Pewwwwwwwwwy…what stinks?  My fridge not only smelled rank, but I saw a number of science experiments!  Time to clean, again.  Because we have a large family living in the middle of nowhere, we keep a good supply of food. We have 3 freezers and 3 refrigerators.  I need to clean one of these at least once a week to keep up.  I hate, hate, hate cleaning out the refrigerator!  Why, I wonder?  Well, because it is a thankless job that must be done regularly.  You’ve got to throw out the junk, clean the inside, reset the  controls to achieve the right temperature, and restock with the good stuff – fresh items.

Raising adopted children can be a stinky business, too.    A daughter may have become disrespectful in her responses to me.  Another may be acting out by bedwetting,  One could be playing alone too much.  A son may be violent or unsafe.  When my children’s behavior becomes stinky, I need to get back to the basics of good parenting, and  ‘clean the fridge’:

1. Throw out the junk:  too much electronic time, too much activity in a given day, impatience, lack of empathy, rotten attitudes, recurring sin in our lives. 

2. Deep clean:  purify my heart and theirs with God’s word, forgive past wrongs, use the 10 commandments as rules for life, model appropriate attitudes and behaviors, make home a safe place where trust and bonding can grow.

3.  Adjust my controls: studying God’s word daily and having His song in my heart will restore my thermometer (attitude) to the right setting.

4.  Restock my family with the good stuff: share more one-on-one time, give lots of hugs, use encouraging words, make family fun time, stay home more, have a regular routine, be consistent in correction, give appropriate discipline, set healthy lifestyle habits.

If I could only do those things as I should, there would be no stinky fridge, children, or parents!  Better go clean that mess now….