TOPIC: EMPLOY GODLY DISCIPLINE
A. An Ounce of Prevention (1 Samuel 3:11-14)
God has placed the responsibility for disciplining children on parents. The end result of discipline should produce orderly conduct and respectful submission to rules and authority. As we discipline our children, we desire to make a difference in their behavior now and in the future – for their good.
In 1 Samuel 3:11-14, we observe the results of failing to properly discipline one’s children. Young Samuel heard God’s voice for the first time (verse 4). God gave him a message that would shock the nation of Israel. Eli’s sons had lived in gross sin and shown disrespect for sacred things. Eli was aware of this and had failed to restrain them (verse 13). As a result, Eli was removed from office and his entire family was judged by God (verse 14). They were judged not only because of their sins, but because Eli failed to discipline his sons.
Why does God hold parents accountable for the discipline of their children?
Well, God does not hold parents accountable for actions of their children, rather He holds them accountable for failing to discipline their children.
Parents are in disobedient to God’s Word if they do not discipline their children and take the chance that their children may not serve God. Though, discipline children is not always easy, Christian parents are required to do it.
Effective Discipline (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)
The subject of discipline generates much discussion. Views concerning proper methods are diverse.
Proverbs 13:24 speaks to the issue of corporal punishment, where a child is given physical discomfort because of a wilful and defiant act of rebellion. While many in today’s society speak out against this type of discipline, we must remember that this is God’s inspired Word.
Spanking has often been used wrongly. The inclusion of the word “rod” does indicate that there is a proper time and use for physically spanking a child. But never gives anyone the right to physically harm or abuse anyone, even your own child.
Spanking, as discipline must be administered in love. It should never be administered in anger, out of frustration, or to make the parents feel better. Spanking as discipline should be followed by an expression of love and acceptance.
The end result of any disciplinary action is to teach children that wrong behavior always carries unpleasant consequences. Proverbs states that parents who do not discipline their children actually hate them.
Parents are also warned against being passive in regards to discipline (Proverbs 19:18).
Discipline must be administered during the formative years of children’s lives, “when there is still hope for them”. Failure to follow this advice can make the parent “a willing party” (NIV) to a person’s death. This could be referred to capital punishment under the law or natural consequences that accompany a person’s foolishness.
Discipline is designed to prevent children from destroying their lives by sinful activities.
One of the best forms of discipline is proper training (Proverbs 22:6).
Part of the concept of training is to cultivate a taste for the the things of God in the children.
This means that parents must model the godly attitudes and actions. We can never discipline our children when we are not ourselves disciplined.
Double standard in parents will always derail all good and disciplinary actions.
The last part of this verse should not be considered ironic guarantee. Many parents have had their hearts broken when they did their very best, only to have their child stray from their godly training. However, Chidebem reared in Christian homes under the influence of godly parents are more apt to follow the training they received.
Parents also can be too strict in their discipline.
In Ephesians 6:4, Paul instructed parents not to provoke their children. In other words, do not be over protective. Paul wanted Christian parents to realize that part of parenting is training children in righteous living.
Do all you can do, then you leave the rest on God’s hands. Your children will be good children as you expect them to be.
We will continue in the next post as soon as possible. Thanks for your time.