Discipline. It's important. But why is it important?
Seriously. Why is it so important?
Why is it necessary that we as parents take seriously the practice of discipline?
The writer of Proverbs says,
"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." Proverbs 3:11-12 NIV
I love this verse mostly because of what verse 12 says, 'because the Lord disciplines those he loves...'
The question is, Why is it important that we discipline our kids? The answer is, because we love them.
As we think about raising our kids, one of the greatest demonstrations of our love for them is in our discipline. Believe it or not, discipline is an expression of our love for our kids. We love our kids when we discipline them properly.
The image is quite simple and beautiful. The writer creates the picture of a father loving his children. How? By instructing them. Remember, discipline is the process of teaching.
The father disciples his children out of a love for them. He teaches them. He rebukes them. He instructs them. He points them in the path they are to go and lets them go. When they step off the path, he corrects their and get them on the path again. And he does it because he loves them.
We love our kids. By walking beside them we have the opportunity to teach them, rebuke them, and instruct them. By not doing so, we set them up for years of struggle and frustration.
We often step back and look at what we see happening in the lives of kids; whether locally, in the news, as portrayed in TV and movies, and even in our own home. Too often we see the evidence of entitlement, selfishness, rudeness, discontentment, jealousy, and selfrighteousness, among others, in the lives of children. Now I can't scientifically prove that these and other characteristics like these are the result of the lack of discipline. As I said, we still see these ugly traits in our own kids. And to be honest, I think we still these characteristics in ourselves. Sin is sin, and it is a nasty plague that will haunt us until the day we are made perfect. But what I am suggesting is, if we love our children and if we want them to be exhibit behavors that are good and right, than we must be committed to applying discipline to lives of our kids.
But more than simply making discipline an issue for our kids, we too much come to terms with the discipline that comes in our own lives. Like I said, sin is sin, and we as adults and parents can require discipline just as much as our kids. The Proverbs writer is speaking here to his son. Notice the wording carefully. The warning isn't, "Son, do not despise MY discipline, and do not resent MY rebuke..." It's the LORD's discipline and rebuke that the son is to welcome. The father is telling his son that the discipline of the Lord is to be received, welcomed, and applied.
Discipline is a tool, not a punishment. It's the gentle, loving hand of God, leading us in the way that we should go. As we think about how we raise our children, the discipline we choose to apply should be modeled after how God is discipling us, with love.
So go and love your kids.
- the higham family
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