“For whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”
– Proverbs 3:12
Kids are just kids, right? Of course; but, there are behaviors and choices that must be addressed when displayed or exhibited. As my parents would say, “Behind every action, awaits a consequence or a reward. Choose wisely.” As hard as it is to deliver a consequence to a child for a bad choice, the alternative can often be even worse.
Recall the first time you felt your newborn in your arms and even in the womb. That love was pure unfiltered love. But I can recall the first time my children eventually displayed a behavior that was contrary to what I’d always taught them and it tugged my heart intensely. I’m not talking about behaviors of temper tantrums or playful night routines where they avoided bedtime. I’m talking about the first time you saw a behavior that was common to an unrepentant heart – like pride, greed, envy, or evil spirited. Without question, we love our children so very dearly and the last thing you want to do is be the reason they feel hurt or ashamed. However, when I’m tempted to forgo discipline, I must reasonably consider the most loving thing I could do for my child. Perhaps it’s a result of my upbringing, but in almost every case, the consequence is equivalent to what he has earned and reminding them, from a biblical perspective, the effects of disobedience as God designed it.
A classic example of this is reminding them of the Israelite’s struggle in the wilderness as a result of disobedience to God. In applying a consequence, it would naturally be to withhold an opportunity they’ve longed to enjoy and setting the tone that their decisions essentially affected the duration of the consequence. A good consequence, delivered with empathy, demonstrates love and respect for you child’s freedom to choose and his/her ability to learn from the consequence of a bad decision. Hebrews 12:11 says it well:
It’s incredibly important to pray for your children. Especially when they begin to adopt behaviors unfamiliar to what they’ve been exposed to in the home. There should always be an affirmative understanding, as appropriate to their age, when guiding and teaching them. Children are vulnerable to curiosity – so what ever it is you shield from them may strike interest when exposed elsewhere. Ensure their understanding is solid when building upon their foundation for Kingdom living.
I’d love to hear from you! YES… you! As parents in general, we tend to incorporate discipline, whether necessary or not, based on our personal experiences growing up along with what we find specific to our children. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’ve found most single parents apprehensive to discuss and/or even expose what discipline actually looks like in their home. Describe your experiences disciplining your children in love, particularly as a single parent. Share your comments below. Feel free to ask questions as well or spark up a conversation. Your story may just reveal to someone else that they are not alone.
Stay prayed up and be blessed!