Weird: Parenting – Day 4 of 5
Father: “You always do stuff like this. He’s going to continue to do these kinds of things and get away with it if we never correct him, you know.”
Mother: “All he did was push his brother. He didn’t even do it hard. There is such a thing as rough and tumble play.”
Father: “Yes, I do know. Now ask the one that was pushed if he thought it was play or not.”
Mother: “You’re being ridiculous. They’re boys. Boys will be boys.”
Father: “Yes, boys will be boys. But they have to be taught how to behave properly. If I did that I’d get fired. If he did that with another child at school, he’d get kicked out of school.”
Mother: “You’re blowing this way out of proportion. He didn’t do it at school. He did it here at home, and it really wasn’t a big deal.”
Father: “Again, ask his brother if he thought it was a big deal.”
Mother: “Maybe he just needs to learn to sometimes bad things happen. You’re really taking this too seriously.”
Father: “Look. I really think we need to be on the same page on how to discipline the boys. And I really think it would be a bad idea to just let them get away with things like this.”
Mother: “I want to be on the same page, too. But you’re too rough on them.”
Father: “So do you think we can find a middle ground somewhere?”
Mother: “We’ve been down this road before. I’m not sure we can.”
Father: “Well we can’t just keep giving them a free pass like this. We just can’t.”
Mother: “It’s not a free pass!”
Father: “Then what’s your suggestion? How should he be punished?”
Mother: “He shouldn’t.”
Father: “Not giving him a free pass, indeed.”
. . . . .
The Scriptures make it clear that children are to be disciplined. Hebrews 12:11 says, 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way (NLT).
Verses such as these, and others throughout the Proverbs, encourage the use of discipline in the training up of children. These verses were not written as a way to justify harming a child in any way, and must be understood in the manner they were written – that children must be disciplined when doing wrong.
Most importantly, it’s necessary that both parents be on the same page when it comes to how to discipline their children. For one child, one form of discipline may work well. For another, it may take something more creative. Nevertheless, parents need to work together and regularly be on the same page.
Read: Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 13:24; 23:13-15; 3:11-12; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:21;
Questions to consider:
- Read Hebrews 12:5-11. In what ways has God disciplined His children (i.e. the people of Israel, or others)?
- In what ways has God disciplined you as one of His children?
- Read Proverbs 3:11-12; 13:24; 23:13-15. What is the main principle being taught in these passages?
- In what ways were you disciplined as a child that worked? In what ways were you disciplined as a child that only caused anger and bitterness, and not godliness?
- Are you and your spouse currently on the same page when it comes to how to discipline each of your children? (In what ways are you on the same page? In what ways are you not?)
- We should never discipline out of anger, but out of love. Do you find it difficult sometimes to not let your anger direct your discipline?
Father, I know that Your Word teaches the importance of disciplining children. I pray today that You will reveal to my spouse and I the ways we can best discipline our children – not to bring them to anger, but to bring them to understand Your ways and Your love. It is our sincere desire that our children will know You, trust You, and fear You, and we commit today our willingness to do whatever Your Word asks us to do for our children to follow You. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.