Raising up children can be a difficult thing. I remember as a kid I said that I would never do some of the things my parents did. Well, I did end up doing some of the things my parents did. It isn’t until you have children of your own that you see why your parents did the things they do. The Bible has a lot of great wisdom contained in it for bringing up your children. The Holy Spirit can also help you raise your children. Other Christian parents are also a great resource for wisdom on dealing with your children. In other words, you are not alone. Both of my children were very different. We sometimes had to use different approaches when it came to disciplining them. All children need disciplined at one time or another. No child is perfect. Some will test you until you have reached your last straw of control. Even if you don’t have children yet, or just help baby sit others kids, some good planning and training ahead of time can be of benefit. For example, knowing what the Bible says will be a good place to start. Here are three great verses that teach us some wisdom about disciplining children:
Proverbs 13:24 - The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Proverbs 19:18 - Discipline your son while there is hope; don’t be intent on killing him.
Proverbs 22:15 - Foolishness is tangled up in the heart of a youth; the rod of discipline will drive it away from him.
Some parents and some parts of society/culture think that children should be allowed lots of choices and freedom. That they will naturally do what is good for them or learn from their mistakes. The first thing parents or caretakers for children need to remember is that we are all born with a sinful nature and none of us are ever going to naturally do what is good for us and many of us don’t learn from our mistakes. The Bible teaches us that if we love our children we will discipline them, just like God disciplines us. It is out of love that we show them what is right and wrong. We want to protect them and show them the safer and better way to go. In the next scripture we see that if we let a child go their own way, we may get so stressed that we get to the point we just want to shake them and wake them up. I know my teenagers sometimes pushed me to the limit. Not that I would want to kill them literally. This verse is really making more the point that when someone keeps going down the wrong path in life it is like you are the one helping them to harm themselves. It’s like intending to kill them when you don’t help them or getting them going in the direction that is safe. In the last verse we see the age old concept that young people are fearless and may make foolish decisions based on their lack of experience or wisdom. Sometimes kind words of wisdom are not enough and they need to be warned much more strongly. Yes, even the rod of discipline might be needed with some personalities. For different children that rod may look very different. It might be grounding, no TV or an actual rod, etc.
People are afraid to discipline thinking that their child won’t love them, but in reality discipline will keep them safer and they will still love you. Sometimes we were strong with our kids, but they always knew where we stood and in the end still loved us. They can look back on things now and understand why we did the things we did. So use the wisdom of discipline to improve your child’s life and future.