KINGDOM PARENTING - "Effective Discipline"
One of the great struggles of being a parent that I have personally experienced is that of knowing when and how to discipline my children. As we began the year, I mentioned to you that I wanted to raise my children along the guidelines of Luke 2:52 which gave us the model by which Jesus was raised.
That verse declares: "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." I wanted to discipline my children in such a way as to grow the characteristics of wisdom, stature, favor with God, and favor with man into my kids lives. I also wanted to do as Ephesians 6:4 declares and "provoke not my children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
All of that sounds so simple but believe me it has been anything but simple. However, from these verses and other verses, God gave me some nuggets that I believe could be helpful to you as they were to me in the area of discipline.
God has given me passages such as Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 29:15-17, and Hebrews 12:7-11 as guideposts for the importance and types of discipline to use with my children. These verses talk of the importance of correction in our children's lives including spanking at the appropriate ages and times.
As a practical application, God has shown me to put discipline into two buckets as a tool for when and how to discipline my children. The first bucket is what I would call willful or intentional disobedience. That is when our children deliberately and intentionally do something they know to be wrong. This type of disobedience I believe requires a more severe approach in our disciplinary approach.
The second bucket God gave me is that of thoughtless disobedience. That is when our children do things that are irresponsible, careless, or without thinking that require us to still provide correction. It could be as simple as not doing their household chores which may require us to correct them by adding chores to their list. In other words, create a consequence that relates to the failure in this bucket.
The goal of both of these buckets is best explained by Hebrews 12:11 which states that "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening it is painful. But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained this way."
I pray that these Biblical truths will be a blessing to you as you raise your children. I know how hard it is personally to discipline and worry if I am doing it right. I have heard my pastor say many times that parenting is indeed the hardest job of all and about the time you have it figured out they are grown!