Well-behaved children are not the ultimate goal of biblical parenting. The real issues at stake are much larger than not saying please and thank you or knowing how to act around adults. The real reasons are
That’s it. Seems pretty easy, doesn’t it? Then we get into the schpeel your mom gave you right before you got that spanking for [insert naughty/disobedient/disrespectful behavior here]: “It’s only because I love you,” followed by, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” As cliche as both of those statements have unfortunately become, discipline is an expression of love and we need to get back to it.
Upon reading Hebrews 12 as Tripp so lovingly points us to, we see that discipline is actually encouragement and a sure sign of God’s identification with us as our Father. In my own experience in another use of the word discipline – applying oneself in athletics – I can wholeheartedly agree with this. I knew that the coaches who truly cared about me were the ones who pushed me to be the best athlete I could be in that particular sport. The ones who didn’t care as much? They let me plateau in my physical and mental skills and didn’t hold me accountable. It’s the same for us as parents.
If we truly love our children, we will discipline them. We must take this opportunity to develop their character and teach them to honor God.
To remind you (and myself!) of this, I made a sheet of memory verse cards. These verses all focus on love being the basis of discipline and most of them come from Proverbs. Print them out, cut them out, and put them around your house where you’ll see them each day. They’re a powerful reminder of the motivation behind why you are taking the time and energy to discipline your child[ren] in line with biblical parenting.
The full-size downloadable PDF is available at the landing page for this series so head on over there and download it!
In Christ, Rachel
This is part of a 31 day series of shepherding a child’s heart in 5 minutes a day (click here for the series intro). I pray this series edifies you as much as reading Tripp’s book has encouraged and challenged my husband and I in how we raise our children. Subscribe to the blog in the side bar if you’d like to get posts emailed to you in a weekly digest or subscribe on your favorite blog reader.