Friday, October 8, 2010

"Never Discipline in Anger"

Our Associate Pastor, Reverend Jonathan Logan has been teaching a "Biblical Parenting" series on Wednesday nights. As the father of five wonderfully behaved children, and with his command of the Scriptures, Pastor Jonathan has spoken to this topic with authority, humility, and humor. (You'll want to get the CD's).

These past two weeks, Pastor Jonathan has been covering the topic of "discipline." Among the many statements that stuck out to me, Pastor Jonathan reminded us that "discipline is something you do FOR your children, and not something you do TO your children."

I also loved the idea that "if you don't discipline your children at home WITH love now, later the world will discipline your children WITHOUT love."

But I got to thinking about a statement Pastor Jonathan made this past Wednesday... he said, "Never discipline your children in anger."

Now, I'm not a parent, so tell me what you think about this...

I think that one of the reasons some parents will discipline their child in anger is because they didn't discipline their children when the child FIRST needed to be corrected.

Here's my thought. A parent observes their child doing something inappropriate, something that needs correction. They tell their child to "stop that." But the child does not stop. But rather than correct the child's behavior then and there, they let the behavior continue.

Why? Who knows? The parent is tired. The parent doesn't want to fight that battle. The parent thinks the child won't listen anyway, or... because the parent isn't that upset (ie. angry) yet.

And of course, a child that is not corrected with discipline will continue with his/her inappropriate behavior. The parent will continue to tell the child to "stop that." Perhaps he/she will raise his/her voice to show that he's/she's serious. The child is unimpressed. Then the parent begins the countdown... 1... 2... 2-1/2... meanwhile, the child knows that he/she is approaching his/her ever-shifting boundary. But the child MUST find the boundary.

Finally, in utter frustration, and perhaps anger, the parent finally snatches the child up and applies whatever discipline is called for... Not because the parent wants to make sure his/her child receives "discipline at home with love," but because their child has finally made them angry.

I think Pastor Jonathan was trying to tell us that if we would discipline our children when they first exhibited their inappropriate behavior, when we weren't upset, we could have administered that discipline in the proper frame of mind, with self-control, and with love.

Yes, it's a lot of work. Yes, it's a battle. Yes, it's time-consuming and inconvenient. But... aren't your children's character and future worth it?

Tell me what you think.

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