5 Reasons You May Not Have Thought of to Discipline Your Child

Parenting is HARD. There’s no clocking out. There’s no “I’m tired of this job. I think I’ll look for a new one.” There’s not even sick days for cryin’ out loud. It’s all day, every day. Holidays. Breaks. Nights Weekends. It’s tiring. So believe me, I get it. I can barely make it into bed at night. Which translates to not washing my face. Which means eventually my skin is going to look like something along the lines of an elephant’s ankle. (It’s a good thing God made me a writer.)

Devotional Scripture: Exodus 20:12
Key Verse: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

And you better believe I will blame my children! (Do you see these wrinkles? You put them there!) (Just kidding.) (Maybe.)

But tiredness is not a Biblically mandated excuse for not doing my job as a parent. Actually, there are no excuses. “Children obey your parents” – the fifth commandment – yeah, it’s on us.

(Side note: If you’re just joining us we’ve been making our way through the book of Exodus and we’re currently in chapter 20 – The Ten Commandments. Click HERE if you’d like to go back and start with the first commandment. Or click HERE if you are in need of a laugh and would like to read my take on motherhood. Or click HERE if you’d like to subscribe and never miss another Deeper Devo. I don’t promise all fun, all the time. But I do promise honesty and truth and a deeper look at the Scriptures. Or feel free to ignore me, and just keep reading. I ignore me all the time.)

Anyway, my job as a parent isn’t to make my children happy. It’s not even to successfully get them through another day. (Though I do see that as a nice byproduct.) No, my job as a parent is to raise responsible God-fearing adults.

And the bottom line is, they aren’t going to get there on their own. For some reason we’ll go through great pains to train a puppy but our kids? Eh, they’ll catch on eventually. (No they won’t.) We have to teach them to do so. We have to, dare I say it, discipline. There, I said it.

And here, my friend, are five reasons to motivate us to do so…           

  1. It shows them love.

I know it sounds like the opposite of love, but discipline is a facet love. Which is why God says he disciplines those whom He loves (His children).

Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”

So to NOT discipline my children is to NOT love them to the best of my ability. I do them a disservice every time they do wrong and I choose to ignore it.

Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof gives wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”

To discipline (in an appropriate and loving manner mind you) is to teach them the way to life, but to not discipline is to put them on a path of futility.

Proverbs 12:1 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (Sometimes the Bible just says it like it is.)

  1. You will gain their respect.

I respect those who say they’re going to do something and then do it. And you know what, it’s the same with our kids. When we follow through with expectations – it harbors respect in their hearts.

Hebrews 12:9 “Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?”

But when we don’t follow through. When we lack consistency. When we lay the boundaries out and they choose to cross them, yet no consequences follow, they may be relieved in the moment but with time, respect will wane because we didn’t mean what we said.

Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to you heart.” Because his/her respect will run deep.

  1. It shows them the Father.

Hebrews 12:6 “For the Lord disciples the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

If God disciplines those he loves because they are his sons and daughters, yet we don’t discipline our children, what does that teach them? Honestly, I’m afraid to answer. But I know one thing, it certainly doesn’t mimic the LORD.

God is not mean. We’re not to be mean. God is love and in his goodness, corrects (when necessary) with discipline. Not to get back at us. Not to make us sad but for the purpose of keeping us on a path that will give us the best life possible. And don’t we want the same for our kids?

  1. It reveals the Father in them.

Hebrews 12:10 says God disciplines us for our good, “that we may share his holiness.”

Discipline is character training.

Proverbs 23:13-14 (NLT) says, “Don’t fail to discipline your children. The rod of punishment won’t kill them. Physical discipline may well save them from death.”

Because left to ourselves we won’t walk in the light, as God is in the light. We’ll walk in the ways of darkness. A path I don’t want for my children!

Proverbs 22:15 says, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”

It’s not natural for our kids to do what’s right. In fact, it’s not natural for any of us. (“The heart is deceitful above all things.” – Jeremiah 17:9) Which is why over and over in Scripture we’re instructed to “Abide in Him.” “Take every thought captive.” “Flee from evil.” If the Apostle Paul struggled to do what is right and not wrong, how much more will our kids?

So we discipline, that they too might be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1).

  1. In the end, it will bring them joy.

We all want our kids to be happy right? We want what’s best for them. But what’s best for them is what’s best for us – living within God’s parameters. Not so we’ll be confined, but so we’ll thrive!

Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.”

And the way of life, leads to blessing!

Psalm 94:12 “Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and who you teach out of your law.”

Job 5:17 “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.”

The word blessed means happy. Why is the person who is disciplined happy? Because discipline leads to righteousness, which leads to blessing, which leads to joy. And oh my do I want my kids to be happy!

As you ponder these truths remember this – “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

It may seem hard now, but here’s the promise. Later, it will yield fruit of righteousness. And that my friend, is enough reason for me.

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What I Will Teach My Children in an Upside Down World

This week…we take a break from Genesis to have us a little chat. Instead of Abraham, what happened this week was some soul searching. Friday’s Supreme Court ruling shook me. My heart ached for my children. My sweet imagelittle one’s still so innocent. How am I to teach them in this upside down world? In a culture contrary to Biblical standards? How am I to do this? And I felt God’s gentle encouragement prod my aching heart. Teach them truth. Simply teach them truth. Teach them I am Sovereign. Teach them to love me with all their heart, mind, and soul. Love me Stacey…teach them to love me.

So I declare to you today as a memorial to my God exactly what I will teach them. Please stand with me. Declare it with me. Don’t let me stand alone. Let us teach them… That the LORD God is the Creator God; the Sovereign and Holy God; the Almighty One. He is the only true God. The Living God. He is love and because he loved the world so much he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, (who is God, who is from the beginning, who holds all things together and spoke all things into existence because he himself is the Word) to die on the cross in our place. To be our Savior because we need a Savior. We are sinners every one of us. Big selfish sinners. We deserve eternal separation from God in hell but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ we can have eternal life in Heaven with God. It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone that we can be reconciled to God. Not by my own works. No, not by works. (Though works are evidence of true faith.) This…this I will declare to my children.

I will teach them that the Bible is not man made. It is the inspired Word of God. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). John 1:14 declares Jesus himself is the Word. In reference to Jesus Revelation 19:13 declares “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” So to twist, change, slander, curse, or malign the Bible is to malign the very King of Kings himself. The Bible is truth. Jesus is truth. Anything and everything that does not align itself with Scripture is wrong. Run from it! Take a stand against it. Uphold God’s Word. Know it. Live by it. Keep it. And in this you will be blessed. Abiding in God’s Word, keeping his commandments, is the secret to a life full of joy (John 15:10-11). This…this I will declare to my children.

imageI will teach them that God made us male and female for his glory and purposes. He designed marriage to be between one man and one woman. (God defined marriage. We have not the right to redefine it.) God says homosexuality is sin. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22). I will teach them homosexuality is wrong. And it’s ok to name it as such. It’s not intolerant. It’s not mean. It’s truth. But to be fair homosexuality is not the only sexual sin. Sex outside of marriage, pornography, adultery, rape, incest. All of it…is SIN. And God can have nothing to do with sin. Anyone continually practicing such sin CANNOT have a relationship with God. God is holy. God and sin cannot mix. Yet forgiveness can be found through faith in Jesus Christ. But there must be repentance. There must be a turning from sin to be reconciled to God. We are to be holy as he is holy (1 Peter 1:16). In Christ we put off the old self which is corrupt through deceitful desires, “and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). God is holy! God and sin do not mix! This…this I will declare to my children.

I will teach them that idolatry (putting anything or anyone before God), slander, obscene talk, misusing the Lord’s name, disrespect, coveting, lying, gossip, etc…is all sin. Even tantrums are sin. Any act of defiance against God is sin. (Not just homosexuality) But we live in a world that no longer recognizes sin for what it really is. And has justified it. But we must not. Though we will be called intolerant. Though we may face persecution. Do not fear the world. Fear God! For it is he who judges impartially (1 Peter 1:17). And if you suffer for righteousness sake know that you will be blessed (1 Peter 3:14). God honors those who honor him (1 Sam. 2:30). This…this I will declare to my children.

I will teach them the life they live now matters. The choices they make have eternal significance. Jesus is going to return. He is coming to reward those who revere him and judge those who do not. He warned us “on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37). “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). Judgment is coming. Therefore live in light of eternity. Live for God! You will not regret it. I promise you…you will not regret it. This…this I will declare to my children.

I will teach them the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39). Toimage love God is to keep his commandments (John 14:15). And to love your neighbor is to speak TRUTH in love with gentleness and respect. True love does not approve of sin; nor celebrate it. True love confronts sin for what it is that all people (no matter race, gender, religion, political association, past or present sin) may know salvation in Jesus Christ. True love is not a matter of tolerating sin but exposing it that every man, woman, and child may repent and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. This is love. This I will declare to my children.

Oh sweet little ones. I pray you will stand for truth. I pray you will stand for Christ. I pray you will honor him no matter the cost. I pray you will love the Lord with all your heart. I pray you will love your neighbor by speaking truth. I pray you will remain strong in the Word. Unshaken. Unmoved by a world arrayed in opposition to God. Be strong little ones. Be courageous. Be bold. Be truthful. It’s ok to be truthful for He is truth. In an upside down world, this is what I will teach my children.image