Discipline, Discernment, and Direction
In the last two weeks, I have begun to share with you a Biblically based strategy entitled “TRAIN” for raising Godly children and building a Kingdom family. As you recall, the “T” stood for “Transcendent Purpose and Big Picture and the “R” stood for a “Heart and Reverence for God and the Foundation of Honor and Respect.”
The “A” portion of the strategy stands for “A 3D Strategy Called Discipline, Discernment, and Direction.” The idea behind this portion of the strategy is that Biblical discipline in the lives of our children will produce discernment and direction in their lives. Ephesians 6:4 tells us to bring our children “up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” We are to bring them to maturity. Specifically, this idea of Biblical maturity would include training them in self-control, wisdom, and responsibility. Our children learning self-control will give them favor with God and responsibility will give them favor with man.
What should be the Biblical goals for discipline? First, discipline should cause them to have a proper attitude and respect. Second, it should cause them to take responsibility for what they have done. Next, it should cause them to submit to the consequences of their actions. It will also seek to correct unbroken rebellion. Finally, the goal for us as parents is to know when to use discipline.
I have separated my children’s disobedience into two categories over the years to help guide me in how to discipline them. First, there is willful and intentional disobedience. They clearly knew in this situation what they were doing and chose willfully to disobey. The Book of Proverbs addresses this in many places such as 13:24, 29:15, 29:17, 19:18, 23:13, and 22:15. With willful disobedience, I always created a more severe consequence such as spanking when they were small.
The second category I have used is that of “thoughtless disobedience”. These are times when they are disobedient through carelessness or impulsive, irresponsible acts. In these situations, I always wanted to create a consequence that relates to the failure. For instance, if the toys were left out I might suspend the use of the toys for a time period or if laziness was the issue they might receive additional chores.
Following a Biblical model for discipline will produce discernment and direction in the lives of our children. Hebrews 5:14 tells us that “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”In other words, one of the goals we should desire for our children is that they would be good and Godly decision makers. Biblical discipline in their lives will help to instill that level of discernment in their lives.
Finally, Hebrews 12:11 reminds us that “Now no chastening for the present time seemed to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”What a promise from God that even now disciplining is not a lot of fun, but it will produce clear Biblical direction for our children that will benefit our children forever.
May God continue to bless you as you seek Him in raising your children!