Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Raising children is hard work. It can be a lot of fun. It can be a lot of heartache. Newborns are great, until they learn to tell you “No.” Then, the hard work begins.
To treat our children fairly, we need to let them know up front what the consequence of their action will be. If the child knows that he will lose a privilege if he chooses to disobey, then it’s not mean old dad taking something away for no reason. The consequence is the product of the child’s choice.
We live in a world that would prefer to deny the consequences. People want to do whatever they want and then complain when they face a negative consequence. They needed a parent when their parent decided to be their child’s friend instead. Maybe the parent was treated harshly as a child, so he is lenient with his children. She doesn’t want to be like her mother, so she becomes her daughter’s best friend. The problem is that children need boundaries and consequences. Without them, children don’t feel safe or loved.
Years ago, I heard a speaker say, “Your children may hate you at times for disciplining them, but that will keep them from growing up to hate the world.” No discipline seems pleasant at the time (Hebrews 12:11), but parents owe it to their children.
Discipline crosses a line when it’s abusive, inconsistent or heavy handed. If you would like to learn biblical parenting, check out Intentional Parenting by Doug & Cathy Fields.
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