‘Discipline your children, and they will give you rest; they will give delight to your heart.’ Proverbs 29:17 NRS
We’re producing a generation of kids who are allowed to rear themselves with the aid of television, violent DVDs, and the internet (which can be a minefield!) Often both parents work, leaving one child to supervise another. As a result they become a law unto themselves. ‘A child left to himself disgraces his [parents].’ (Proverbs 29:15 NIV) Most of us are loving parents, but our children need discipline and rules to live by. Love has a backbone, it’s called law and order. Without it, love is just license. ‘…if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them…’ (Proverbs 13:24 NLT) Remember the cute Dennis the Menace cartoon where Dad, strap in hand, makes disobedient Dennis ‘assume the position’? He says, ‘This is going to hurt me more than you.’ Dennis responds, ‘Don’t feel obligated to hurt yourself on my behalf.’ Enforcing law and order isn’t easy. But the alternative is a betrayal of our children and our God-given responsibility! Failure to enforce law and order to gain short-term popularity with our kids always ends up costing us their long-term respect. Expecting younger kids to work out for themselves what’s right and wrong is a burden they shouldn’t have to bear; their neurological and moral equipment isn’t sufficiently developed yet for such responsibility. The Bible says, ‘A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but discipline will drive it away.’ (Proverbs 22:15 NLT) Your children learn to make good decisions from the rewards and consequences of dealing with law and order at home. So don’t fail them!
SoulFood: Matt 5:9, Rom 12:17-21, James 3:17-18, 2 Ki 6:8-23
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2013
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