I was reading from How to Raise Good Kids by Barbara Cook again this morning, and I wanted to share some thoughts that sprung from that reading.
The nature of children- do you think that we are born naturally good? Naturally evil? Do we really need discipline from our parents- and when- in the teenage years?
The Bible has some clear things to say in answer to all those questions. See verses below:
Proverbs 22:15- Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 29:15- The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
Pr. 19:18- Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. (KJV)
Pr. 19:18 NIV- Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.
Chasten: to correct by punishment or suffering: discipline, to restrain; subdue, to rid of excess; refine or purify.
I love what the definition says at the end, refine or purify.
I am not advocating spanking (that’s a decision for each family to make)- but I am advocating discipline- because God’s Word is very clear that our children need it- and if they don’t get it- there are some heavy consequences.
Now, the zinger from my reading this morning- she starts the chapter by directing things toward me, the Mom, instead of my children. Am I rebellious in my life? Am I proud of times I rebelled in the past?
Do I criticize authority figures or people in leadership such as the pastor of my church, the president, and my boss?
Am I respectful to my husband or do I berate and argue with him in front of my children?
She says, and I agree, our children know when we have a rebellious spirit- and our words are empty- they have no impact- because they do not see that truth lived out in our lives.
So, today, I encourage you to honestly examine conversations that you have with your spouse or friends- when you talk on the phone. Do you respect authority? How do you talk about those in leadership in your community?
I pray that we will continually take inventory of our lives, and pray that God will open our eyes to the sin that may be keeping us from being an effective witness for Him to our children. That we will submit to God, draw near to Him, and ask for Him to forgive us and help us walk in obedience to His Word and His will.
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction
will be at home among the wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD,
and humility comes before honor.
Hebrews 12:4-13 In the NIV the title of this section is: God disciplines His Children
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.