God has given us parents the responsibility to train up our children. He also gave us the manual. It’s the Bible. If only we would look closely at what His Word tells us about discipline, we would all be more convinced that He does want us to do it.
In my next series of blogs, I will be writing about the most common reasons I hear from parents who don’t feel comfortable about disciplining their children:
1. I LOVE MY CHILD TOO MUCH TO DISCIPLINE HIM.
Anyone who was repeatedly hit out of anger by his parents as a child, or spanked by a leather belt all over his body, or yelled at and humiliated in public, would never think that discipline can be done out of love. And I don’t blame him. Any form of discipline that doesn’t respect the the rights and dignity of the child is abuse. I want to emphasize it, hitting is not discipline. Hitting is abuse and violence. And if you don’t know how to discipline your kids properly, I would rather that you just don’t. But I am talking about biblical discipline that our very own Heavenly Father has modelled for us through His Word and through our own experiences with Him. I am talking about discipline that is done within the context of a loving relationship. This is the kind of discipline that affirms our children and gives them security.
Prov.3:12 says “because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in“. God disciplines His children because He loves us, so should we discipline our own children because we love them. Love and discipline are not 2 different things. I believe that discipline is a component of love. God promises blessings to those who are obedient. Which parent wouldn’t want God’s blessings for his children? Discipline, if done the right way, teaches us to be more obedient. Because I love my kids, I want them to receive the fullness of God’s blessings in their lives but that won’t happen if they are disobedient. But more than the blessings, my end goal in disciplining my children is so that they can live lives that are pleasing and honoring to God.
Prov.13:24 also says “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Again, we see that love and discipline are interrelated. This verse is clear that God doesn’t want us to spare the rod if we love our children. One of the key words in this verse is the word CAREFUL. We need to be careful WHY we discipline, WHEN we discipline and HOW we discipline. God will hold us parents accountable for how we discipline our children. Let us not take this lightly.
Here are some practical tips:
1. Don’t discipline when you’re angry. Let the calm parent do it.
2. Discipline in private where others cannot see.
3. Always say statements like “I love you too much not to discipline you” or “I love you too much to let you walk away from God’s blessing.”
Click here for part 2 of Discipline Myths.