takes forsaking your own inclinations and ideas at times, when My Spirit is guiding differently.

171. You parents have the most important role in seeking the unity of spirit with your brethren. This is because ultimately you have the final say over your children's lives. This responsibility, however, is not to make you lord over others; in reality it makes you more their servants. It means that as parents you must take on more the role of going the extra mile, seeking counsel, and striving for great unity in spirit. It takes faith‚ trust, yielding to one another, and being willing to listen to the safeguarding of others, for without this faith and trust and yielding to others, you will create in your children's lives a "build up with one hand, tear down with another" effect. When this happens, a great breach is opened in spirit.

172. You who help and counsel and teamwork with the parents in the training of their children also have a great responsibility, to make sure you are acting in humility and not falling prey to a spirit of self-righteousness. Even if the parents obviously need help, it is not your place to become self-righteous or critical. If you do, it will not bear the fruit of My Spirit‚ and any counsel that you offer will not come across in the helpful way that I intend it to. All involved must pray for My spirit of humility and understanding and a wise balance, so that you may be a strong, united team together, to fight for our children and to train them in My ways. (See also "Keep Fighting," ML #3366:51-56; 64; 72; 102-107, GN 969.)

173. One of the greatest devices the Enemy seeks to use against you is to blind you to the great importance of this unity I wish for you to have. When I speak of great unity‚ I speak especially of the unity of spirit. I speak of uniting in prayer, in hearing from Me, in making decisions concerning the children's care together, and in sticking to and carrying out those decisions together.

174. Remember, children are often more sensitive to the spirit than most adults. If any of you, therefore, say one thing out of lip service, yet in your heart you think or feel a different way‚ or behind closed doors you express other opinions, your children will pick this up in spirit. They will sense the disunity, for it is a spiritual thing, and when this happens it causes great confusion in their young minds. When this happens you will begin to see signs cropping up, various manifestations of wrong behavior, disobediences, rebellion, murmurings, unruliness and discontentment.

175. These attitudes of spirit are highly contagious and cannot be hidden. Therefore the unity of spirit must begin with the adults of the Home. If you are obeying My Word one hundred percent when it comes to child-rearing, you parents above all must seek the unity of spirit with those you live with, who all have a very important part in helping to shape, care for and train your young ones.

176. Remember, I have set you in tribes. I have called you to unite together, to fight together, to do all things together‚ including your child-rearing.

177. This unity of spirit must be manifest in genuine action. If you are truly seeking to be united and acting upon it, it will show in your fruits. You will be united in your actions, in your handling of the children, in backing up one another in love and prayer, in forming a united front in your discipline standard, and in demonstrating to the children your oneness and unity.

178. As you strive to be united in spirit around My standard‚ all else will then fall into place. Then, together and united, as you seek Me for your children's care, I will lead and guide with more specifics, geared to each situation as it arises‚ and your children will benefit, grow, learn and prosper. Then and only then will they be truly happy and secure in My love and care. (End of message from Jesus.)

Solutions for Parents, Shepherds, and Everyone

ML #3389, GN 985

1. (Mama: ) Peter and I are praying very desperately for you parents as you work to build better communication, clearer understanding‚ and stronger love between you and your children. We pray that the GN "Are You a Delinquent Parent?" helped to show you where you need to improve, and provided the motivation to change. If you're having difficulty having the faith that you can change the deep-seated bad habits you have in your interaction with your children and in their discipline and training, I suggest you read "Changing Deeply Ingrained Habits and Mindsets!" (See ML #3324, GN 929.) It is possible to change, that we know, especially as we call on the keys of the Kingdom, become doers of the Word‚ and put on the mind of God.

2. This GN is a compilation of practical advice from the Lord and Dad on parenting, much of which focuses on your relationship with your children and young people. Whatever kind of relationship you parents have with your children, this GN is for you. If you presently have a shaky relationship with your kids and need to improve; if you need to change in areas where you've compromised your convictions and become very lethargic‚ selfish, lazy or lacking in faith; or if you have a sweet relationship with your kids, but you've fallen down in disciplining and properly training them and you consistently let them get away with things they shouldn't—if you wonder how to go about turning things around, I believe this counsel will help you. Of course, the Lord could give you these practical tips personally, if you were to look to Him and hear from Him in prophecy. But I know you're very busy, and it's terribly hard to find the time to get detailed answers to a lot of questions. So hopefully this GN can be a mini-manual that lays out the basics for you, and then you can invest your personal prayer and prophecy time in seeing how to apply this to your personal family situation.

Take It Slow and Be Loving!

3. If you've been compromising or disobedient for some time and have many bad habits‚ if you're not giving your children the proper discipline and training, or if your relationship with your young people is rocky to the point that you hardly have faith that it can be salvaged, then you might feel totally overwhelmed. The idea of having well–behaved, disciplined kids might look like a pie–in-the-sky goal. If that's the case, please relax. Remember, the Lord loves you and He's going to help you. No matter how bad the situation or what the lack is, you have the love of the Lord, the power of the keys, the Word, the knowledge that nothing is impossible, and the ability to rise above to help you over the rough spots.

4. Please don't set your goals too high or expect overnight changes. If you take it slow and easy‚ take time to prayerfully assess your situation and your children's spiritual state, talk to others about what needs to improve in your parenting approach, study the Word on the subject, and really love your kids through this time of change, it will go well. If you get frustrated or panic-stricken, worrying that you're going to lose your CM membership, so you get tough and loud and pushy, that will not work.

5. You parents can't think about yourselves if you want to make this work. Think about your kids; think about what they need, think about their future. Then really seek the Lord and do the humble thing, the loving thing‚ the unselfish thing. Yes, you need conviction and you need to rid your life of lethargy, compromise, and the sins that are spoiling your sample to your kids, you need to give your kids better training, you need to pull up your socks in the discipline department‚ but you also need to be loving! Try not to get upset, stay calm, and have faith. Take your time, listen, pray in faith, laugh, keep things in perspective, don't overreact, refuse to get pressured, give your kids time, and use gentle, slow healing methods. In short, be like Jesus.

6. As you parents know, you can't take these tips and try to practice them legalistically, forcing the issue. Kids really don't go for that approach. Hurrying and trying to whip everyone into shape won't bear good fruit. It will only alienate your kids and could make them rebellious and hardened toward you. Please, take the time to communicate, confess your own mistakes, show your kids how sorry you are for your own failures, break down the walls of division and hurt‚ and then let the Lord work.

Where Are the Prayer Warriors?

7. There's one "parenting to-do" that can easily be overlooked, but it's one of the most important things, if not THE most important: Pray for your children! Really fight for them in prayer, labor in prayer, get desperate in prayer. Don't take the privilege of prayer lightly; commit to being a dedicated, on-the-job prayer warrior.

8. Regarding the need for more prayer warriors, the Lord recently said:

9. (Jesus speaking: ) In this day and age, there is a greater need for prayer than ever, and yet so few take this responsibility seriously. To pray is the greatest duty of man, and yet My army of prayer warriors sadly dwindles as man proceeds into the 21st century. It is heartbreaking to see how many situations are not helped because no one prayed. The needs of My lost children loom before Me as they wander as sheep with no shepherd, and I weep for them. I wait for the petitions of those who know Me to plead their cause‚ and yet there is silence. I cannot do many mighty miracles because My people fail to pray as they should.

10. The ministry of prayer is a very precious one, but so neglected. It is a great privilege that I bring this need and challenge to your attention, for through this, not only will you find great fulfillment and satisfaction personally, but you will help to change the course of history. You can change the world from your humble prayer corner. You can take hold of the power of God and change lives through your faithful, importunate prayers. (End of message from Jesus.)

11. (Mama:) In a different message, the Lord said:

12. (Jesus speaking: ) I am so desperate for prayer warriors. There is so much to be done, and more can be accomplished through prayer than through any other means. Yet‚ in spite of prayer being the absolute most efficient and productive activity in the world, there are very few who fully embrace the calling and make the most of it. There are so few who are faithful with their prayer vigils. There are so few who labor in desperate prayer. There are so few who allow My Spirit to move them and burden them for others, to the point that they feel the need to pray consistently and wholeheartedly, calling on the keys and commanding Me to work on their behalf. (End of message from Jesus)

13. (Mama:) I challenge each of you to become militant prayer warriors. Will you make a personal vow to uphold our children both in and out of the Family in prayer? I'm talking to all of you‚ not just the parents!

Keep Your Prayer Fires Burning!

14. I know many of you parents still battle with discouragement and condemnation and have a hard time getting over the fact that your kids have left the Family. I know you worry that your kids will keep leaving, one after the other, when they come of age, once their older brothers and sisters are established in the System. This is very disheartening, and we need to do something about it!

15. The goal of these GNs about parenting is to salvage our kids who are on the verge of giving up their calling. We want to save our children, to preserve them for the Lord's service! The first and foremost responsibility we all have in solving this problem is to pray!

16. As we delve into the subject of our children and salvaging them for the Lord‚ I anticipate that you who have kids who've left the Family will feel bad, lamenting that this counsel is either coming too late or wishing you would have been more on the attack to get similar answers yourself while there was still time to save your kids' service for the Lord in the Family. It's very natural that you parents worry about your kids who are out of the Family; it's a real soft spot. In some ways that's good, as it makes you pray more and raises your concern for the children still in your care. But as I said in "Are You a Delinquent Parent?" there's a lot of accompanying condemnation, remorse, fear, heartache and other negative emotions that are not good.

17. When thinking about the importance of intercessory prayer for our children, I was reminded of a message that the Lord recently gave about the need to pray for our kids who are out of the Family. Of course, the need for intercessory prayer applies to those who are lost within the Family too.

18. (Jesus speaking: ) There will always be this tender spot in parents' hearts for their children, and this is a focal point where the Enemy attacks and will continue to attack, with feelings of remorse, condemnation‚ hurt, blame, lamenting that they didn't do enough, or that even now they can do more regarding their children who have chosen to leave My service, or those who are considering doing so. These struggles that parents continue to battle are natural and are part of the test of parenthood.

19. The Enemy is well aware of these tender spots in the heart of every parent, and this is where he wages fierce warfare, especially with you, My brides. The Devil will continue to try to strike these tender spots as often as he can and in a variety of ways, first from one angle, then from a different angle, then another and another. I forewarn you that you might be aware, that you might raise your shields and be on guard against these attacks of the Evil One.

20. These tender spots are not to be feared, but rather you must let them work for your good. If you parents will let these tender spots provoke you to prevail in prayer‚ to fight in prayer, to take an unbending, unwavering stance in prayer, though the Enemy attacks from varied angles, through calling on the keys and the power of prayer, I am able to turn around each and every attempt Satan exacts on you parents so that it backfires right in his face.

21. I allow these battles in order to make you strong, that I might guide you into the position I wish for you to take—the stance of courageous prayer warriors, those who stand strong, who do not waver, who wield accurately the weapons I have equipped you with to face down the Enemy, to thwart his efforts, to push him back and back and back until he is pinned in a corner with no escape.

22. The most definite and best thing that parents can do is to gird on their armor, raise the banner of the keys of the Kingdom and prevail in prayer. Prayer is the most you can do. Prayer is the best you can do. Prayer is the answer. Nothing is impossible to the man or woman of prayer. There is no barrier that strong prayer and the power of the keys cannot break through; there is no enemy that prayer and the keys cannot conquer. There is so much more you can do through prayer than by any other means available to you. Laboring prayer, prevailing prayer‚ intercessory prayer‚ unfailing prayer is the answer.

23. If you parents will let the revival of prayer begin in your own hearts‚ it will start a revolution that will be heard round the world. Through prayer, you can not only intercede, not only set the Enemy back, not only raise a great wall of protection around those for whom you pray, but through prayer I will give you the answers, the personalized solutions to each situation. Through more prayer, more answers and more solutions are yours for the asking, for the taking.

24. You must not only pray, but you must listen. Call on Me to receive the daily battle plan, and ask Me what action in prayer I wish for you to take that day. If the Enemy is hitting one of your tender spots, I will give you specifics on the best way to fight back. Ask Me for moment-by-moment instruction in every situation. I will punch through in ways you never anticipated.

25. This concept of asking Me everything and asking for specifics is not new to you; these are not new instructions, but I know that the flesh grows weary in prayer. Therefore I reiterate that you must not slack off in asking Me everything, in getting My specific instructions on these matters‚ and in beseeching Me through intercessory prayer.

26. Likewise, because some of your children have now been out of the Family for some time and are becoming established in the world, and pulled deeper and deeper into the System, and others appear to be deeper and deeper into wayward ways, the temptation grows stronger to let up on your fervency in prayer for these who have strayed—thinking they are so deep into the slime pit of the world that your prayers do not matter as much. This is when the Enemy will tempt you with the thought that it's impossible to change their situation, and then he'll hit you with feelings of hurt, blame, condemnation, and a never-ending list of woes.

27. But, My loves, where there is life there is hope. Be not weary in prayer for your children who have ventured out from among you, for they need your prayer support more than ever. Your prayers play a vital part in each life. Your prayers can do what you cannot. Those who have gone out need this support, and so do you. If you will take up this challenge, it will not only carry your children through, but you will then find greater strength to fight the Enemy's attacks on your tender spots, for you will know you are doing all you can, that you are doing your part‚ that you are answering My call to stand strong and be faithful to the greatest duty I give you—to fight in prayer.

28. Seek Me for how I want you to attack in prayer; ask Me for new ways to pray, for instruction on how I want you to direct your prayers for your young ones and those in need, and I will direct you. I will show you each time which approach you need to take, whether it's fasting, or committing to a special time of prayer vigil, or organizing a prayer chain. I will show you how you can have a revival in your prayer life, how you can launch a new attack in prayer, how you can redeem more minutes throughout the day in prayer, which new methods and approaches to use in prayer.

29. The important thing is that you must pray, you must not give up in prayer, and you must see that the answer is this weapon of prayer, together with the keys and the additional weapons I have placed in your hands. These are your best defense; use these weapons together with faith and trust‚ and stand back and see Me fight for you.

30. I hold your children in My hand. They are Mine first and foremost, and I desire that not one is lost. Some have lessons to learn; some will have to pass through raging fires and walk down roads that you, as a parent, would prefer they could escape. This is where your faith will be tested, for you must trust through all of this that I have My hand on them, that I am in ultimate control, and that I will never leave or forsake them.

31. I promise you, your prayers will make a difference. Even in the times when your children seem far from you and far from Me‚ your prayers can make a great difference in their lives even if they are not with you. Your prayers will help determine their walk in the world. This does not always mean that they will not have to have problems or go through the fire, but your prayers will help determine the outcome. Your prayers will help them to handle the fires. Your prayers will play a part in what they learn from it, how they come through it.

32. So much is dependent on your prayers. Your prayers can do so many things; the frequency and strength of your prayers make a marked difference. I do not ask you to pray, pray, and pray again to bring you to boredom, but so that you can explore new frontiers in prayer, thrill to new ecstasies in prayer, and gain new ground and ever greater victories in prayer.

33. If you parents do not uphold your own in prayer, who will? Others might, but I give this great duty of prayer to every parent. I command you to fight for your children in spirit‚ to always surround them with your prayers. You must not let the Enemy discourage or sidetrack you with his cunning attacks on your tender spots, with hurt feelings, discouragement, condemnation, and so forth, but let your tender spots provoke you to prayer.

34. Hold on to your children in prayer, for this is the answer, and this will see them through. No matter how dark the picture looks, no matter how far they seem to stray, they are tied to Me and the chains cannot be broken. Where there is life there is hope, but you must do your part—you must see them through with your prayers‚ you must not doubt for a moment, you must fight for them in prayer.

35. For the younger ones who see their older brothers and sisters leaving one by one, as they come of age, the answer is the same—the solutions for these young ones will come through prayer, through prevailing and fighting in frequent fervent prayer. I will give the solutions that are needed through calling on the keys in prayer, through asking Me for specifics often and consistently in each situation‚ through listening to Me and following through on the things I tell you to do.

36. As the great work of My Family was launched in prayer and prospered in prayer, so it must continue in prayer. The battle for your youth and these who are tempted to look to the System will be won through prayer. You can never pray too much. Any time you grow weary in prayer, that is the time for revival!

37. As parents and others catch the fervor and excitement of prayer fire‚ it will have an effect on everyone. Even the young ones who eventually decide to venture out will have seen the fire and it will affect them, for it will be implanted in their hearts. Just as the helmet of salvation cannot be removed, so their exposure to your prayer fire, your enthusiasm and dedication to prayer, will never leave them, and I will use this to work in their lives. They might try to hide it; they might fight hard to not let on that they know the power of prayer‚ yet it will be implanted deep within them. As My Word never returns void, so your prayers never return void. Keeping your prayer fires burning brightly is the answer. (End of message from Jesus.)

38. (Mama:) Again, this message applies just as much to our kids who are still in the Family. Why wait until they've left to fight for them in prayer? Start today! Obey the Lord's command to labor in prayer for your children. Be a doer of the Word. (For more on the importance of praying for your teens, see also "How to Keep Our Teens," ML #3154‚ GN 760/Lifelines 24.)

Have Faith for Your Kids!

39. If you are to keep up your "prayer fire" as the Lord wants you to, you'll need to keep the faith for your kids! Sometimes when kids are struggling, hopelessness overwhelms them. They feel "that's just the way I am," and they don't have faith that they can change. It compounds the feeling if they're labeled and constantly told what problem cases they are. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Pro.23:7)‚ and we know that kids usually adopt the impression of themselves that others have of them. If they're often told that they'll never change, they'll never amount to much‚ they're undedicated and worldly, then that's how they'll see themselves, and their will to try to change and their faith that the Lord can help them are lost. That's a very sad thing. It makes me cry, because that's not how the Lord wants us to treat our children and young people! That is the opposite of how He treats each one of us!

40. Parents, teachers and shepherds‚ ask the Lord to give you faith for the children and young people in your care, especially when they hardly have faith for themselves. Kids go through so many battles, they are tossed about with extreme emotions, they struggle so with the Enemy, that if you just listen to what they say or watch how they act and you judge a surface judgment, you can easily give up too soon.

41. JETTs and teens are explosive, they yield to anger‚ they express themselves unclearly, and they are prone to isolate themselves and be obviously rebellious. For these reasons‚ sometimes you parents or other adults are tempted to or actually do throw up your hands in despair! Then you quit trying. This‚ of course, is very damaging, because then you fail to do what you could and should do. Then you fail to pray for your kids‚ thinking they're past hope. You fail to love and help them through, even when they don't seem to want the help. You fail to continue to be positive and express faith regarding the young person's battles and ability to overcome his or her doubts, anger, frustration, or spiritual problems.

42. So much has to do with you parents having faith for your kids. The Lord is very disappointed that many of our young people have not felt the support and understanding they needed. He said:

43. (Jesus speaking:) I'm sad to say that many kids who are doing poorly, or who have even left the Family altogether, feel that their parents lost faith for them. Then they lost faith for themselves. They needed their parents to hold on to them, no matter what. But when the parents let go, then the kids felt like I had let go‚ and they gave up.

44. Everyone needs someone in their life that understands them, loves them unconditionally, and never gives up on them. Love has creative power, and My love never gives up, never stops trying.

45. I beg you parents and shepherds, let Me break your hearts for these young ones that bring out the worst in you. You feel so righteous; you appear to be so obedient and good by comparison to the obvious and blatant sins of the young ones. In many cases, it is that very sin of self-righteousness that is impeding the spiritual growth of the children and teens in your care. They need you; they need your unconditional love, acceptance and support. They need you as a role model, a mentor‚ and a friend. They need to know that you love them and that you will never stop loving them.

46. Sometimes even if you don't understand why a young person is reacting a certain way, or you feel that that JETT or teen is not living up to their potential or training and they're letting you down, that doesn't give you an excuse to let them down. As the parents and shepherds, I hold you responsible to let things pass without getting upset and certainly without giving up and showing a lack of faith or even contempt for the child. You are the adult; they are the children. You are strong spiritually and experienced in life. You should be able to sort things out with Me‚ so that you can unload any of your hurt, frustration, impatience or self-righteous pride before you interact with the young people who depend on you.

47. You need such strong faith and love that you're there for them‚ even when they've lost faith for themselves. No matter how hopeless they feel about themselves, even when they hate themselves, you need to demonstrate unchanging, constant, warm support and love!

48. You will find yourselves in situations where young people will feel they can't make it. Now that the standard of the Word has become much clearer, and the challenge of the "Conviction versus Compromise" series and the Feast messages have shown what I expect of the children of David, there will be young people who will lack faith that they can make it. Maybe they will even confess that they have doubts about some aspect of the Word, Mama and Peter, the Endtime‚ or Family doctrine. They might love the Family and desire to continue living in a Family Home, but they might be torn up inside‚ because they feel they're no longer worthy of that, because they feel like hypocrites. They'll feel their faith is not strong enough, and therefore they can't be My disciple.

49. The key in these situations is to see their desire. Beneath the declarations of their doubts and battles are they really saying, "I believe; can't you help my unbelief?" Are they finally coming clean about the battles they've had, possibly for a long time, wondering if there is any place for them, knowing that "to whom shall I go; you alone have the words of eternal life"? Are they looking to you with their last bit of hope, wondering how you'll react, hoping against hope that you'll have the faith to see them through, to help them over these obstacles and to answer their questions and give them what they need?

50. Dear loves‚ remember that the hearts of these young ones are tender and moldable. Even if they seem very strong in their feelings, even if they seem totally decided, once they've gotten things off their heart, if you pray desperately and don't prejudge the situation‚ you might be surprised at the will to believe in their hearts that is uncovered with time. Many young people are weighed down with unconfessed battles and sins. They have kept things inside for too long. But when they finally do get things out in the open, compelled by the conviction of the Holy Spirit brought about by the New Wine, then they have the chance to be strengthened.

51. Don't give up prematurely. Don't overreact and get upset. Don't be self-righteous and say, "I knew it all along!" Love, pray, understand, weep, support‚ and never give up! (End of message from Jesus.)

52. (Mama:) Besides the Lord's stirring explanation of what true love is, there is a very important point in this message that I don't want you to miss. As a result of the recent New Wine and the Lord's challenge of full–time discipleship, some young people will declare that they can't be in the Family because they don't believe or they have doubts. The Lord is asking you to not prejudge the situation. Even if they seem very decided and determined that they're just not cut out for the Family, give the Lord a chance to work. It's very possible that once they get their doubts out in the open, you'll be able to help them.

53. Of course, if with time they prove to be completely closed to your shepherding, if they don't want help, if they refuse to accept the answers you give them‚ then that's a different matter. But there will be cases where young people expressing their doubts will be the key to their overcoming them. The Lord is asking you parents and shepherds to be open, listen to their complaints or explosions of doubt and criticism with an open heart, then seek the Lord and wait to see how they react since they've unburdened their hearts. They could be testing your love. They could be under extreme attack of the Enemy and in need of your understanding, prayer, and support. If you see that their confessions are really a plea for help, if they want to grow in faith‚ if they're willing to try, then have faith for them and don't close the door on them or write them off as lost causes.

Keys of the Kingdom Promises For Our Young People!

54. This is quite a challenge from the Lord! This kind of love and wisdom is impossible for natural man. We need the Lord's supernatural power to attain this. To help you have greater faith for your kids, I asked the Lord for some additional keys of the Kingdom promises, specifically for our young people and their spiritual growth. Remember, the keys promises are real, as the Lord explained in "Call on the Keys":

55. Knowing I gave these promises, just as I gave the promises you claim and stand on in the Bible, will increase your faith, for you will know clearly that what you're praying for—whether it's healing, supply, deliverance, open doors, unity, the power to forgive, whatever—has been accounted for in the power of the keys. When you see your need specifically mentioned, then you have more faith that it's within the power and it's My will to supply that need and to do it through the keys.

56. You know that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." According to that spiritual principle, faith in the keys will come by hearing these promises, and knowing that I want you to claim them in your prayers. I want to work miracles through the keys, but you must release that power; you must claim it and demonstrate your faith in it through calling on it. Just as you claim promises in the Bible and it strengthens your faith, so you can claim these modern-day promises with as much confidence. They are My promises to you and they will not fail you (ML #3368:57-58, GN 962).

Promises you can claim:

57. Call on the power of the keys for the young ones in your care and I will work miracles.

58. I have given you your children, and through the keys of the Kingdom, the Word‚ and My love‚ you have access to all that you need to raise them right.

59. Nothing is too bad, too hard‚ or too ugly for the miracle-working power of the keys of the Kingdom.

60. Unity between parents and children can be restored through the power of the keys. Claim that power in humility and honesty, and you will find the joy of forgiveness and the power of love.

61. Call on the power of the keys for your children's needs, and your prayers will be powerful. Angelic helpers will be sent‚ and you will see change, improvement, and even miracles.

62. The keys of the Kingdom bring freedom from bitterness. Claim them, and you will find the liberty of My Spirit and renewed faith.

63. No child is past being helped by My love, the keys of the Kingdom, and My living Word.

64. I will make you the role model, mentor, friend, and shepherd you need to be, as you call on the power of the keys and are a doer of My Word.

65. No matter how deep the hurt, how distant the relationship, or how many wrongs have been committed, love can be restored through calling on the keys of the Kingdom.

66. There is no problem too great for the keys‚ the Word, and My love. Call on that power and there will be deliverance, breakthroughs, and spiritual progress.

67. I will give you insight, wisdom, love, understanding, foresight, tolerance, communication skills, and all that you need to relate to and shepherd your children, if you will call on the power of the keys of the Kingdom in faith and desperation.

68. When you're at the end of your rope and feel there's nowhere to turn and no solution in sight, call on the keys; they will light your path and make your way clear.

69. The keys of the Kingdom, My love‚ and the Word are one—this great power of the universe can conquer all evil, solve all problems‚ and forgive all sins.

70. You can find freedom from self-righteousness and lack of tolerance through the keys of the Kingdom.

71. Children and parents will be brought together in love, respect, and mutual appreciation through the power of the keys.

72. Calling on the keys will lead you to the secret to building a loving relationship with even the most problematic personality.

73. Children can be delivered of every evil work of the Devil through the keys. There is no habit, addiction, or hatred stronger than the power of the keys of the Kingdom.

74. Faith to keep trying in love and understanding will come as you call on the keys.

75. Fight in desperate prayer for your children's future by calling on the keys of the Kingdom. Through such prayer will come the victory you desire.

76. Importunate prayer, calling on the keys, is the most powerful force on Earth. Never give up, keep your prayer fires burning, and you will see miracles.

Text box:

77. (From "Focus on the Power":) As My Father and I are One, so are the keys to the Kingdom and the Word one. … Being an instant doer of My Word is directly linked with your ability to access the power of the keys. Living all the Words I speak to you is directly linked to the power you are able to access. … Nothing can stand against My Word! Nothing can stand against the keys to the Kingdom!

78. Love is the greatest force; My Word is the greatest force; the power of the keys to the Kingdom is the greatest force in the world, in the heavens‚ in the universe! These three are one, just as My Father and I and the Holy Spirit are one—three separate beings with different attributes, and yet one in the spirit (ML #3374:33, 35,36, GN 971).

End of text box.

United Prayer Power!

79. (Mama:) Besides fighting in prayer for the young people in your care‚ I want to remind you also of the power of united prayer. Parents and children both should be willing to ask for prayer. I believe you will find that it works wonders.

80. Recently in one of our WS units one of the dear children asked for prayer on his 11th birthday. It was his idea, and he asked his teacher to help him formulate his prayer request. He went to her of his own accord, asking for help in preparing what he would have prayer for before the whole Home. Of course, it's not necessary to have united prayer before the whole Home. If that's too much for your children, or even for you parents, you can do so with a smaller group.

81. This young man had the following prayer request: "That I would not argue so much with people. That I would be able to control my temper. The keys promise I claim is: 'Every evil oppression of the Enemy is brought into submission through the power of the keys.'"

82. This same young man has also grown in his faith in the keys. Just a few days before his birthday he was praying desperately about a matter that was of particular interest to him personally. The Lord answered his prayers in a very miraculous way, as he called on the power of the keys. He later testified‚ saying: "I really believe that the keys of the Kingdom can work miracles—I saw the proof! Thank You Jesus!" Take a tip from this‚ dear parents, that even our children can learn the power of the new weapons the Lord has blessed us with!

Practical Tips!

83. Now I want to share various messages that have practical counsel for some of the difficulties you are probably facing right now. It's extremely challenging to change habits and established patterns of behavior, but the Lord can do it! Peter and I pray that these tips will help things to go more smoothly and bring about faster, happier progress.

84. I will use the question/answer format with little commentary for this part of the GN, as these prophecies are self-explanatory. Please try to find the time to study these. They're packed with many good ideas and suggestions.

How to have a new start and break the chains of habit!

85. (Question:) How do you bring more discipline into the lives of spoiled children without them just getting rebellious? And if they do get rebellious‚ what should parents do? Is it inevitable that things will have to get worse before they get better? And if so, what can parents do to make it through the "worst" stage and hang on until things get better?

86. (Jesus speaking: ) If parents have started out with overly lenient standards with their children, then habits are formed on both the side of the parents and the children that can be hard to break. The parents habitually react a certain way, and the child reacts a certain way. It's as though an agreement has built up that must be broken. There must be a break in the pattern, which will allow both to build new habits.

87. But if the pattern continues unhindered, then the result is disaster—for the child suffers greatly, and as a result, the parents suffer. And not only do they suffer‚ but all the people who could have been reached and helped by this child of Mine may not be reached, may not make it to Heaven, may not have the help in their lives that I can give, because the child has not been raised in My nurture and admonition, but allowed to grow and develop with bad patterns and even evil tendencies in some cases.

88. My loves, it is as has been said before: The chains of habit can be too strong to be broken except by Me. I can rewire people. I can give a new start. I can build these relationships anew.

89. But first the parents must realize that there is something fundamentally wrong with their approach and must be willing to make a new start. I can't give them a new start, a rewiring, a new set of habits, if they want to hang on to their old ways and just have minor adjustments. The parents need to see that leaving their children to do as they wish, without guidance and without correction when they are off track, will be disastrous, and if this is their approach‚ this is in effect deadly for their children spiritually. And there are also multitudes who will suffer because My plans for a child of Mine will not be fulfilled. So if the parents can shake off their lethargy, rise up out of their selfishness, and realize that the future of their child is at stake, as well as the future of many more of My sheep who this child can reach, this is the first step.

90. If the parents feel they are lethargic, they must first of all ask for deliverance from this influence. They must ask Me and ask themselves if they are truly ready to make a new start. Are they truly ready to change deeply ingrained habits? Are they willing, for the sake of the spiritual life of their child and that of many other people, to make great changes? If they can answer yes to these questions, if they are prepared to change whatever in their lives needs to be changed‚ then I can help and answer.

91. Then before embarking on a new course in their relationship with their child, they must examine their own lives and be sure that they are as disciplined as they should be. Are they allowing System influences to control them? Are they stopping short of obeying Me in My requests concerning adequate Word time, prayer time, time in the bed of love with Me listening to My Words and loving Me in return? Are they truly following Me wholeheartedly to the best of their strength and ability? Are they yielded to Me in being where I want them to be, doing what I want them to do? In other words, are the parents themselves dedicated to Me and to My work and to My plan for their lives?

92. The parents can't discipline their children and ask them to toe the line if they themselves are delinquent. They can't be just slipping and sliding by and not expect their children to do the same. It's not that I require perfection; My saints in the Bible and in modern times were imperfect men and women, but they allowed Me to empower them. They gave Me their lives and did their best to follow Me, in spite of their failures and mistakes and shortcomings, and I used them beautifully.

93. Just so, I wish for you parents to be examples of people who are weak in yourselves‚ conscious of your own lacks and shortcomings, not lifted up in pride and self-righteousness‚ but humble servants of Mine who would give anything to follow Me closely and to do as I ask.

94. Your children will not obey you fully if they see that you are not obeying Me fully. They will not have the respect and the admiration that they need to have to listen to what you say. But if they know that you have given all for Me and that you continue to do so, day in and day out, to the best of your ability, this will cause your children to have respect for you. And as they see My blessings on your life because of your obedience and love for Me, they will want the same.

95. Next, dear parents, My loves who wish to raise godly and dedicated children, children who love Me—you must ask Me to rewire you‚ to break bad habits and start new ones. What are these habits? How can you see when you have failed, and in what way you have failed, and which habits you need to change? Often the best way is in counsel with others. Go to those who love you, either shepherds or other parents whose children are doing well, and ask their advice. Ask them in what ways you need to change.

96. This can be very hard to do, because perhaps you have even experienced contention with these very parents. Maybe their standard has been higher than yours, and you didn't agree with their approach. Yet now you can see that their fruit is better than yours. So humble yourself and ask their advice! It's never too late to change. It's never too late to humble yourself and ask for specific advice from others. It's never too late to ask for forgiveness for not having had a believing and accepting attitude toward others.

97. You need to be in unity with those you live with to properly discipline your children. Many of you have moved away from others, thinking that it would make it easier to raise your children as you like. But the opposite is true. Often someone else can help to set you on the right course in the discipline of your children‚ and by living together with others who can help you, there can be better results, and you can learn from others. This takes great humility, great yielding, great acceptance of others' good fruits, and realizing that you are not sufficient in yourself, but that you need the help of others. Sometimes it may be easier for others to discipline your children than for you to do so, until you have established new habits.

98. In the case when you move together with others so that your children can benefit from the discipline and care of others who are more experienced than you are, you can explain the situation to the children. You can say that you have made a new start with Me, and that it's wonderful and exciting and will help all of you to come closer to Me‚ have more of My blessings, and more good fruit in your lives. You can explain that because of this you will be learning new ways of childcare and teaching, and this will result in some changes in all of your lives.

99. Sometimes the children will accept strong discipline more easily from others than they will from you, their parents. However, it is very important in this transition period, when you are learning how to be a better disciplinarian yourself, that you don't back down from this commitment. If you move together with someone else so that you can learn better how to discipline your children, it is very important to back up the discipline administered by others to your children. Make an agreement with them beforehand as to what will be allowed and what will not be allowed.

100. Much of the success of making a move like this will depend on your own yieldedness and desire to change yourself and change your relationship with your child. No longer can you be permissive, seeking the sort of weak love of your children that is not respectful and not obedient. This type of love can even cause your child to turn on you, when he or she sees that you have been weak in following Me and are not strong in your convictions yourself. But with children who are old enough to understand‚ you can explain to them that this is a new start, there will be new things expected, and you are making a change.

101. Explain that it's because you love them. Explain that it will bring My blessings. Explain that in this way they can learn better how to live their lives, so that they will be closer to Me rather than far from Me, and as a result they will be happier in the long run.

102. This will be a big change in the life of your child, so how can you ensure that they will make the change without resentment and bitterness and rebelling in anger? They might feel that it's unjust, that at one time you had one standard and now you have another one, and it's just not fair. They may rebel at the thought of giving up what they consider to be blessings—fun or advantages or just freedom that they like. They may have a very strong reaction‚ if not handled lovingly and if the change is not explained and prayed through.

103. It will help a lot if you can explain from the Word what is taking place. Use Biblical examples, such as that of Eli who was disciplined by Me for not disciplining his children. The beautiful thing about that incident is that I chose to speak through Samuel to correct Eli. I took a child to tell an older person that he was not handling his children right. So in this story you can emphasize not only the fact that Eli's children were so bad, but that Samuel was close to Me, following Me, and that I'm looking for those whose hearts are right toward Me and whom I can use—even if they're children.

104. There aren't many child evangelists in the Family now. There are singers, witnessers, performers‚ but not evangelists. I say that in the Endtime people will listen to children. They will see their purity and conviction, and will open their hearts and ears to what they say. There have been servants of Mine who started their ministries at young ages, even JETT age or younger, such as Charles Spurgeon, who brought many to Me. That can be true of children in the Family as well. I can inspire and fill them and cause them to bear great fruit as they speak before the nations. This is My desire and My will. So you can hold out the promise of the great fruitfulness that I desire for My children when you explain the change toward more discipline.

105. It's not just a change to more discipline, but it's a change to more concentrated training of prophets and teachers and men and women of God for the future. These little children will be great prophets, the flaming evangelists that I spoke of through David. They will win many, and their training must begin now.

106. So if you inspire your children with not just the fact that they're getting more rules or more restrictions, but that they will be given more opportunities and more fulfillment in their ministries for Me, starting at a young age, this will bear great fruit.

107. With regards to young teens, it is unfulfilling and uninspiring for them to have no responsibility. Some of them are dissatisfied or bored, whether they admit it or not, and as a result‚ they get into mischief. So you, their parents, must find outlets and ministries and jobs for them to do which use their energy and creativity and which channel their abilities‚ so that they feel My need for them and My call upon their lives. Too many of My JETT–age children or My young teens are bored—bored stiff! This ought not so to be. They ought to be given challenges, jobs, ministries, and responsibility. They ought to feel that they are needed and important. They ought to be filled with the urge to find their ministry, their niche, the calling that they have from Me.

108. So when you present to your young teens the idea that you will be changing in the attitude that you have toward them, you need to also present the positive—the goal‚ the desire I have to use them RIGHT NOW! Not sometime far off when they're so hardened in their boredom and frustration that they see no way out but to desert Me and to desert the Family! They need to see the need now! They need to feel useful now! They need to know there is an important job for them now! They need to grow up, and to do so, more must be required of them—not just in their behavior‚ but also in their ministries and their lives for Me.

109. Now for younger children, there is also a challenge to be laid out. You can also find things that they can be responsible for—whether it is the care of their rooms, their pets, their younger brothers and sisters, or whether it is in outreach, singing, witnessing and reaching others. You must always couple your increased discipline with the positive side—the reason for it, the fruits of it‚ and My blessings that will come down as a result of it.

110. Do you understand? The increased discipline must have a purpose attached to it or the child will be discouraged. He or she will feel that it's not fair, that there's no purpose to it or reason for it. But if challenged with the positive as well, there will be a great renewal of a desire to succeed in their lives for Me.

111. My dear ones, I know that there will be some who will not submit to the change that I want to make in your lives and theirs. There will be those who will rebel and try to make your lives miserable for even trying to change in your attitude toward them. So don't be discouraged. This is ultimately the choice of each one. But if you have done what you could in not only adhering to a good standard but in praying and seeking Me about how to administer it, I will not fail you. I love you, and I will not fail to give you the love that you need for your children.

112. Ask Me to show you how I see each one. Ask Me to let you see the pearl that is encased in the oyster, the diamond inside the lump of coal. Ask Me to let you see the future—what I have intended for each one—and then express this to the child. Let them see that you believe in them‚ that you have faith in them, and that I have shown you a wonderful vision for them, and you don't want to fall short in doing your part to train them and prepare them for this.

113. Ask Me for a great measure of patience, for unending love‚ because it will be a hard transition to make. But as you approach your child, not in harshness or legalism, but in firm dedication to what I have shown you about the changes that need to be made, I will bring forth fruit.

114. You are the caregivers, the stewards of these treasures that I have sent you from Heaven. I will not leave you without instruction and guidance in each and every aspect of their care. If you feel you have failed in the past, ask Me how to rectify the situation. Ask Me how you can change your interactions and form new habits, the routines you have become comfortable with involving your child. Ask Me how to encourage your child through the rough times when the discipline is stepped up. Ask Me how to be there for them in times of trouble, without wanting to take away trials that I may send so that My child can be strengthened through them.

115. I love you, My dear parents, My custodians of these precious gifts from Heaven—your children. I will not leave you comfortless, without counsel. I will give you adequate, specific counsel for each situation you find yourselves in. I will help you and keep you along the way. I will not fail to instruct you as the need arises. And I will keep your children close to Me as you and they obey and follow what has been laid down as necessary for following Me. This will bring blessings upon you!

116. Following Me more closely will bring you into line for receiving so many of My promises and benefits! You'll wonder why you waited so long‚ why you held on to old habits, why you resisted change. As you change and cling to Me and resolve to do all you can to follow Me, I will bless you and bring you into happy pastures of blessing and feeding and enjoyment, and yes, much greater fruitfulness. For I love you, and you are My delight. (End of message from Jesus)

117. (Mama: ) The message you just read talked about the need to work in unity and teamwork with others. This was also covered in "Are You a Delinquent Parent?" I can't emphasize enough the importance of this point. It's very easy as parents to become independent regarding the care and discipline of your children, and with time you can become very sensitive and resistant to others' help and counsel. If you're in this state, you're only hurting yourselves and your children.

118. Please understand that you alone don't have every single thing that your children need. You don't have all the answers, all the insight, all the wisdom needed to guide them in their spiritual lives and train them for the future. You really do need the help of others—your peers‚ shepherds, and other parents or childcare personnel.

119. If you've reached the point, which I believe many of you parents have, where you resent others' involvement in your children's discipline and you're not open to receiving counsel from others, and you certainly don't go out of your way to seek such counsel and genuine teamworking, then you're really missing out‚ and you'll be sorry in the end. Your children will sense the lack of unity in spirit between you and others, and the sad result will be that the motives behind their obedience will be shallow. When there is a double standard amongst parents and others in the Home, often the kids obey just because they have to, not because they have a personal conviction in their hearts about doing the right thing. I'm sure you'll agree that the goal is to train our children so that they know in their hearts why they should or shouldn't do things. The goal is to help them have the personal conviction to do right and to shun wrong.

120. There may be times when others who discipline the children come on too strong or are self-righteous in their approach, and this causes you parents to resent or shy away from others' help or counsel. That's not the solution. If disunity erupts between parents and others who interact with their children, please pray together, seek the Lord, and work out your differences. Please ask the Lord to help you have the right attitude regarding these points, and pray for a change of heart and mind if needed. Call on the power of the keys, actively put on the Lord's mind, and then fight to obey and be a doer of the Word!

121. (Jesus speaking:) Discipline is never welcomed by spoiled children. However‚ as much as they may initially resent discipline, it's something that they're going to have to accept as part of their lives‚ even if they don't understand all the reasons why they need it.

122. With children who are already spoiled and used to getting their own way, it will be quite an adjustment bringing more discipline into their lives. Children are naturally selfish, and especially with spoiled children‚ discipline will represent an end to a good deal of their selfishness and willfulness, so they'll initially be quite anxious and rebellious. This is something the parents should expect and be prepared to deal with, as it's never easy for any of My children of all ages to forsake their own ways, their own desires and wants, and start living a more disciplined life. This is especially true of spoiled little children.

123. When more discipline is introduced into the lives of children, there will be an initial period of rebelliousness. This is to be expected, something which I want to prepare parents and caretakers for. The children are covering new ground, and they will flounder around for a while seeing just where their limits are and if these new limits and boundaries are indeed something they will have to adhere to, or if they are negotiable and something which they can weasel out of with certain people. There will be a period of testing, floundering, and rebelliousness.

124. The parents or caregivers who have previously spoiled their children will need to explain to the children what is happening. They will need to sit down with the children and apologize to them for not having given them loving discipline and for spoiling them. They will need to introduce discipline from My perspective to the children and how they have failed their children in not giving them the boundaries and discipline they need. If introduced this way, as a new mode of operation, one that is My way and My plan for all My children of all ages, then discipline will be more gracefully ushered into the lives of spoiled children. However, if the door is swung open with no mention beforehand of this new "discipline" guest, then the children will be even more rebellious and resentful of this sudden disruption of their modus operandi.

125. Of course, even with a loving explanation and apology given to spoiled children‚ having more discipline in their lives is never going to be joyously received. This is a situation where parents and caregivers are just going to have to "weather the storm" of any initial rebelliousness and outcries from the children. Parents are going to have to stand their ground no matter what, once boundaries and dos and don'ts have been clearly established with the children.

126. What parents and caretakers cannot do‚ if they want to achieve long-term success in discipline and training, is give in to the children, even if they have been spoiled and allowed to have their own way for a long time. This will be difficult and hard on the parents, especially when the parents and/or caregivers may feel responsible and bad for having spoiled the children in the first place. But as hard as it may be on everyone, once you have unitedly determined to have a clear-cut discipline standard and to live by it‚ there is no turning back. This is a commitment that the parents, caregivers, and Home members will have to make if they want to achieve success in changing the behavior of spoiled children for the better.

127. Things will in most cases get worse before they get better, as is the case with many things in life requiring change. Sometimes you take two steps forward‚ but then one step backward. But despite any backward steps, it is vital for parents to believe My Word and to hold onto My Word and My Scriptural principles that loving discipline in the lives of all children is a necessary and good thing.

128. You may have to read and study My Word and counsel on the subject of discipline to bolster and reinforce your faith along these lines. You'll probably need prayer and yet more prayer, even "booster" prayers to give you the oomph and strength to keep persevering with discipline in the face of seeming despair or seemingly small results in the beginning.

129. Try to calmly administer discipline to the children in a spirit of faith and trust, without getting visibly flustered by your children's reactions‚ which may be quite negative. It's important that the children realize this is just a new fact of life, and discipline is going to be a part of their lives just like eating or sleeping. It's a natural, godly part of their lives and something that is going to happen no matter what. So try not to let their negative reactions to any discipline you administer affect your faith and convictions and demeanor. It's important that you reflect a spirit of trust in discipline as being a good thing, and that they see this trust.

130. Initially it may seem like discipline is creating more havoc, headache‚ work and effort than it's worth—but you must hang on. The Enemy will likely try to play on your emotions, making it hard on you, making you feel like you're alienating your children. When this happens, cling to Me and My Word. Ask for prayer, come to Me for guidance and encouragement. Hang on‚ knowing it is worth it, because it's My way‚ and you will see the rewards of your labors. Hang on, even when emotions and circumstances might be telling you differently, even if your hearts are hurting at the seeming "pain" this new guidance and direction is causing in the lives of your children.

131. The key here is believing—believing that a firm, consistent, godly discipline standard is going to benefit your child in the long run. You may not see it in the beginning—and the beginning might be rough, as you learn to navigate the sea of disciplining your children—but I promise you that you will see the fruits of your labors. And I promise you that you will see the best reward of all—happier and more secure children.

132. Children need discipline. They need boundaries. They need the security of knowing how far they can go and how far they can't go. They'll flounder initially, but soon they'll settle into the comfort of discipline and feel more secure and loved for it, you'll see. (End of message from Jesus.)

133. (Mama:) If you have been a delinquent parent, when you first start disciplining your children more consistently and more according to the standard of the Word and the Charter, it will no doubt be difficult. Some of you delinquent parents have not said "no" to your kids because you wanted them to be happy, you thought you were showing them love in letting them have their own way‚ and you didn't even see that such an approach to parenting was wrong. But as a result, you've probably developed some bad habits and it will take a lot to overcome them, and it will take an absolute miracle for you to now be able to say "no" to your kids and stick to the standard.

134. We had a situation in one of our WS units where a couple had been delinquent with their children and it had been going on for quite a while. When counseling with the mother, I came to the conclusion that she just didn't have it in her to say "no" to her kids. After months or years of indulgence, it becomes very difficult to change your way of reacting and relating to your kids. I honestly didn't think she'd have the strength or the faith for it, so I was desperately seeking the Lord for a solution.

135. Then, like a revelation, the Lord showed me that the secret was in their asking Him! I explained to this mother that she and her husband could sit down with their children and explain how they (the parents) had been wrong, where they had not been obedient to the Word, etc. They could explain to their kids that they now want to put all the Word into practice, including the "Ask Me Everything" instruction, so from now on they'd be asking the Lord—and expecting the children to ask the Lord, too—before making decisions. In other words, instead of the kids just naturally opting to get the answers from mom and dad, they would know that mom and dad would ask the Lord, which would lead to good training and explanations from the Lord, as well as lots of lessons on prophecy. Whenever the Lord says "no," He does so with lots of love and wisdom. He presents His reasoning in such a way that He knows you'll be able to handle it. So that, of course, makes it much easier for the kids. We've seen that some of our children really respect the Lord and prophecy, and accept instruction better that way sometimes than from their shepherds or parents.

How to make the transition easier—children need action and fun!

136. (Question: ) In many cases, bringing children in line will require cutting way back on ungodly and unedifying influences in the kids' lives—such things as bad movies, excessive or bad computer games, novels, System music, too much free time, independence, hanging out with System friends, etc. The kids are not going to like this at all and will likely get rebellious. What can the parents do to make the transition easier? The parents have to give them something in return, but what?

137. (Jesus speaking: ) You quote the saying often that "God never takes anything away without giving you something better." As you are examples of Me to your children, this should be a part of your motto as parents, too. You cannot ask for sacrifices to be made unless those sacrifices are somehow rewarded. You can't always give kids just what they want or think they want most—just like I don't always reward you in the way you think you should be rewarded, or answer your prayers exactly as you think they should be answered. You know better what's good for your children, just like I know better what's good for you. Although the reward or replacement of what is lost may not be exactly what you hoped for, at least you're grateful for My love and care in rewarding you‚ and in time you see the wisdom of My choices.

138. That's how it will be with your children and teens as well. Even if you make wise choices and wise replacements, they may balk at your decisions and at what they're given, but you have to have the conviction that you know better than they what's good for them. And if you're praying and seeking Me and getting My guidance, then you can know for a fact that you've made the right choice and are giving them the right thing.

139. Children and teens will usually claim to prefer computer games and movies to almost anything‚ and there's not a specific "thing" that's on that same level that they would consider equivalent, at least not right off. Something that they do all long for, though, and need, is quality time with quality people.

140. They also need action, motion! There are many ways you can provide that. There are as many ways as there are parents, for each of you has your strong points, the areas you naturally excel in or that I have gifted you in‚ and within these gifts are things you can impart to your children and fun times you can share with them.

141. I'll list here many things that you can do to keep your children occupied and having fun. Some of these may not sound like that much "fun" right off, but in the long run, they will prove to be both beneficial and enjoyable for you and your young ones.

142. 4 Arrange for your children, JETTs and teens to be able to fellowship with other Family children and young people. If there are other Homes in your city or immediate area‚ try to organize regular fellowships and fun activities. If you live far away from other Homes, make trips or move if you have to, if it's going to make the difference for your kids! If they're hanging out with System friends‚ they probably don't have enough friends that share their beliefs, so do what you can to find them some and give them opportunities to have fun together with their Family friends.

143. 4 Become better friends with your own children. Do things together. Even things like computer games, movies, and novels can be used for good, if chosen wisely. These things can be channeled, they can be done as a united activity with parents or teachers, rather than being a time for kids to be on their own, shooting the breeze and killing time, and making their own choices in movies, games, and books—which are probably going to be bad choices if they've had unbridled access.

144. Of course, even if you provide good books, good movies, and good games, if the children have been used to certain bad ones and really like them, it's going to be a sacrifice for them. But the enthusiasm that you have for the things in better taste and with a more godly standard‚ and the fact that they can share these experiences with you and still be doing things that are entertaining and interesting, will in time more than make up for it. It may take a little time, because their tastes have become perverted, but you can help them little by little to develop a taste for what is good.

145. I'm trying to make it clear here that you don't necessarily have to just take away a certain activity completely because they've abused it; for example‚ computer games. You can make it a united activity, a time of togetherness, and make joint decisions on the types of movies, games, and books and the amount of time and the conditions under which they will be viewed, played or read. You‚ of course, have the ultimate say as a parent, but you should still try to discuss these issues with your kids and get their agreement as much as you can. Be open to a little negotiation, and at least hear them out and let them express their reasons for wanting a certain thing.

146. 4 Take your kids places! Every city has some interesting spots or activities that can be enjoyed by families and people of all ages—whether it's the beach, the mountains, a zoo‚ or amusement parks. Kids love doing and moving. Though you can't do these kinds of major events every day, you can do them as regularly as you can, and you can offer them as rewards or incentives for the kids behaving themselves, or for giving up a certain bad activity that they've gotten used to having.

147. 4 Get your children or teens involved with your witnessing ministries. Whether it's tool distribution, singing and performing, follow-up, mail ministry‚ or whatever type of witnessing you specialize in, help them become a part of it. Singing and performing are not embraced by all children, but some can really get into it and just love it, and will be happy to devote their evening hours to learning new choreography or practicing playing an instrument. Or the computer-inclined might completely enjoy learning graphic design and layout, and can use those skills for your mail ministry, for advertising and promoting your show group, your distribution tools, etc. Whatever you have the opportunity to teach or let your child learn on their own, with approval and assistance, that could somehow help your witnessing ministry should be what you encourage them in most.

148. 4 They might also have other hobbies or skills they'd like to develop. Maybe those things aren't something you can teach, or something that directly relates to witnessing, but maybe it's something a whole lot more profitable than the time-wasting junk they're filling themselves with now! Ask them what they're interested in learning‚ what skill they'd like to develop, or what specialty they'd like to learn about, and do what you can to assist them. Maybe it's something that requires money, and their helping to raise the funds for such a venture is also a worthwhile endeavor as it teaches them responsibility and can even be quite fun, as well as a witnessing opportunity. Maybe it's something that they can learn from one of your friends or sheep.

149. Don't try to push them into what you think is best, but don't just let them push to get their way either, if what they want to learn or do is obviously off track. Find a balance, be wise, and remember that the goal is for them to become responsible, to develop their skills and talents to be able to be used in My service somehow.—Or even if they leave the Family, to be able to fend for themselves and make wise choices and use their talents for the good of themselves and others.

150. Within these ideas and activities there are‚ of course, yet more options to be explored, and beyond this there are more as well. Yet most of the things you can do with or for your children will likely fall into one of these major categories. The key is to be looking out for things that are fun that are also uplifting, and it can be work to find them. It's worth it, though.

151. The other key is doing things together‚ taking more time with your kids to have fun together. Doing things together, even if they aren't their favorite activity, is something that they'll look back on with affection in their later years. Whereas hours and hours of gaming or movies all blend into one another in time and become truly boring and a drudgery, even though at the time the kids may think it's all they want and enjoy.

152. Remember, children—and even many teens—don't really know what they want; they don't really know what's best, because often they don't know or haven't experienced much else. So it's up to you as parents to help broaden their horizons, to introduce new activities and experiences, to constantly remind them that there's a great big world out there full of things to do that are of value, and to help them as they find their way through it all, to find the things that they enjoy and excel at, and which benefit them and others. (End of message from Jesus)

153. (Jesus speaking: ) It's all about getting them so busy feeding the lost that they don't miss these other things. If you as parents can get their priorities right; if you can get them involved in activities that help get the message out‚ and follow-up meetings and Bible classes with sheep; if you can get your kids so hooked on these things, they'll barely notice that they've had to give up some of the other things!

154. What you can start out doing is giving them a time period in which they won't do the things that have become a worldly influence on them. For example‚ you could tell them that for the next month you're going to concentrate on Activated and activities relating to feeding the sheep and getting out the Word. For that month you can say that there will be limited or no computer games or novels, and instead of those times you'll be having Bible classes and you'll be going out witnessing.

155. You're going to have to make it fun for them! Give them some stake in the outreach funds they bring in, or have them reenact the Bible class in their own modern way. You've got to give them liberties, but you can direct those liberties in the right direction.

156. It's not going to be easy at first, but you have to make it inspiring for them by finding ways that make it relate to them. It can't all be talk; there has to be some serious action involved, and in some cases, rewards‚ or godly competition, or a goal they're striving for. Tell them that if they do well and really get out there, that you'll take them to a special theater showing, or to a fair, or to a water park—and then follow through on it.

157. At the beginning it's going to take a bit of pushing, effort, thought and prayer to get them started—but once you ignite their fuse, they'll explode! I know, because I created them that way. They just need a little help to get going, and once they get moving they will then carry the ball on their own and you'll just have to give them instruction and direction.

158. Take them on a road trip for a month where they're away from all the System influences and aren't able to get involved in worldly pastimes. Challenge them to call on the keys to supply food, fuel and shelter on your trip, or even at home, and involve them in your provisioning and follow-up. Pioneer a new young person area of town; get them involved somehow in reaching other young people with Activated. Do something new with them! I'm not going to kid you into thinking that it's going to be easy and they're just going to willingly give up all these things which are fun and enjoyable to them, but the solution is to give them something better that makes the games and novels and negative movies and System influences pale by comparison. When they start to see lives changed they will get on fire for Me and they'll burn for Me.

159. Your job is going to be a bit more difficult at the beginning, because you need to get the ball rolling‚ but once it's rolling it'll snowball and catch on! Get stirred up yourself! Get excited and start sharing testimonies of how you "met so-and-so today and they took a subscription and were flipped out about it!" Make it exciting! You've got to do a bit of a song and dance to get the kids interested, but once they're there, it'll be much easier and you may find that they're dragging you out the door!

160. It's all about finding their fuse and asking Me to help you light it. I will light their fuses so that they burn brightly for Me, but you've got to help Me prime the pump, and it'll be a bit of work at the start. But once you get the ball rolling it'll carry itself, and I'll be able to inspire the kids to keep going. Try it! You'll love it! (End of message from Jesus)

161. (Dad speaking:) One reason so many of the kids are bored and not stirred up is that they haven't been seeing good samples of the SGAs and adults being stirred up and excited about living for the Lord. If they'll get on board and really get excited and show those kids that there's something worth living and sacrificing for, then the kids are going to get inspired and want to help out and want to live the life of a missionary.

162. There has to be a good reason for them to live it, and if they don't see the SGAs and adults living it, they figure there's nothing there that they want or need. But if you'll get the SGAs and adults so excited about Activated and getting out the Word that their Homes are brimming with the vision, then the younger ones will just have to join in and they'll take part in the fun!

163. Once those adults get stirred up‚ the kids will follow. (End of message from Dad.) (Note: For more inspiring tips and counsel on things to do with your kids, see "How to Have a Happy Home" in DB 12, ML #2956:22-25, 29-67.)

Regaining the respect of your kids

164. (Question:) When parents have lost the respect of their children, how can they regain it? What practical steps do they need to take? What should they avoid doing that would only make matters worse?

165. (Jesus speaking: ) The first step in correcting the misbehavior of your children and trying to tighten the reins is remembering that it is largely your fault that they got to this state in the first place. As with most things, you have to start with yourself, with an examination of your own heart, and a desire to make changes in yourself before you can expect to start making changes in others.

166. If you've been overly lenient and indulgent with your children for a long time, it's difficult to suddenly step in and enforce more discipline without your kids being really surprised, and getting confused and resentful about this sudden change in policy. But just because it's tough doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be done. This is what I'm calling My Family parents to do‚ and it will be in your best interests to receive My counsel on these subjects and act on it.

167. So‚ to begin to make the changes and restore your place of respect in your children's eyes, you need to change your own attitudes first. Ask yourself if you truly believe and understand the need for the changes that your kids need to make. Are you aware of exactly what is not up to standard in their conduct? Are you aware of what the Word has to say on the issues involved? It comes down to being full of your subject and being fully persuaded in your own mind. Kids are sensitive, and they will know whether it's just a shallow attempt at surface change in their lives, or if you are really sold on what you're selling and are personally fully behind the changes and improvements.

168. The way for this to happen is through plenty of hearing from Me, and receiving and even asking for godly shepherding and counsel. It can be painful to hear about the mistakes your kids have made and that you have made as a parent, but to hear some of these things‚ as well as the suggestions of your shepherds on how to improve, is valuable counsel. You have to realize that your objectivity is always a bit skewed, because you see everything through the eyes of love that I have given you for your child. Don't feel bad about this, because this is how I intended it to be. I need you to see your children always with love that covers a multitude of their sins. But at the same time, this means that you can't always raise your kids only by your counsel. You have to be open to the suggestions of others, and especially the suggestions of My Word.

169. Once things have been pointed out to you as being amiss, either from Home members, shepherds‚ the GNs, or some other source, you need to search your heart on these matters. Ask yourself if you support the need for change in these areas, or if you still see such behavior as allowable and acceptable. That is the core of the problem with delinquent parenting. When you begin to compromise yourself, you allow the same level of compromise in your children. So to root it out of your kids, you must first root it out of your own heart.

170. If it's difficult for you at the beginning to support the increased discipline and rules, ask Me for My help to have the faith to cooperate with your whole heart. Or ask a shepherd to pray for you, or do a Word study to help you gain faith. Many Family members do believe the right things deep in their heart, it's just that with time they've drifted away from some of the core standards in the Word. You'll be surprised how much truth and desire for obedience can come gushing to the surface once you dig back into old Letters long forgotten. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. That's how to regain your faith and conviction for going ahead with the challenging job of changing your kids.

171. So, once you're fully persuaded in your own mind that what I'm asking you to do is what needs to be done, you're probably going to be in the mood for action, for starting the reforms that need to happen. This is a very crucial and delicate time in your kids' lives. You can't just come in yelling and screaming and laying down rules right and left and trying too hastily to change things. Two of the first things you should do are:

  1. Pray! Get My answers on how to approach it with firmness, yet with love and gentleness. Ask Me for the right methods and motivational ways to reach your goal.
  2. Read appropriate Word, including on how to motivate children and on shepherding skills. Whether you're an official shepherd with a title or not, you are a shepherd to your children, and some of the basic Letters on shepherding, both new and old, are perfect for you to read at this time—Letters such as "Prayer for Love and Mercy," "Love Never Fails," "Loving Shepherding and Interaction," and so on.

172. It's important that you take those two first steps in order to get things started on the right foot—to come in with the appropriate firmness, yet also show the appropriate restraint from trying to do too much all at once. Ask Me for patience.

173. Something that would also greatly benefit you at this time would be to recall major changes that had to come about in your own life. Think about times when you've had to get major shepherding and correction. Think about the S2K‚ or the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series, and other milestone changes in your life.

174. Did you just get My message and then you were cured overnight? Were all your wrong attitudes and ingrained responses swept away in one day, and from then on you were a happy‚ yielded, obedient, 100% disciple? Most likely not. Most likely you needed time and help and shepherding to fully expunge what was old and wrong, and to learn to desire to take hold of the new. And quite likely you're still working on it. Many of you parents are also still in the middle of some personal change and are still desiring greater progress in your personal life. I'm making this point to help you remember that such changes aren't completed in short amounts of time, and to bring them about requires patience.

175. Armed with this information‚ and hopefully My personal words on the subject, you should be ready to start making some changes in your kids' lives and modes of operation. At times like these there is no substitute for My personalized counsel, because what could help one child greatly may not work for all. But something you could generally consider, depending on your level of communication with your kids, is to have a talk and explain what's happening, how the Lord is moving‚ and how it will affect them.

176. The best way to start such a talk is to relate it to yourself. If you can get in the same boat with them, you'll be a lot better off in terms of their respect. You can admit upfront that you've done things wrong, you've needed correction yourself, and "now the Lord is expecting more from all of us, and that includes me and you." Tell them that some of what you've allowed them to do has not been right and it makes the Lord sad‚ and it causes disunity and a lack of fruitfulness, and that you're going to try to change things. Admit that you don't know all the answers and that you're still learning and changing yourself‚ but that you're going to try to the best of your ability to start leading your family in the right ways, and you will begin by setting a good example yourself.

177. Then you can share details about the specific ways that changes need to be made in their behavior. This will help them start to see you in a new light, and it will dawn on them that times are changing, and hopefully they will have a better idea of the reason why such things need to be done. This is when being fully persuaded in your own mind will come in handy, because a lot of the kids won't see any problem with how things have been. They like the way they've been acting and they've enjoyed being able to get away with so much. This is when you need to share what you learned and how you came to the realization that "the right way is to obey, and that come what may, we have to obey the Lord and our shepherds; any less leads to rebellion, doubts, and alienation from the Lord‚ His will, and His Family."

178. It will depend on your children's age, level of maturity, and degree of disobedience as to whether they require this direct approach. Depending on the circumstances, or in the case of younger children, you might need to give more explanation in terms they can understand, allowing for more back and forth exchange. Ask Me each time, and I will lead you as to how to best explain things to your children on their level, in terms they can relate to and best understand.

179. After your initial "breaking of the ice," you'll have to proceed consistently, gradually, and firmly. A plant that has grown crooked is never straightened by fast, brutal chops and whacks back into place. It's strengthened and straightened by constant restraint or pressure to grow in the right direction, and being restricted from growing in the wrong direction. This is the key to getting your kids back under the standard of the Word. Don't overburden them with too many new rules and mandates‚ but rather correct the bad behavior as you see it, and try to only work on one or two main things at once. Ask Me for a priority list of what's most important to tackle first. Of course, you should not tolerate bad behavior, but in all of this you're trying to do more than just purge the bad behavior. You're trying to build new habits as well to replace the old, and this you cannot do too quickly or all at once. So prioritize.

180. At the same time, you need to show them the brighter side of obedience. They need encouragement and rewards for the good that is done. You need to teach them that "the Lord always keeps us happy, if we make Him happy." You need to show them that "the Lord allows plenty of entertainment and joy‚ if we're faithful to stay within the bounds that He has set for us." The awards and compensations and replacements will be different in every case, so please do pray and ask Me what are the best things to use for each child.

181. But no matter how much of this counsel you use, how many rewards you enact‚ and how gentle and loving you are, it's still a difficult job. It will try your faith and test your patience. You'll have to be willing to commit yourself to the long haul, because if you begin to try to re-establish their respect for you and the standard but then you give up because the fight is too long, you will leave your kids worse off than before, with even less of a respect for you and any changes you try to make in the future. So don't start, then stop and start again. Start once and keep at it! (End of message from Jesus)

To help your children, develop an appetite for the things of the spirit

182. (Question:) We know that the things of the spirit are the most important to turning kids around, but the parents can't just cram the Word and Word-based activities down their kids' throats in a threatening‚ demanding way; that will be counterproductive. How can parents make those things attractive to their kids who might not have much spiritual hunger?

183. (Jesus speaking:) The surest way to teach your children something is through your own sample—not what you preach at them, not what you tell them they should do‚ but what you yourself believe and act upon. If the things of the spirit are important to you and you love Me and have the heart of a missionary‚ it will rub off on your children.

184. The first step to helping your children develop an appetite for the things of the spirit is to start with yourself. Ask Me what you can do to draw Me in more, in your words and your actions as well. If you aren't putting Me first in your life, if you don't desire the things of the spirit above the things of the flesh‚ then how do you ever expect to pass it on to your children? And if you try, they'll be turned off by your self-righteousness.

185. Practically speaking, you have to get serious with Me about your goals‚ attitudes, and perspectives on things. This isn't to say you have to always be serious or can't have fun; but no matter what you're doing, you can find a way to bring Me and the lessons of the spirit into it. If you're a parent whose children are in the care of someone else most of the day while you go out witnessing or do other ministries, then it's only natural that you want to spend whatever time you do have with your children having fun.

186. So have fun! Make a snack with your children while you sing praise songs to Me together, or tape record your own Word-related drama, with each of your children choosing a different character's voice. Take your children on a nature walk and collect different kinds of leaves, and in the course of your walk, talk about how much fun I must have had creating the world. Ask them what kind of flower they would have designed if they could, and then check out the encyclopedia to see if I made something similar. When you play board games or other games, call on the keys for help with the answer, or what have you. While you're caring for your pet, talk about My love and how I care for you and keep you safe, etc.

187. It comes down to being faithful to acknowledge Me and bring Me into every activity that you do. That is what will inspire your children to do the same. (End of message from Jesus.)

188. (Jesus speaking:) The main goal is to train your children to develop a personal relationship with Me—a relationship that doesn't depend on anyone else to be kept alive. This is going to be their greatest strength in the years to come—their love for and closeness to Me—because that is the standard by which they will measure everything. Their link with Me is what will keep them, protect them, instruct them‚ and give them power and anointing in time of need.

189. Strengthen this link through your sample, and through establishing a firm foundation in the Word—not only in the allotted hour or two of Word time daily, but in your schooling‚ in your play, in your daily interaction with them. Glorify Me. Bring Me into your conversations. Let them hear you asking Me everything. If you knew how important it is for them to establish a solid connection with Me, you would make much more of an effort to give them the sample that they need of someone who loves and respects Me and comes to Me first.

190. Refer to the Word you've read, to the things you're memorizing. Make practical applications of the Word in everyday life as often as you can. Make it a goal to be partly responsible for sparking a fire in their little hearts that will burn brightly and become their salvation in the dark days ahead.

191. It's also important to pray for and work toward instilling in them the heart of a missionary, the heart of David and his love for the lost. This takes extra effort‚ but there are plenty of examples in My Word and in the words of your Father David to teach the children what being a missionary is all about. Pray for the missionaries. Encourage them to write to or send gifts to those on the frontline fields when they can. Help them to be more aware of the goals of the Family, the history of the Family, and your whole purpose for living, which is to lead others to Me.

192. Do your children know what they've been put on Earth for? Do they have a vision for the job they will soon be called to? Do their hearts break for the lost and those who are dying without having known My love? Do they understand what they see in the Vine videos, and do they receive enough explanation about what's going on? Do they know the stories of the heroes of faith and the missionaries who gave their lives to searching out and saving lost souls? Do they have the conviction in their heart that they have a purpose for living and the driving motivation to do what they can, which is learning how to witness and preparing for the time when I will call them into a more open ministry? Are they stirred up and on fire? If not, then ask yourself what kind of sample you're being, because most likely they're emulating you.

193. When it comes to training children, you cannot point them to the way they should go; you have to lead the way and they will follow. If you're lacking inspiration or vision and you don't know what your calling is‚ chances are that's exactly how your kids feel, too—every day is just another ho-hum day to play and have school and get–out and eat and go to sleep. Why should they obey and press in to learn? What's the point if it's just another day‚ just like the last? Without a vision the children perish.

194. But you have the power to inspire them, to give them the world vision, to help them to understand how important they are to Me, and that each one of them has a calling and they don't have long to prepare. Once they understand that, you'll notice the inspiration level soar! They'll want to learn all they can while they still have the chance. They'll want to obey because they finally have a long-term vision and a reason to be living. Give them a life, not just an existence. What power you hold in your hands—power to shape a future! And you just might find your inspiration and vision renewed as a result! (End of message from Jesus.)

195. (Mama:) We pray that this counsel has been an inspiration to you, has increased your vision, and given you greater faith and conviction to do all you can to be that sample of an on-fire, obedient, happy disciple. So much depends on you, dear parents! Peter and I are praying for you, calling on the power of the keys, and claiming the keys promises for your success in this wonderful challenge. The Lord can help you to be the role models and disciplinarians you need to be! He wants to, and nothing can stop you if you just don't give up. We know you can do it, and you and your children will be so much happier as a result! God bless and keep you fighting in intercessory prayer, the power of the keys‚ the Word and our wonderful Husband's love!

What Is Full-time Discipleship, Part 2

ML #3469:431–451, GN 1056

Spiritual shepherding of children / discipline

(From "Loving Shepherding and Interaction—Charter Style")

431. (Mama:) I've heard that some of you parents and teen shepherds have questioned whether you should be shepherding your young people. Somehow you have come to the mistaken conclusion that the Charter means that you're supposed to let them do what they want.

432. You parents cannot abdicate your responsibilities to shepherd your junior teens or JETTs or any of our young people. They still need your love, direction, inspiration, encouragement, instruction and correction.

433. If you want to know the rights of junior teens, read the Charter. You'll see that there is nothing in there that gives junior teens (or JETTs) the right to watch unrecommended television, play hours and hours of unedifying computer games, refuse correction from their elders, call their parents old bottles, etc.

434. The Charter has not done away with shepherding, parenting, discipline and obedience! We still have shepherds, we still have parents, we still have discipline and obedience. Any of you parents who let your kids—of any age—get away with such behavior for any length of time are failing as parents and may eventually find that no one wants to live with you because you've allowed your kids to become rotten apples and teen terrors.

435. When you make decisions and pray about what to do, you need to take into consideration the applicable points in the Charter‚ but I would expect you to also use all the wisdom and training that you've received through years and years of studying the Word! The Charter gives you the general guidelines and principles by which to live, but you can't just throw out all the guidance and counsel in the Letters on a subject. For example, there are numerous Letters that talk about how to teach‚ train and discipline teens, the need to avoid the evil influences of the System, how to correct kids, as well as how to understand, challenge and inspire them. When you think about all that has been printed on these subjects, along with the guidance in the Charter, you'd think it would be fairly easy to … come to the right conclusion—that you can't let your teens just run wild! You'll have hell to pay if you do!

436. To summarize: You adults are to continue to shepherd your junior teens (and of course your other young people as well). You cannot abdicate your responsibilities. The voting members of your Home should decide together on the behavior and disciplinary standard for your Home, taking into consideration the thoughts and feelings of the junior teens. When making decisions, counsel together‚ study the Charter and the Word, and if need be, ask the Lord to speak in prophecy concerning anything you're not sure about. Parents and teen shepherds need to work together.

437. If your junior teens are rebellious or discontent, try to find out why. Check your heart to see what kind of samples you're being. You should treat the teens as lovingly and respectfully as possible, listening to them, considering their feelings and desires, and giving them choices within God's will whenever possible. You can give them certain freedoms, if they handle them well and are responsible. (ML #3018:4, 11-13, 33‚ 59-60; Lifelines 22).

(From "Keep Fighting!—Conviction versus Compromise, Part 6")

438. (Dad: ) If your kids are spiritually off track‚ getting sucked into the System, and influencing other kids negatively, then it's your duty as a disciple and parent to get them in line! You must be willing to discipline them or have others discipline them. If not, you'll need to reconsider your place in the CM Family. You're probably more suited for the FM Family if you can't get your kids in line, since our children are a very important part of our sample!

439. The kids of the lenient parents eventually start corrupting other kids, and eventually they can actually become yielded to the Enemy and begin dragging down the other kids. These problems cannot be tolerated! Having undisciplined‚ rebellious, bad–apple children who are rotting others is compromise that brings division, and it can't be allowed in the CM Family!

440. If someone doesn't want to hold to the Family standard, then they are sowing division and should have division from the Family. And that includes those who aren't upholding the Family discipline standard and keeping their kids' behavior in line.

441. To maintain unity in your Homes, if you've got problem kids, you've got to unite as a Home, as a body of adults and parents, and work on the problems.

442. (Mama:) It's unacceptable to allow rebellious kids who are yielded to the Enemy to pollute and hurt other kids spiritually.

443. The parents of unruly kids should be willing to show tangible signs of progress toward raising their standard of discipline, of receiving counsel from their shepherds and CP board, as well as from their brethren who are trying to help them and their children.

444. If the parents of such problem kids are not open to counsel, if they refuse help, if they ignore the Home disciplinary standard, if they let their kids go undisciplined and won't allow others to discipline them, then they're wrong, they're compromising, they're sowing division, and if they refuse to change, they should be reclassified. That behavior cannot be tolerated in the CM Family.

445. Parents, get your kids in shape and don't let them be a source of disunity in your Home‚ or you will reap the judgments of the Lord's discipline in their lives. You might also lose your CM membership. (ML #3366:77-78‚ 82, 83, 90-91, 93, 109; GN 969).

(From the Provisional Charter Membership Contract, for 16- and 17-year-old voting Family members)

I hereby signify that I understand and without coercion willingly sign this non-legally binding Provisional Membership contract and agree that in order to continue as a Charter member of the Family, I will consistently adhere to all of the following Charter responsibilities. I also acknowledge and agree that if I sign the contract but then fail to consistently comply with these stipulations, then my shepherds and/or parents will try to shepherd me, and I will be open to their counsel.

I hereby agree to:

  1. Maintain a close connection with God through personal communion with Jesus‚ personal and united prayer and praise, personal and united reading of His Word (both the Bible and the Letters), Scripture memorization, and the minimizing and resisting of ungodly and unedifying influences in my life; thus exhibiting the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are: "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance."
  2. Respect the fundamental Family beliefs, even though I may not have yet made the decision to fully accept all of them. This respect means that I understand that Charter members do accept the fundamental Family beliefs, and therefore I will not speak against these beliefs or undermine others' faith in them. I understand that I can and should bring any questions or doubts I have to my parents or shepherds in order to find the answers I need so I can grow in faith.
  3. Endeavor to live in accordance with the Word by trying to apply the spiritual and practical counsel given in the Letters to my daily life.
  4. Read the Bible, the Letters, and other Family publications, both old and new.
  5. Endeavor to live by the principles of the Law of Love: To love and care for, and interact lovingly and harmoniously with all members of the Home in which I reside and with Family members at large.
  6. Live in accordance with the agreed-upon "Home regulations" of the Home in which I continue to reside.
  7. Endeavor to conduct myself as a good Christian, showing outgoing love and concern for others, and fulfilling my obligations, legal and otherwise, to them.
  8. Refrain from activities or behavior that would be a reproach to the cause of Christ and/or reflect negatively on the Family.
  9. Endeavor to overcome‚ and when necessary request united prayer against, those personal weaknesses and besetting sins that cause physical or spiritual disruption in the Home, and/or physical, spiritual‚ or emotional harm to me or others.
  10. Recognize that my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and as such‚ not abuse it in any way. Keep a clean and presentable appearance, and actively and regularly endeavor to stay healthy and physically fit.

(From "More on 'The Shakeup 2000'")

446. (Mama:) To make lots of mistakes in a variety of areas and to have bad moods and bad days is to be expected with teens, because they're learning, maturing, and having to deal with all kinds of emotions. It's a difficult age for all young people, but especially for our Family teens who the Enemy attacks and tries to derail even more than the teens of the world.

447. You should be understanding and help them along‚ and discipline them when needed according to the Charter. But when they make the same mistakes over and over, or are obviously rebellious to your counsel and the Word and Charter standard, or when their bad attitudes are long-lasting and affecting others negatively, that cannot be tolerated. If you've tried to shepherd them and help them, but they continue in the same sins or they lead others into the same wrongdoing, then that's where you must draw the line. If they don't show signs of improvement‚ they will need to be reclassified as Fellow members because they aren't upholding the Provisional CM contract.

448. [The Lord said:] "The key is their willingness, the desire to try. If they express that desire, then there's always hope for them, however rascally they may seem to be and however often they seem to goof up in different areas. But leeway should not be given for them to be rebellious, refusing to listen to counsel or refusing to obey guidelines that are set down to help keep them behaving in accordance with the Word and the Provisional CM contract. Leeway should be given for mistakes, if they respond to correction for those mistakes with fruits meet for repentance. Leeway should also be given for bad attitudes or lack of faith, provided they keep these to themselves. But leeway should not be given for repeated deliberate transgressions, for open rebelliousness, for causing harm to others, or for being a reproach to My work. Once they've been warned, and disciplined once or twice for such things, if they show no willingness to try or to improve, then it is time to recommend that they be moved to Fellow member status."

449. The provisional contract is to allow the 16- and 17-year-olds to move through the decision-making period with shepherding (emphasis on with shepherding), so they can mature so that when they're 18 they can sign the CM contract with full faith and understanding. It does not mean that the years of 16 and 17 are the years when they can just go to pot in the spirit, with the hope that when they're 18 they'll get serious about serving the Lord! … It's a time to understand that these young people are making decisions, but it's not a time to let them just go their own way and be junked out in the spirit. They have to be shepherded!

450. A lot of you Home shepherds and parents don't shepherd and correct your flocks. This is a serious weakness in our Family, which needs to change! If you continue neglecting your responsibility to shepherd your flock, then it falls on the shoulders of the VSs and COs to come around and say, "Hey, this is really out of it! This needs to stop. This person needs to be put on Probationary Status, or be recommended for FM status‚ or even be moved out of the Family altogether." But the VSs and the COs can't possibly keep an eye on everyone and do all the shepherding and keep the Family clean and pure in spirit. It's your job too, and you must make a commitment to buckle down to the hard work of shepherding and disciplining your children and flock by seeing where the problems are, studying the Word on them, and seeking the Lord in prophecy for the answers!

451. You parents are obligated to shepherd and discipline your children under point W of the Charter membership contract, and if you fail to do so‚ then you're in jeopardy of losing your Charter member status. And if you teamworkers do not shepherd and discipline your Home members, then you're not living up to your responsibilities as outlined in the "Obligations of All Family Officers" in the Charter, and you will be disciplined by your Home or your VSs or COs. (ML #3262:111-112, 114-117; GN 863).

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