Life, to say the least, can be “challenging.” There is work, household duties, church activities, children’s sports, parenting; you almost need to be a juggler to keep all the plates in the air. Stress is a common household reality. Stress comes when life becomes unbalanced. When you give too much attention to one area; another area suffers.
One area that is extremely difficult to balance is the disciplining of our children. Too much discipline and the child may become rebellious. [Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them….] Ephesians 6:4 Too little discipline and the child will grow with no respect for authority. [If a child is corrected, they become wise. But a child who is not corrected brings shame to their mother.] Proverbs 29:15 So the key to successful discipline is a balance. Two biblical examples:
1. No parental discipline. Often parents want peace in the home so bad, they refused to confront bad conduct. “Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time…” 1 Kings 1:6 David was a man of God but he allowed his son to do whatever he wanted to do. Result? His son, Adonijah, rebelled against his father and took control of Israel. (I might add, David did nothing to stop him.)
I have often seen parents run to “recuse” a child from the consequences of their actions. I know it is only natural to want to protect our children from harm and unpleasantness. I knew a mother that was continually bailing her two sons out of jail. When her money ran out, she begged family members for money to bail them out but it never changed their behavior. When she could no longer “rescue” they went to prison, where gave their lives to Christ. In Luke 15 we have the parable of the lost son. The boy wanted his inheritance so he could go and do whatever he wanted. The father never attempted to stop him leaving, that would only make the problem worse. It was only after the son hit “bottom”, he saw the folly of his lifestyle, repented and returned home. Luke 15:17-18
I am not saying that we should NEVER go the aid of our children, there are times when showing Christ’s love and forgiveness will turn the child around. In fact, Jesus said to GO and search for the lost sheep and rescue them! Luke 15:4-7
So how is a parent supposed to know whether to rescue their child or allow them to experience the school of hard knocks? Good question!
Good question! If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you James 1:5 TLB
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth… John 16:13