Learning To Discipline Your Child or Grandchild

Discipline is a misunderstood concept. The words disciple and discipline come from the same word that means Learner. If a child can’t learn to obey a parent who is visible, he or she will never learn to obey a God who isn’t. God’s dream for your child isn’t to make them happy. It is to make them like Jesus! Happiness is a by-product of God’s plan for our kids. You as a parent can be working against God’s plan for your children because you care more about their happiness, success, or popularity.Parents who are afraid to put their feet down usually have children that step on their toes. We love God’s grace when it is applied to us in the sense that God forgives us of the sin that we commit. We have a really hard time applying that same concept to others, especially when the other is our child. This is where the difference in punishment and discipline comes in. It is about grace. Punishment literally means to forcefully correct, to scourge or to take whatever measure to make someone to obey. Listen, when we are born again and invite Christ to be the Lord (Leader) of our lives and ask him for forgiveness, God begins to develop the life of Christ in us. If Jesus took all the punishment for you and me, He also took all of it for our children. We must teach them that the only way to make right what they did, is to trust that when Jesus died he paid for their sins.

Since Jesus took the punishment, my role as a parent is not punish, but to discipline. Punishment focuses on the past – what they did that we believe deserves retribution. Discipline is future focused, always pointing to the future. It has nothing to do with retribution and everything to do with redemption.

The Parent’s Fear – Spanking

Proverbs 13:24 is clear, “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” It doesn’t say that the one who spares the rod has the wrong opinion about discipline, it says he hates his son. You may not like these verses, but the Bible doesn’t really give us the option of picking our favorites and ignoring the ones we don’t like. Spanking is controversial. I believe there are times when it is appropriate to spank your kids. Example: a kid continues to do something that is directly disobedient to what you ask. If you spank out of anger, you are in danger of provoking your child. Provoking them from turning from God and turning from you. Unfortunately, there are many people who believe that spanking is a form of abuse. I am hear to tell you that all of the paddlings I got a school and the use of the switch at home when we were kids didn’t kill us and certainly didn’t cause us any ill harm. As a matter of fact, it taught t us not to do it again.

Discipline Is About Love

1 John 3:1, “The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children. The reason the people in the world do not know us is that they have not known him.” If God disciplines us because he loves us, then it should stand to reason that [tweetherder]discipline is created for change to happen, not to punish.[/tweetherder] No one likes to be punished, but the fact is we all need discipline in our lives. No one would argue it takes great discipline to be a great athlete. Athletes discipline their body, their mind, and their emotions and it is a painful experience in all three areas to become their best.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Mark Capretta

    Great recomendations! Alot of what I have been focusing on with my kids is the delay of gratification. It helps success in so many areas of your life. I believe that it will truely help you follow Gods will and not skip steps int he process

  • jeffcalloway

    Thanks Mark. I am not an expert, as we have made mistakes. I am convinced that we need to teach kids contentment or when they become adults, they will revel in excess.