Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. ESV Proverbs 23:13
I write this blog as one of my children screams in the background. I think she wants the Christmas lights off in her room. Or maybe she wants them on (it’s whatever the opposite of the situation is). Her mother is calmly dealing with her and firmly and gently reminding her it’s bedtime. Earlier tonight in our growth group, some others shared of their difficult child and the constant push back they receive from her. Parenting isn’t for wimps!
While I’m not advocating “striking kids with the rod,” the point of the Proverb above calls us to firmly administer appropriate discipline. Our children won’t die if they are grounded or sent to time out (though they will loudly protest that their life is ruined forever, and they may believe time out will kill them). In those times it can be tempting to keep the peace and not hold to the necessary discipline. However, we need to remember the next verse reminds us discipline is actually what delivers our children from death. If we fail to discipline them in the little things, they will continue to push back on bigger and bigger things until they ultimately are endangering their life. I’ve seen this all too often. As challenging as it may be, we must stand firm and administer appropriate discipline as needed.
In encouragement, at our growth group tonight, my friend remarked that he was really impressed with my most difficult child. He sees a lot of positive in my child and that really encouraged me. I affirmed to him that his difficult child is our favorite babysitter. For both him and me, administering daily discipline can be challenging, and we don’t often see the fruits of our labor. However, God is faithful, and others are seeing positive change. Be encouraged. Don’t give up. Parenting is worth it.