Hey folks once again I hope all is well in your home and in your spiritual lives. I am continuing a series I started on Monday about the family. Today I will continue the discussion on Child Discipline. Please go back and read yesterday’s post on what discipline is not and see what else was written if you missed it. If you don’t read the first post you may miss some things we are looking at in scripture.
We finished yesterday on misconception that you can get control of your children when they are older. If you know anything about kids you will know this is a myth. Get control early or they just get worse, not better in their behavior. Let’s move on to the next topic in child discipline.
MISCONCEPTION: CRYING IS TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS
Do you feel bad when your child cries? I know I did. I hated to spank them or get on to them about things because they get upset and cried. Here is the problem; if you give in when they cry you are being manipulated. Yes, I said manipulated. Children are masters at getting their way. If you have a soft heart and refuse to make them behave, or go to bed, or eat their spinach when they cry, you are being a sucker. They just got their way and you were left looking like an idiot because they were crying. I know that may sound harsh and you may not want to squash their sensitive little hearts, but you are being conned. Consider this verse.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. (Emphasis added) This one says it better in the King James.
If you won’t punish them when they cry how do you expect them to realize their sin and repent? Your children are controlling you if you allow that. Natural crying will stop in a few minutes. It will leave the child quiet and reserved for a little while. Fake crying, mad crying are used to play on your fears and mold you into doing exactly what the child wants. This fake or mad cry will also not result in a quieter reserved attitude. It will show itself by a quick recovery and moving on to play or whatever the child wanted to begin with. Don’t play their games.
MISCONCEPTION: MY CHILD IS NATURALLY GOOD
I could give you a whole book on the natural depravity of human beings including children. Children are indeed innocent, but they also are born with a sin nature that leads them to do wrong as soon as they are able. Children naturally know how to be selfish, rebels, liars, and manipulators. It is the sin nature and while you may think it is cute now, it will lead to worse behaviors if you don’t deal with it now. Their two-sided nature is called foolishness in the Bible. Consider this verse.
Proverbs 22:15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away. (NLT)
I can remember there were two classes of parents and teachers when they came to me about my children. They either hesitated to tell me because I am a preacher or they couldn’t wait to see the downfall of the child of a religious leader. I knew my kids could be wrong and I erred on the side of the one who told me most of the time, but I always investigated before I punished. The greatest epidemic we face today though is parents with perfect children. Don’t fool yourself into believing little Johnnie or Jennifer can do no wrong. The Bible says your child has foolishness bound in their heart and correction is the cure. Too many parents would rather protect the disease (foolishness) than help the child (by correcting them).
MISCONCEPTION: SPANKING IS HARMFUL TO CHILDREN
Do you think that behind is padded for no reason? I am not saying spanking can’t be harmful, but then you are beating, not spanking. The idea that spanking is harmful is a teaching straight from Satan himself. Failure to discipline our children is destroying the social fabric of our society. Have you heard about all the bullying stories? They are the result of no discipline in the life of the bully. Here is what God says about it.
Proverbs 23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
You won’t kill a child by spanking and you won’t damage them. There is a lot more to say here, but I will move on to finish our discussion today.
MISCONCEPTION: MY CHILD’S BEHAVIOR AND SPIRITUAL CONDITION ARE SEPARATE
Uhh…, no! Your child’s behavior and spiritual condition are inseparably tied together. An unruly child is not well-managed and will not be likely to hear the Word of God. Take a look at the verse that says it directly.
Proverbs 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (KJV)
Here again the King James Version is clearer. If you don’t spank your child, you may sentence them to Hell. I don’t know about you, but that is pretty scary stuff. This brings a new perspective to salvation. You are either bringing them closer to Christ or you are putting things (lack of discipline) in the way. A child’s earliest perception of God is that of a parent, usually the father. If you act like you don’t care and refuse to discipline, the child will think God doesn’t care and won’t punish them. Likewise, if you beat your child and are really harsh, their perception of God is the same. Be careful you have more of an impact than you realize. Even handed, loving discipline will give them a balanced view of God and prepare them to accept Christ as savior. If they won’t submit to you, they will have a difficult time submitting to God.
MISCONCEPTION: CHILDREN WILL GROW OUT OF REBELLION
Children do have a rebellious streak in them. It begins when they are born and continues through adulthood. We are all rebellious, sinful, by nature, but it is not a stage, it is a way of life. If you refuse to deal with rebellion early on it will become a problem for them into adulthood and could lead to jail or even death. Consider this verse from Proverbs.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
Another verse like it;
Proverbs 19:26 He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace.
There are too many kids who raise themselves with no guidance or correction. The result is a society full of rebellious, selfish people who run their parents lives, all because there is no discipline. Here’s a thought, children do what they do because they are a reflection of the parents. Don’t like that one? How about this, children do what they do because they are trained to do so by their parents. That includes a lack of training. By not training a child, you are training them to be rebellious, rude, crude, and hateful. Your job is to ensure the child is brought up in God’s word. If you fail to do it you are the cause of that child’s issues.
MISCONCEPTION: SPANKING CAUSES STRESS AND TURMOIL
It’s simply not true. Parents today are a pack of wimps when it comes to their kids and they wonder why they have no control over their kids. They are afraid of rejection by their child and that insecurity causes them to dread their child’s tears. They avoid crying like the plague and instead placate the child by doing whatever the child wants. The result is a home with no peace. Look at this last verse.
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.
How do you get peaceful wonderful children in your home? Read that verse again. We can’t let the world and Satan win. I have heard it all. “You must have spanked your kids a lot.” “You must think you’re the perfect parent.” No, and no, I spanked my kids a lot less than you might think, but I was consistent and I know I am far from the perfect parent. The difference and the one you can see in my kids is I disciplined them right away, I didn’t do it out of anger, I told them why they were getting a spanking, that I loved them, and I didn’t give in to their tears.
I have heard, “I tried spanking my children, but it just doesn’t work.” That is like saying, “I have preached to you a few times and you are not getting it.” I don’t give up or quit and neither do you.
So, what are you going to do? Are you going to cry and complain that I just don’t understand your situation? Will you spank a few times and then give up? Or, will you systematically apply God’s word to disciplining your children? The choice is yours and I pray you make the right choice. Till next time…