I recently skimmed a book titled “Do The Hard Things.” It gave me an idea for a series of blogs that I hope will be helpful to you as we struggle together to lead our kids spiritually. Parenting is not easy. As rewarding as it can be, it can also be a dog. If we are going to parent biblically you and I are going to have to do the hard things required of us. Perhaps the first hard thing is the process of disciplining our children. What’s so hard about it? For one, it never ends. Parental discipline is a responsibility given to us by God for the sake of the next generation. At the heart of the word discipline is the action of discipleship. When we discipline we are simply teaching our kids how to live life God’s way. God is a God of discipline. He disciplines us as a Father should discipline His own sons and daughters. (Deuteronomy 8:5 and Psalm 94:12) Take a quick look at what Proverbs has to say about discipline.
- Discipline your son for in that there is hope (Pr.19:18)
- Do not withhold discipline from a child (Pr.23:13)
- He who heeds discipline shows the way to life (Pr.10:17)
- Discipline your son and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul (Pr.29:17)
If you have a minute just look up discipline in the back of your Bible. You will find countless scriptures about the necessity and benefits of discipline. We should take our cue as parents from God the Father who disciplines those he loves.
The process is arduous to say the least. You sometimes feel as if you are saying the same things over and over again. But then again how many times has God had to tell you the same things over and over again. Do the hard thing, don’t stop.
You want the best for them. You don’t want them to hurt or experience loss, even if it is only their favorite video game. Think about how God deals with you. There is always a consequence to sin. God acts in grace but he disciplines those He loves. He does not want you to experience hurt or loss either. That’s why he gives us the 10 Commandments…to help us avoid all of the hurt and loss. When you think about it, haven’t the times you have experience hurt and loss been some of the most amazing times of growth? God uses the consequence of our own decisions to discipline or disciple us. To help us walk in a better way. If we love our kids, we will discipline them when they sin. In the discipline they find growth, a better way to walk, and a model of the Father if done in love and grace. Do the hard thing, let them learn by experiencing consequences.
Angela and I were talking the other night about the most important things regarding discipline. In our experience and based on our understanding of Scripture here are the hard things we must do to discipline effectively.
Correct in Love.
Discipline the heart more than punish the behavior.
Don’t let any blatant offense go undisciplined (even if we are really tired).
Reward the positive more than we correct the negative.
Pray for wisdom.
Never give up. God never gives up in his discipline of me.
Revisit the process of discipline in your home. Maybe you need to tweak, or change, or start. On February 7 we will offer a seminar at Parent Summit (www.kingsland.org) called Parenting is Heart Work. That would be a great place to get some practical help. Do the Hard things! Discipline your children.