Self-Control When You Really Need It

I melted down the other morning. Over our dog.   Glen and I have a difference of opinion over doggy rules and doggy discipline. This can result in tension between us at times. Glen is a dog person. He prefers to have Rufus, our hairy 100 pound labra doodle, with us at ALL times, including the dinner table and even while working in the kitchen. I on the other hand prefer some distance, especially in the kitchen and around meals. Glen wants to loosen our doggy rules. I want to tighten them. Later in the day, after calming down, I stepped outside to watch Joey work with a soccer coach. I listened with fascination as Joey was instructed to jump repeatedly over bars and then, while out of breath, attempt to intercept a soccer ball and kick it into the corner of the net. “Joey, the jumping will tire you and make you feel jostled, much like you will feel in an actual game. When you intercept the soccer ball and head towards the goal, you will need to practice controlling yourself at the core so that your kick will consistently be strong and accurate. Otherwise the ball will often miss it’s mark.”  Joey can easily kick the soccer ball into the goal time and time again when he is practicing alone and not tired. However, in the middle of a game, when he is running out of steam, and opposing players jostle him at every turn, it’s a different story!  That’s when he really needs to establish control in order to accurately handle the soccer ball under pressure. Immediately, I thought back...

Self-controlled or Controlling

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28 Today I simply want to point you to a powerful post by Ann Voskamp in which she points out the vast difference between trying to control others and self control.  In fact over controlling our children – micromanaging them – will diminish their opportunities to grow self-control!! “The truly wise become deeply humble. They realize that the only kind of control the Bible endorses – indeed, commands – is self-control.”  Ann Voskamp Make sure to read her post:  What to Do When You May or May Not be a Control...

Governing One’s Mind

Diligently add to your faith virtue: who I am in Christ. Diligently add to virtue knowledge:  who He is in His unchanging nature and how that changes me. Diligently add to knowledge self control. 2 Peter 1:5 Josiah, our four year old grandson, flails his arms and legs wildly about when he gets very frustrated. Haddie, our two year old granddaughter, throws herself on the ground in a heaping fit when told “NO”. Three year old Kate scratches her brother in the face when he gets in her space and her cousin  Jude sneaks a piece of candy when mommy is not looking. Your competitive 2nd grade son slugs his friend in the face at school when he crowds in front of him in line. You teenage daughter fires angry accusations back at you when confronted and chats in class when bored. Your son glances at his neighbor’s test when he does not know an answer to a test question or at porn on the internet when no one is around. Your athlete argues rudely when the referee charges him an unwarranted foul or throws down his racket when he loses a tennis match. Your teen struggles to complete her homework choosing instead to respond to each and every text that comes to her all hours of the day. You find yourself struggling to stay focused in prayer with all the distracting thoughts and concerns that continually pull your attention. What do all these scenarios have in common? A lack of self-control. Self control is the capacity to govern oneself and it comes by way of the willingness to...

Media Habits of the Mind and Heart

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2: 11-14 I am at the National SCL Conference and just participated in an session led by Ken Myers.  He is the host and producer of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, a bimonthly audio magazine that examines issues in contemporary culture from a framework shaped by Christian conviction.  Rather than post what I had been working on all week, I decided to share instead some vital recourses about technology in the life of students, the topic Mr. Myers addressed passionately. Scientists are growing increasingly alarmed about how today’s undisciplined media habits are contributing to a decline in attention and comprehension skills, in linear thinking and even changing the very shape of the brain.   Affected also is the development of self control because it is closely linked to our ability to attend to what is important and good as well as ignore what is unimportant and harmful. What a frightening thought that in our media driven culture, we may be losing vital skills without which we cannot properly grow and learn. I urge you to get informed about this extremely important topic. Ken Myers has compiled a list of resources about the...

Controlling our Minds

America’s colleges and universities may be the best in the world but our nation’s students are not faring so well in the process. Economist Mark Schneider recently referred to colleges with significant dropout rates as “failure factories” and he sadly considers them the norm.  America does a good job of enrolling students in four year colleges, but only half end up with bachelor’s degrees, the second worst rate in the world.  The dropout problem is even worse in our nation’s community colleges. Remember Carly?  (Read posts on January 15th and 17th) Her story is unfortunately very common and becoming more so.  I believe the problem has to do with vital habits of thought, left undeveloped during the formative years. My husband is a mathematics instructor in a public high school where texting and headphones are difficult to compete with for attention.   With many students, the devices have won. While he can insist that cell phones and headsets be put away during class, these students spend class time merely waiting for the bell to ring, when they can once again busy themselves with the activities their minds long for and are accustomed to. They have grown addicted to multitasking multiple sources of stimulation such as iPods, cell phones, MP3 players, TV or the internet.  They juggle their attention between these various forms of distraction, always looking for the latest text or email, while music flows directly into their ears or a TV invites them into the modern pop culture.  This jumping around in the brain not only disrupts attention and learning but also creates a temporary feeling of pleasure because...