Love and Discipline

The concept of disciplining children has become a very controversial issue in today’s world. Some are for physical discipline and others are totally against it and use only “time out” methods. Others just leave their children to learn from the world so they’ll be stronger and able to live above it. Regardless of the reason, when you love your children you know the value of discipline and how proper discipline will mold their character.

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 that we should train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.

So, as Christian parents it’s our responsibility to teach our children about Jesus and the values of God. It’s our commission to train them in the Word and teach them how to read and study the Bible so they can become  knowledgeable in the things of the Lord. And the purpose of this is so they will get saved and serve the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and body.

But this path isn’t a simple one, and we know that raising children comes with a whole set of trials that can literally challenge every parenting skill we have. One thing about being a Christian parent is that it keeps us in a constant state of prayer as we present ongoing situations to the Lord and ask for His wisdom and guidance through them.

We do all this because we love our children and we want to make sure that they walk that narrow path and don’t follow the worldly flock along the wide path. Our purpose as parents is to be the intercessor for them as we physically train them to be like Jesus.

We know that if we slack off with our responsibility the world will pick up the reigns and lead them away from God. So, we watch carefully and work them but every once in a while we’ll be at a place where we have to stop our children and discipline them for their disobedience. And we do this because we love them – not because we’re angry and not because we need to show them who’s boss.

We can’t ignore them when they need to be corrected, but on the other hand we can’t become abusive and heartless beings, either. We need to have our own values in check at all times so that we discipline for correction and teach them the principles of repentance and forgiveness. We want our children to learn through the disciplinary issues of this life what it means to serve the Lord.

When we love the Lord, we’ll also love our children and we’ll raise them to have love and respect for God, and for people. And when love is the basis for our discipline, then we don’t have to worry that we’re being cruel or unfair and we don’t need to feel as if we have to justify our actions to anyone, because the only one we answer to is God.

There are many types of rods of discipline and each parent knows which one is best for their children. The key issue is to be consistent at all times so that the children know that they will be disciplined if they disobey the rules we set out for them. Our focus is always on the Lord and we need to keep our children focused on the Lord. And we do it all because we know that sometimes love requires discipline.

He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”  Proverbs 13:24

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