Love and Discipline
Let’s look at the wisdom found in the bible to shape our view on disciple:
“He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” (Proverbs 13:24)
“For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:12)
We train our children in three ways: words, example, and discipline. Many parents agree with the first two, but are uncomfortable with the idea of causing children pain by disciplining them.
There are many reasons for this. We are afraid of harming them psychologically or emotionally. We think they will reject us or hate us. We would rather deal with issues on a mature level, with conversation and logic, then resort to “violence.” Discipline is too exhausting or uncomfortable. Memories of our own past abuse cause us to go to the other extreme.
It is healthy to recognize that discipline is really an act of love. We correct our children because we care about their future. We know that if we have the courage to confront and change them now, we give them life and blessing. Short-term pain will save them from much more serious and permanent consequences in the future. Far from causing our kids harm or bringing rejection, discipline brings parents and children closer together than ever. Hurts are healed, relationships rebuilt, guilt absolved, communication restored.
Sadly, there are parents who abuse their children in the name of discipline. Those parents will give an account to God for their actions. But the opposite extreme, avoiding all discipline, is not love either: it is a form of neglect.
- What could a lack of discipline produce in a child’s life?
- Why does discipline seem unloving?
- How is that a false definition of love?
If we truly love our children, we will value discipline, learn what the Bible teaches about proper discipline, and be faithful to our responsibility to correct our children. When they are older, they will thank us for it.
– Pastor Gini