I broke this chapter into two parts because each segment deals with such huge issues in parenting (and also because my husband says my blogs are getting a little too wordy! :). Last week, we really dug into the authority issue and took on the reality that I, as a parent, am called by GOD to be in charge. I’m not the coach, I’m not the cheerleader, I’m not the counselor, or the “chief-suggester”. Nope, I am called by God to give clear guidance, structure, discipline, and direction to these little people in my care. They don’t have the wisdom or experience to make good decisions, but they will learn as I, as a wise & Christ-like parent, make wise decisions for them.
This portion of the chapter deals with discipline. The author’s take on discipline is so refreshing and freeing for me. And so NOT how I have been disciplining! urrrg! So, let’s get into it…the first paragraph is so powerful, I am going post it all…
The author, Tedd Tripp writes,
“If correction orbits around the parent who has been offended, then the focus will be venting anger or, perhaps, taking vengeance. The function is punitive. If, however, correction orbits around God as the one offended, then the focus is restoration. The function is remedial. It is designed to move a child who has disobeyed God back to the path of obedience. It is corrective.”
Isn’t this what you want to be as a parent? Fully in control of your emotions, so that when you discipline, it is for their good, not for your vengeance. Discipline is one of the deepest expressions of love. Proverbs 3:12, “…the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Revelation 3:19, “Those who I love, I rebuke and discipline.” Disciplines primary function is not to take revenge, or blast them with our anger…but, it is to correct sin in their hearts.
The author says when we get irritated with our children, we correct them. When we are not irritated, we don’t correct. So, our discipline just becomes a way for us to air our frustration…I will just bet that when we become more aware of parenting their hearts to turn them towards God, we will be correcting them much less…there won’t be the habitual & continual harping and yelling (which they eventually tune out anyway!).
We all as parents are guilty of doing the following,
“I am fed up with you. You are making me mad. I am going to hit you, yell at you, or make you sit on a chair in isolation from the family until you figure out what you did wrong.” This is not godly discipline (and sorry, this isn’t “righteous anger” either.) Our objective needs to be moving TOWARD our children, not against them. It is designed to produce growth, not pain (though, discipline is sometimes painful at the time). Remember, you are God’s agent in the lives of the children God has given you. They are not YOURS, they are HIS! Because of this fact, you need to remember you are functioning as God’s agent to turn your children’s hearts toward Him.
In its most general sense, discipline refers to systematic instruction given to a disciple. To discipline thus means to instruct a person to follow a particular code of conduct “order.” Usually, the phrase ‘to discipline’ carries a negative connotation. This is because enforcement of order – that is, ensuring instructions are carried out – is oft “Discipline is the instant willingness and obedience to all orders, respect for authority, self reliance and teamwork. The ability to do the right thing even when no one is watching or suffer the consequences of guilt which produces pain in our bodies, through pain comes discipline.” –United States Marine Corps
1. What are some ways that you fail in being an authority and fall to negotiating with your children rather than directing them?
2. Maybe you don’t struggle with being an authority, but you struggle with being kind. How can you exhibit the Christ-like gentleness of Matthew 11:29-30?
3. What are truths that your children need to embrace if they are to find joy in being a person under authority of their parents? (hint: Proverbs 6:20-23; Proverbs 9:7-10; Proverbs 1:8-9; Proverbs 3:1-2)
4. How can you teach your children in a proactive (i.e. not when in conflict) way to understand and affirm submission and godly authority in their lives?
5. What qualities do you find in God that you can imitate in being a gracious authority in the lives of your children? (example – slow to anger, slow to speak, quick to forgive & rich in mercy)
Scriptures to encourage you as you parent your children:
2 Chronicles 7:14
I hope you all are enjoying this study…it is so challenging, yet so exactly who I want to become as a parent! Finally! Some real direction on raising our kids that is soley focused on what the Bible has to say and how God, himself, models parenting to us. The following scripture is one we often apply to ourselves (from God to us)…but, think of it also, applying it to your parenting style (from you to your children).
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30
God bless you this week!
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