WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV
WISE PARENTS ALLOW CONSEQUENCES
A young boy lived in the country. His family had to use an outhouse, which the young boy hated. It was hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and always smelly. The outhouse was located near the creek so the boy decided that he would push it into the water. After a spring rain, the creek swelled so the boy pushed it in.
Later that night his dad told him that he and the boy needed to make a trip to the woodshed. The boy knew this meant punishment. He asked his father why to which his dad replied, “Because someone pushed the outhouse into the creek and I think that someone was you. Was it?” The boy responded that it was. Then the boy added, “Remember when George Washington’s father asked him if he had chopped down the cherry tree? He didn’t get into trouble because he told the truth.” “That is correct,” the dad said, “but his father was not in the cherry tree when he cut it down.”
Wise parents know that children need to realize that their actions have consequences. Proverbs 3:11-12 reminds us that because God loves us He disciplines us. It also reminds us that a father who delights in his kids disciplines them. It’s easy to want to discipline our children because we are frustrated. However, the Bible teaches there should be a love for and delight in our kids that drives our discipline.
Pastor Mike reminded us on Sunday that it’s a good thing for kids to be able to connect negative outcomes with negative choices. And if we rescue our kids all the time they fail to learn valuable life lessons. So to use the opening analogy, we not only discipline kids because we were in the outhouse when they pushed it into the river. We also discipline them because they have to learn they can’t go through life pushing outhouses into the river.
The art of loving discipline takes incredible discernment and patience. Knowing when to rescue and when to sit back and let the children we love experience the consequences of their actions isn’t easy. Pray that God would give you His discernment and His patience for parenting your child.
Others of us were privileged to have parents who modeled Christ-like grace in our homes. Are you harder on your children than God is? To dig a little deeper take some time to read Matthew 18:21-35 and ask God to speak to you about showing grace to others.