“Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.” (Prov. 29:17)
One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about both the kids being on holiday school break and my wife and I being on holiday work break, is that we’ve been able to spend more time praying and talking about the Lord with them.
Different parents carry out discipline in many different ways, and I’m not here to debate the effectiveness of varied parenting styles. But Proverbs 22:6 instructs us to “train a child in the way he should go [ways of the Lord],” thus it is clearly our responsibility as parents, and specifically as men (as the spiritual leaders of the household and family) in partnership with our wives, to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. What I’ve been trying to establish in my household is discipline that follows a biblical precedent and model. Admittedly, my wife and I are still learning and often fail in achieving this consistently.
By biblical discipline, I simply mean leaning on the Word of God as our source of truth, instruction, and correction towards our children, which applies to any circumstance they may find themselves in. 2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” We would be wise to follow the clear instruction for discipline that Scripture already lays out for us.
My children have certainly brought us peace and have delighted our souls, especially the more and more we can see them going the way of the Lord. The precious time we get to spend with them praying, doing devotionals, singing praise songs, and talking about things of God, are some of the sweetest and most joyful moments of my life!
On the flip-side, Proverbs 29:15 gives us the alternative when we don’t apply biblical discipline (emphasis mine}: “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, BUT a child left to himself DISGRACES his mother [parents].”
As parents and followers of Christ, our children have been given to us by the Lord that we may be good stewards of their spiritual growth and instruction. If we leave our children to themselves– meaning we allow them to do whatever they want, we allow the world system and pop culture to define their morals and values, we depend on others to raise them as Christians and teach them “truth”, and we fail to impart Godly wisdom on them– then WE as parents are leaving and abandoning them (to themselves), resulting in a life that yields spiritual waywardness and disgrace.
All discipline of our children should be rooted in God’s love, and rooted in the hope and desire that they would avoid the path of destruction and live a life of love, joy, peace, and eternal purpose.
While parenting is much easier said than done, thank God that we have His Word and the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us! As we focus on the Lord and make Him the center of our family, He will surely lead us down paths of righteousness, and bless us with children of peace and delight!
[From December 29, 2018]