‘Do not withhold correction from a child.’ Proverbs 23:13 NKJV
When it comes to discipline, your primary concern should never be your own comfort, but the ‘soul’ [mind, will and emotions] of your child! Discipline, or the lack thereof, can set off a good or bad chain reaction. If your children don’t respect authority in the home, they won’t respect it in the school, the government, the church, or ultimately even Heaven itself. It’s just a small step from rebelling against the parents God gave them, to rebelling against the God who gave them their parents.
Discipline should begin sooner rather than later. When a child is old enough to be told to do what’s right and they choose to do what’s wrong—that child is ready to be disciplined. The Bible doesn’t specify an age limit in its definition of the word ‘child’. Just because your child is old enough to drive, shave, and date, doesn’t mean they’re beyond correction. They may be too old for a time-out or for confiscating toys, but there are other, more effective ways to discipline an adolescent or teenager.
If you read the book of Proverbs carefully, you’ll find that Solomon was talking to a son who was old enough to join a street gang, be tempted by sexual sin, patronise prostitutes, go into debt, and get drunk. He wasn’t necessarily talking about primary school children. Bottom line: as long as your children are under your roof, they are under your jurisdiction, and you will give an account to God for how you used—or didn’t use—your authority.
SoulFood: Eze 14:1 –16:52, Luke 20:9–19, Ps 112, Pro 20:1–4
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020
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