Discipline Dilemmas

After reading articles over the last few weeks about how parents have abandoned traditional ways of discipline, it has caused us to look at the direct correlation and obvious impact this departure has had on our society.  Our jail houses are busting at the seams and kids are more selfish, disrespectful, materialistic, and bratty.  Hopefully none of your kids were described in the last sentence, but we have to do some serious re-evaluating if we believe that our job as parents doesn’t include discipline.

We hear the scripture Spare the rod; spoil the child so often, but do we really know what it means.  Generally speaking, the text was referring to the rod of correction.  Some think it is synonymous with spanking, but you can spank without giving correction and neither is effective.  Some use spanking as a means of abuse and that should not to be tolerated.  Abuse is a subject thrown around too loosely and has appropriate negative connotations.  Many do not feel that spanking is abuse but we believe that many parents have hit a point in their discipline where they have questioned its necessity.

As believers, we are to acknowledge God in all our ways and especially when raising and disciplining our children.  We can also ask God to help us understand our children and therefore understand which way would be the most effective way to discipline.  I’ll use myself as an example.  Growing up my parents believed in spanking and although it was used as a form of discipline it was not created equal in its delivery.  My parents had three different children with three very different personalities.  As far as disciplined was concerned, we all responded to it differently.  In my house, my dad was the primary disciplinarian and my mom always upheld whatever ruling was passed down concerning punishments.  I am and always have been quite talkative and opinionated and all too often my opinions tended to slide right out my mouth with little concern for the consequences that would follow soon after.  I had a strong will and although I have seen God use that for good I can say with assurance that it didn’t always help me walk in obedience.  Time out and talks just didn’t work for me and my parents tried.  However, I can recall an incident in the 4th grade where my mouth had gotten me in trouble and I ended up in the principal’s office.  Unfortunately, for me anyway, the principle had been a longtime family friend and promptly called my parents to explain the situation.  My dad did a surprise visit and escorted me from my classroom to the principal’s office and excused the principle to administer some loving, but firm touches on the backside.  Needless to say that after being sent back to my class with little recovery time that never happened in my school career again!

Discipline Dilemmas

Am I saying that you should spank your child, NO.  I am saying that you should KNOW your child well enough to distinguish whether or not your current form of discipline is effective and if it isn’t, then you should make some changes.  God disciplines those that he loves and we are to be no different, especially when it comes to our children.  Sparing the rod has far too many consequences and we do have to give an account for how we raised our children.  Consistent discipline is an act of love not abuse.

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