Our society has a skewed impression about child discipline. It is obvious that Satan has set up a high place blocking the correct view of discipline. He has worked over-time to set up presuppositions about child discipline that now affect our society, even our churches.
First, let me tell you why I think the enemy has waged war in this area. He knows the areas of our lives that help us to know God and have a close, personal relationship with God. He always assaults those areas.
When we discipline our children the way that God designed for us to discipline them, they are brought up in a nurturing, teaching, training environment. They DO stick to it. They do not depart. What a delight they are. What a better life for them as a result.
I get letters every week from mothers who share that they TRIED discipline and that it did not work. They always continue to share how bad things are getting. This is not the way it has to be. This is not a reality for every family. Training works! If you will commit to disciplining, consistently disciplining your children GOD’S WAY, you will develop a close relationship with your children and you will stay close to them through the years. Your home will not be utter chaos. Your children will not constantly wonder if you really love them. Your children will be trained up in a way that they cannot leave behind. They will walk in godliness all during their lives. Your children will be prepared to step up to the call that God has for their lives from an early age.
The down-side–discipline is tricky. We have a void in teaching that really gives us a picture for what discipline, by God’s design, looks like. Again, this is one area that the enemy has worked very hard to skew. He knows that if we will get a vision for discipline God’s way, our children will understand and choose salvation and abundant living. He fights over-time to keep all of us from salvation and abundant living.
Does discipline sound great, but doesn’t seem to work for you? Let me ask you a few questions that may help us to troubleshoot the problem:
–> Are you clear about what to discipline for?
–> Are your views of discipline coming from a parent that you feel did not connect with you or care about you?
–> Are you clear about why you should discipline your children?
–> Are you clear about how discipline should be administered?
–> Can you see LOVE in discipline?
–> Do your children know what to do, what you expect, what the choices and ramifications are?
–> Are you prompt in discipline?
–> Are you consistent?
–> Are you helping your children to “will” to do the right things?
–> Are you waiting until things are out of hand to discipline?
–> Do you discipline in anger and frustration?
–> Do you slow down to train in your discipline or do you scream, slap, fuss–aka: discipline on the fly?
–> Do you let things go until they are unbearable?
–> Are you disciplined yourself?
Our children need for us to invest in them. Discipline is an investment in our children’s lives. It says to them that we really care about them. It tells them that we love them.
They need help making good choices. They need to have someone who will slow down, pull back the pace, and help them walk out good choices.
Good discipline is more than barking off orders and expecting your children to obey like good little soldiers. In fact, training a good soldier takes A LOT of investment in training, correcting, teaching, rebuking, and instilling the penalties for a lack of discipline along the way. It doesn’t just happen. It takes an investment.
So, what do you do?
1. Commit to invest in them. Make the commitment to devote time, focus, and energy to help them develop heart for doing the right things, a will for pushing through any obstacle to do the right things, and an ability to live it all out. Yes, it looks like a big mountain looming ahead. Don’t expect for them to just do it alone. They need you to come alongside of them, guiding them along the right paths. They need you helping them to be a success. They need for you to gently correct them and point them back in the right direction. Commit to invest everything you have got. These days are vital. Your children will invest back into a relationship with you when you invest your very best in helping them to be a success in life.
2. Get a big vision! Pull back for a moment and ask God to give you a vision for where your children are going to be at the end of this journey. Think about them as adults. Do you know that they will not always be where they are? Get a vision of that deep inside. That will help you to see bigger than the problem you see today. Don’t take it personal when they struggle. This is part of growing up. You can’t take the struggles away, but you can help them move through the struggles. Don’t let the struggles and needs that you see in your children get you down. Don’t get overwhelmed and throw in the towel. Know that they WILL get there. They need someone who can remind them of where they are going all along the journey. That is a precious gift that a mother can give all along the way.
3. Slow down to a pace where you can focus on training them. My son just finished Army bootcamp earlier this year. Do you know that his drill instructors have a full time job with total focus upon training those guys. They do not let any of the opportunities (and boy, are there a bunch!) out there distract them from their daily duty. They are training these guys for life. I talked with one of Matthew’s drill instructors at his bootcamp graduation. He left me with a powerful thought (first it comforted me about my son’s training, then it spurred me on as a mom). He said that what he does with them is only because he really cares about them. He said that those guys LIVES depended upon the intense focus of training that HE HAD. Now, just months later, most of them are serving our country overseas. The training means everything to their lives today. What if the drill instructors missed it? What if they did not see how vital that short season at bootcamp is for these guys? It is the difference in life and death. Very sobering! But, how much more important is the training we are called to give in our homes? Can we train our children with the same focus? Can we let the opportunities pass us by today and really embrace the duty we have today? Can we focus upon instilling the disciplines necessary for LIFE? We need to take our “jobs” just as seriously as the drill instructors take theirs. We are preparing our children for an even more intense, personal, and long-range war. Their enemy will never give up. Their enemy will never stop. Their lives are dependent upon our investment. The call today is to slow down and really pour into the lives of our children. It is a matter of life or death!
4. Don’t buy the lies! I just got back from Ft. Bragg. They have training there for PSYOPS. PSYOPS is very creative. One of the things that they do is wage mental war against the enemy. You have probably heard of some of the creative things that they have done in past wars. I am sure we could have fun learning what they do today. That is not my point here. My point is that just as our Army wages mental war, our enemies also this tactic. This tactic is effective! In the spiritual realm, this is one of Satan’s big weapons of mass destruction! Just go to any restaurant today and watch the families. You can see that he has been busy spreading his lies. They have set up strongholds that are destroying families. We need to take every parenting idea to the Bible. If it is contrary to the Bible, it must be cast down. If we don’t cast down those ideas that they enemy puts out there, we will fail! He “sugar-coats” many destructive paths and you don’t even know you have been led astray until he has you in the pit. Don’t buy the lies. They come packaged in techniques, approaches, even vows that we make (“this is not working for MY CHILD, I can’t do this”). God’s Word works! God’s way is the only way that will work. It is tough at times, but not because the Word does not work. It is tough because you have an enemy who is battling you. Don’t let him wage mental war and win! Cast down his accusations, presuppositions, and lies. Reach for God’s way of doing things. It works!
5. KNOW that your children are going to thank you! Proverbs 31 talks about how children will rise up and call you blessed. My children are now young adults. They have not even had their own children yet (I suspect that they will see things even more clearly then). However, both of them have repeatedly thanked me for loving them enough to invest my life into their training. Every letter that Matthew wrote home from Bootcamp told us specifically how much he appreciated all of the discipline through the years. He told us that it made Bootcamp much, much easier for him. He still tells us that it makes a world of difference in everything that he does each day. Praise God–that is exactly what we wanted! Are you thinking, “Well, Cindy, but you do not know MY CHILDREN…” It is not just my children. All of us want someone who cares enough to help us through our struggle with right/wrong. We all want someone who can help us make the right choices along the way. We all need someone who cares enough to help us get out of the mess we get ourselves into. That is what discipline is all about. Both of my children tell me of how their friends talk. It is very enlightening. Those who have parents who have invested into discipline for them, done the tough stuff, made the tough decisions, and stayed the course, all talk about how loved they are. They are grateful that their parents did not quit and just leave them to go their own way. Funny thing, they are all very, very close to their parents. Likewise, those whose parents have gone MIA during the teen years or who have made choices to let their children go on through these years on their own without their direction and guidance (all in the name of letting go!), without training, discipline, and limits, those children all wonder if their parents would even care if something happened to them. They wonder if their parents really love them. They talk about how they cannot really connect with their parents. Think about that for a moment. What do you want? Scripture says that a parent who loves their children will discipine their children. Sure it is tough in this culture, but children cry out for just one person who will care enough to help them. They will thank you!
So, my dear friend. What do you want? Stop for a moment and really think about what you want for your child’s life to be like when they are 21…or 31…or 41? Your choices today affect their lives tomorrow. Heavy, huh? You are building a legacy. You are laying the foundation for your child’s godly life. Is it firm? Is it built upon the “Rock?” It is unshifting? Is it ready for them to build a life upon?
Dare to discipline!
Need more help? Don’t miss our Training Sons, Training Daughters Virtual Seminar this week! http://talk-a-latte.com/tstd.html