This week in our series A Better Marriage we talked about Grace-Centered Parenting. You can check out all the messages in this series on www.avalonchurch.net. This coming Sunday, September 10th, we will talk about Finding a Grace-Centered Sex Life. I encourage you to attend and invite a friend.
The Bible has a lot to say about how we teach, train, and discipline our children. This primarily involves teaching or instructing and applying discipline. Of course, discipline corrects a child, instructs him or her in the way to live, and provides the positive outcome of wisdom. The purpose of all discipline is to teach.
A parent receives his or her moral authority from God. The best way to teach your children how to live is to begin with a relationship with God. There is also a great emphasis on teaching and instructing. You can discipline without instructing properly. We have all seen this happen. We teach our children with our own lives, by our own example, and by pointing them to a relationship with Christ. While you can’t force your children to have a relationship with Jesus, you can create a positive environment that makes a relationship with Him a normal part of life. Being faithful and completely involved in the life of the church is a critical component of teaching and instructing. It is impossible to impart to them something you don’t have yourself.
Consider the following verses about instruction and discipline:
Proverbs 1:8 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. (NLT)
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your children and they will give you happiness and peace of mind. (NLT)
Proverbs 22:15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away. (NLT)
Proverbs 13:24 If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them. (NLT)
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don’t, you are helping them to destroy themselves. (GN)
Proverbs 23:13-14 Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death. (NLT)
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. (NLT)
Here are a few biblical tips on discipline that will help you know what to do:
- There is a wrong way and a right way to discipline.
- Discipline and instruction are biblically-mandated.
- The purpose is to produce responsibility.
- Spiritual involvement bolsters discipline.
- Don’t ever compare your children to each other.
- Prioritize the most important things and then build margin into your life and schedule.
- Say yes whenever possible. Be positive. Affirm often.
- Don’t be manipulated by the attitudes of your kids.
- Draw clear lines and be consistent.
- Praise character, good deeds, hard work, responsibility, and accomplishments rather than beauty, talent, ego or pride.
- Partner with the church.
- Start early. What you think is cute when they are toddlers can turn ugly as they get older.
- Foster respect and responsibility.
- Be flexible, but not in parenting absolutes.
- When it is over, drop it.
- Speak blessings over them.
- Laugh as much as possible.
There are challenges involved with raising a child. Do not despair or lose hope about the culture in which we live. God has promised to be with you and help you. He has given an instruction manual that will guide you to the end of your journey and will empower you to raise champions for His glory.