By: Dr. (Mrs.) E. O. Afilaka
CFN National Director of Women Affairs

When a person is in perfect control of himself, it certainly yields the fruit of peace. This takes a great discipline at times.

The scripture tells us that “ a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger “ (Proverbs 15: 1 NAS). It also tells us that “a fool’s vexation is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor” (Proverbs 12:16 NAS). If it were impossible to control ourselves, the Bible would not have so much to say about it.

Verbal abuse is just as destructive as physical. As Christians, We are responsible for every word that comes out of our mouth. And we will be judged for every act of unkindness. Daily prayer beseeching God for help will provide the necessary strength needed for control.


Your children are expecting and needing continual encouragement from you

Make it a habit to compliment or say something nice to each of your children daily. I read of a school teacher who had the highest rating from her class in the entire school. When asked how she attained this, she replied, “ I find something to compliment each child for every day. “ Then she said, “ But just as he was running out of the room,  I grabbed him and gave him a hug and explained, ‘My, darling Son; you are sweet!”  Is it any wonder that the children responded to her guidance.”

You are the most  important people in their lives. Their desire is to be pleasing to you above all else. Proverbs 25:11 (NAS): “like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.”

Proverbs 15:8 (NAS): “ The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.”

Give Praise before a rebuke. Never discipline in anger.

“Now, Mary, I know how excited you are about having the new crayons, but they are not to be used on the wall. “ Colossians 3:21 (NAS): “Fathers, do not exasperate (provoke to anger) your  children, that they may not lose hearts.”

Keep your promises

Dad, if you’ve given your word to Taiwo about going to Mr. Biggs on Saturday, it’s just as important as your word to anyone else. Mother, if you’ve promised little Shade she can help you prepare the evening meal, by all means, keep  your word. Being a person of your word teaches them integrity and honour.

If they can’t trust your word, whose can they trust? You take the place of God to the child; if they can’t trust you, they can’t trust God.

Admit when you are wrong or make a mistake.

Proverbs 18:12 (NAS):  “before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honour.” They need to know Mom and  Dad have imperfections. By saying “I’m Sorry; will you forgive me?”, you teach them not to be defensive and self-justifying.

Admitting to wrong is a sign of real character.

Be consistent

A major complaint of children is parents who talk one way and do another, say what you mean and mean what you say. They will despise you if you are inconsistent.

If a disobedient act merits a spankling one time, it should be next time also. No matter where you are in public or how busy you may be in the kitchen, take time to minister discipline. It may require several trips to the restroom, or having to wash bread dough from your hands, but your consistency is imperative.

RESULT: Trust Loyalty, Honour and Respect From Your Child.