Articles - Parenting

Discipline

How do you understand discipline?

Correction? Punishment? Consequences?

The word 'discipline' actually means to disciple. During his ministry, Jesus chose 12 disciples whom he mentored over 3 1/2 years. We can notice a huge change in disciples such as John, who started out as a 'son of thunder' and ended up as the 'apostle of love'.

As parents we need to follow this model and disciple our children. Our aim is not to create robots but to nurture children who will grow to be adults with a good sense of responsibility, love and self control.

The cultural definition of discipline implies spanking and punishment but the biblical definition implies heart training. Discipline is a process of training and learning that aims to teach morally responsible behaviour. Biblical discipline emphasises inner growth, personal responsibility and self control. These qualities lead to behaviour motivated from within the child's heart.

Many parents consider discipline to be a way of controlling actions in the present. The primary aim should be developing self control in the long term. Gods purpose for discipline is to bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

Biblical discipline involves correction and encouragement and the aim of both is not to produce obedient children but to develop and nurture obedient natures in children who desire to do what is right because it is right and not out of fear of punishment. God tells us that He disciplines those He loves.

Parents must 'Dare to Discipline'. Parents who put the child first and sacrifice everything for them often think they are setting an example that will teach the child the meaning of sacrificial love, but children don't know enough to appreciate the sacrifice, and just end up with a delusional sense of entitlement. Discipline with love/discipling will teach the child in a far better way.

 

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