“Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:12).
Do you feel that if you discipline your children they will think you do not love them very much? This Bible verse says the Lord disciplines those He loves. If we in turn love our children, we will show it by disciplining them.
Remember, there is a difference between punishment and discipline. We should never treat our children harshly, nor should we discipline them when we are angry. If we do, we risk being too hard on them.
We should not discipline our children to relieve our own anger. We should discipline them for the purpose of teaching them how to behave.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you discipline your children:
—Make sure they understand cause and effect. The discipline is occurring because they did something wrong.
—Make sure they knew it was wrong when they did it. If you have never told them not to do it, it is not fair to discipline them.
—Make the discipline appropriate for the action they committed. If it is serious disobedience, do not just give a verbal reprimand. If it is not serious, do not give them a major penalty.
—Make the discipline unpleasant enough to insure your child will remember the consequences of wrong behavior.
—Do not make empty threats. If you tell your son he must miss his basketball game because he lied to you, do not change your mind later and let him go.
Discipline is an important part of parenting. God can help you. Ask Him to.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.