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::Devotional:: ‘Loved Through Discipline’

October 23, 2009

Being a teacher I see a lot of things from week to week.  I see students who blatantly break rules while others slyly bend them just a little bit.  I see students who fear and respect the authorities over them while others could care less.  I guess you could say I see the good, the bad, and even sometimes the ugly.  It is a wide range of behavior and its rather easy to trace it back to their upbringing. Typically, if a student is struggling with behavior at school they are also struggling with behavior at home.  I know I don’t have children yet and someone may dismiss my comments because of my lack of experience, but I am convinced that children crave discipline and boundaries.  In other words, they want to be loved through discipline.

There are always extremes and I’m a firm believer that extremes are danger zones no matter which way you lean.  Being extremely dogmatic and overbearing is as dangerous as being extremely liberal and passive.  However, somewhere in the middle ground there is a balance where discipline and rules express a parent’s love and protection for their child.

The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, who asked God to grant him miraculous wisdom wrote this about discipline:

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.  Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.  Proverbs 23:13-14

This is not an endorsement for child abuse but it is an encouragement towards disciplining children at home.  Growing up I had a healthy fear of my parents.  I was scared of being punished, I was scared of getting in trouble, and discipline is something that I knew was a healthy part of our home.  I knew the boundaries, I knew when I broke them, and I knew what to expect from my parents.  All of that combined steered me clear of a lot of things.  I was no angel by any means and broke my fair share of rules, but discipline kept me out of trouble.

Parents need to discipline their kids, plain and simple.  It is much easier to start when they are very young than it is to institute a new form a discipline when they are teenagers.  Regardless, it needs to be done.  It is part of preparing them for the road of life ahead of them.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7- 

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