If you want to know what an average day looks like in the home of any adult with children, spend a little time with their kid. Our homes have an atmosphere and our children are steeped in that atmosphere. They don’t know how to hide both their good and bad qualities because they aren’t little hypocrites yet. They walk in the truth of what they are around. Their little lives speak loudly what we would prefer to hide. They also speak loudly the things we do right. But make no mistake, they tell the untold story of our homes. In other words, the put us on blast.
There is a scripture that speaks volumes about what God thinks about how we raise our children. Of course these children are still living at home. Once they grow up, their lives are between them and God.
He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
1 Timothy 3:4-5
God gave a way to let us know who should be church leaders and who should not. How did He do it? He listed many things, but one had to do with their children. If we don’t manage our homes, we can’t manage God’s church. It speaks powerfully of a parent’s character.
If the whole world respects us and our children do not, it’s a hollow victory.
They know us. We can hide many things from the world, but children see straight through us.
Respect and obedience from our children are two of the highest compliments they can give us as parents. Some children may obey out of fear but have no respect. I’m glad God puts everything that matters in His Word. No child will ever respect a bully of a parent.
If we knew the gravity of the job of parenting, we would go to God daily and humbly ask for help. I’m not being over dramatic. Nothing compares with shaping a soul. We have the power to prepare that soul for heaven, or be a help in sending that soul to hell. What we do has consequences beyond our wildest dreams or nightmares.
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
Sheol (Hebrew)-Grave, hell, pit.
God has given us a book filled with deep wisdom on how to raise children. It’s called the Bible. Child training books are everywhere. Some have wisdom and some do not. If we don’t compare it all to Truth, we will buy into many lies.
Why? Because what God says will often feel very wrong.
It never feels good to take a little one, bend them over our knee, and spank their little bottom. Yet, God tells us to do it. Why does it work? I don’t understand the deep psychology of it but I didn’t create humans, God did. If He said it works and it is the way to save children from themselves, a miserable existence, and ultimately hell, we should listen.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Death. The way that seems right to us in any area of life usually leads to death.
The way of God leads to abundant life. I have had the privilege of living a pretty long time at this point. I have applied so many of His truths and I have seen with my own eyes the fruit of His Word when it’s believed and obeyed. He does so much more than we can ask or imagine.
God used something as simple as a seed to teach us about truth. A single kernel of corn can produce over 3,000 kernels of corn. God wants us to be encouraged that if we will apply what He says to our lives, that He will bless us and our families far above anything our minds can comprehend.
However, to ignore what He has said and raise our children by what the culture says or what feels comfortable, will lead to certain death.
Nobody, in their right mind, sets out to ruin the children they love so much, but they do. There is only one way we do it and it is by ignoring the truth.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Folly-foolishness-(of a person or action) lacking good sense or judgment; unwise.
How many children are we around who lack good sense and judgment. Any one to two year old can understand the word “no,” yet parents say it over and over again with no repercussions whatsoever. They threaten and don’t carry through (otherwise known as a lie) and wonder why little Johnny won’t behave.
A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
Our children are born unwise. It is the result of the Adamic nature (from Adam and Eve and the fall of mankind). In other words, left to ourselves, we are naturally fools.
God has given us a tremendous gift in His Word. He has told us how to give wisdom to our children and your child is not the exception. Your little ones were designed by God with a purpose and calling in this world. He loves them with infinite love, but He won’t raise them for you. He will be with us every step and tell us how to do it, but we have to have faith in what He tells us to do.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young.
God will gently lead us as we do the most wonderful and hardest job any human is ever called to do. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He gathers us in His arms as we gather our babies in our arms. I don’t know about you but when I had children and realized how vulnerable I was and how little I knew, I was overwhelmed. As children, we think grown ups have it all together but when we become a grown up, we find out that’s not true.
It’s ok. God knows what we need and has given us details about what to do, what it will feel like when we do it, and what the long term effects of doing what He said will be.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
At the moment, discipline is painful and not pleasant at all.
Painful (Greek definition) – Physical or emotional pain; heavy, heart-sorrow (grief) that brings a person down.
God has plainly stated how unpleasant discipline is for us and our child. It brings our child down. It feels cruel at the moment and we can’t escape that fact.
God disciplines us for our good and I believe it’s painful for Him. He created us to be perfect and now we are all screwed up. He has to use hardship to discipline us so we will have character. I think He probably hates it as much as we do, but He loves us enough to look bad in our eyes (short term) for our long term good. We should be like Him and do that for our children.
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
Somehow, discipline and painful hardship will be used by God to make us holy like Him.
God promises us in His Word that discipline will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace in the little humans entrusted to us.
I can tell you from raising three very different humans that they will respond to what God says to do. Consistent discipline coupled with generous and warm-hearted love produces a miracle in children. If they don’t feel warm-hearted love, don’t be surprised if they don’t respond to cold-hearted discipline. They have fragile psyches that need constant reassurance.
If you are not consistent, do not expect consistent results. Children are very willful (they want their way) and they will count the cost. They will reason in their little minds and think, “Maybe they will spank me, but they probably won’t. So, I will keep doing what I’m doing. It’s worth it to get my way.”
We should weigh all our words and be moms and dads who do what we say. Your children will respect you if you discipline them.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.
They will love you if you discipline them. They will also love themselves if you discipline them. If we discipline them early; they will start to discipline themselves as they grow older. Self discipline will equal self confidence.
Undisciplined children normally can’t get along with others because others are a threat to their place as the center of their own universe. In the end, most of them won’t like themselves. The world will be harsh to the undisciplined child.
The child who has not been disciplined with love by his little world will be disciplined, generally without love, by the big world.