Discipline…seems to be lacking in the lives of the majority of people today. You see it everywhere with families and unruly children. Many kids have never been given boundaries. They are flailing at life, acting out their frustrations in poor and sometimes violent ways. I was watching some pro football today and you see the anger being acted out on the field and even their own sidelines. In your face stuff, retaliation, violent behavior. During interviews some pass it off as the heat of the moment. But really it started much earlier than that football game. I submit they never learned discipline and now it is so hard to have self-control; to know how far to go with their emotions. I know down deep they are miserable and it’s miserable to watch it.
Dads, you have the primary responsibility in this area. Your kids know when they need to be disciplined, and when they don’t receive it in a constructive and loving way, they become confused. Discipline is good medicine! It may not taste good at the moment, but eventually it provides healing to their lives. Benjamin Franklin said, “He that cannot obey, cannot command.” Remember, you are preparing your next generation to lead; their own lives, their families, companies, government or troops. You have to look at what type person your discipline or lack thereof is producing. It’s hard and sometimes a grievous work, but it has to be done, and consistently.
It is actually love. Well-disciplined children have the best chance of succeeding in school, social circles, marriages and in their jobs. Remember, they will become the parents to your grandchildren. And your handling of this area of their lives will show up big time in their families. Might not like what you see in them; but on the second thought, you just might. Possibly, those results lie in your hands today. You and your wife should examine your disciplinary process, agree on it at all times, and execute your plan as the need arises.
Scripture is clear on this subject. Proverbs is full of good counsel. Here’s just one. “Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored” (vs. 13.18). And there is much more. “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” (vs. 12.11). The Lord knows you need wisdom in this parenting role. He is there for you. Just turn to Him for guidance. That is why He gave us the word and prayer, plus wise counselors. Heed it, apply it and watch your children prosper.