Dare To Discipline

    About The silliest thing that we ever say to our children is, “Do you want a whipping?” Can you imagine one of our kids, looking up at us and with a smile saying, “Yes Daddy, I’m been waiting all day for you to come home and just whip up on me!”
    The Word of God is very plain on this subject. It is largely ignored in our present culture. “Now no discipline (chastening, correction or reproof) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yeildeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby” (Hebrew 12:11).
    No parent, in their right mind, rejoices when one of their children is wrong and must be corrected or disciplined. Two votes are against discipline of any kind. (1) You don’t want to discipline kids, and (2) they don’t want to be corrected or disciplined. It is just easier to let things go… to allow ‘boys to be boys’, ‘girls to be girls’ and ‘kids to be kids’. We all want better children, and we, as parent, want to do a better job. This still does not overcome our general dislike for discipline… either giving or receiving it.
    Yet, in our culture today, it tends to be the missing dimension… the silent solution. We are admonished in the Word, repeatedly, to consistently ‘dare to discipline’. Words from the wise King Solomon are important. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father and forsake not the law of thy mother; for they shall be an ornament of grace about thy head and chains about thy neck. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction (correction that is firm but not brutal) will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 1:8-9; 22:15).
    What happens if the father gives no instructions and there is no law (rules) that come from the mother? What happens to a child that ‘knows no boundaries? Instructions give directions and law gives limits or boundaries. Instructions and laws provide four things for the child to help guide them through the early part of life.
    (1) Instructions and laws PROHIBIT. It limits a child for their own safety and good. Fire burns, water drowns, height can kill. Simple rules, simple terms, simply boundaries. They need to know them for THEIR OWN GOOD. (2) Instructions and laws PROVIDE. We are a nation of laws and they have a positive side as well as negative. You have no right to drive an automobile. It is a privilege, protected by laws. A fence has two sides to it. Instructions that prohibit also provide. Boundaries show you what you can do as well as what you can’t do. (3) Instructions and laws give PROMISE. The apostle Paul writes “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayeth live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-2). A good life of discipline offers the promise of a long life well lived. (4) Instructions and laws PROTECT. The same laws that indict – PROTECTS. Freedom and responsibilities are based on instructions and laws. If our kids are “going to hell in a basket” it is because we have failed to understand and promulgate these simple principles.
    Discipline is a rare gift. It is born of love and extended through care. It cares little of ‘being liked’, but it will be loved and honored and respected. To dare to discipline is not good enough. It must be lived by example, and administered in love and consistency. Never again threaten with words (“Do you want a whipping?) Just correct yourself and your children with love and patience and do it consistently.
    On a personal note: My Mother and Dad always used a switch AT LAST RESORT. First, there was a review of the problem involved. “Tell me what happened”, Dad would say. I would give the best of a defense that was available. Generally it was insufficient. Next question. “Do you think what you did was right or wrong?” Almost without exception my answer was right when I said “wrong”. “What do you think we ought to do about this”, Dad would say. I was my own ‘executioner’. “I should be grounded one week”. This was my parent way of allowing me to ‘teach myself’. But when no other solution available, Dad would pick out a switch off the old pine tree and get to the seat of the problem. This was before we had ‘government intervention’. The correction or discipline or whatever you want to call it was effective. It cleared the air, settled the problem, and drew me closer to my loving parents. Now that “Afterwards” has come, I can look back on those days of training with joy and the feeling “my parents REALLY cared about me. ‘Boot-camp wasn’t easy but it sure paid off.

Share Button

Leave a Reply