‘These commandments… Impress them on your children.’ Deuteronomy 6:6–7 NIV
Teach your children to respond the right way to God’s direction and correction. Help them to understand that God’s correction is not rejection. ‘My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.’ (Proverbs 3:11–12 NIV) To help them understand this, do the following. First,teach them to respond correctly to your discipline. The rules you don’t enforce now will be enforced by others later, at a higher cost. But let your discipline be fair, not excessive. Be consistent. Don’t permit today what you punished yesterday. Saying things like, ‘How many times have I told you?’ or, ‘If you do that again you’re grounded’ suggests you’re not serious and they’ll have several warnings before you act. Enforce it! Don’t threaten unless you intend to follow through. Second, teach them to respond correctly to authority figures. ‘Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established…’ (Romans 13:1 NIV) Don’t belittle police, teachers, community leaders, pastors and so on. If you do, it will come back to bite you and your children. Third, share your own experiences of personal growth through correction. Let them know you’re not perfect; it will help them relate to your humanity as a parent and it’ll give them hope. ‘If Mum and Dad learned by being corrected when they blew it, I can too.’ Well-chosen times of personal sharing are much more effective than nagging and ‘sermonising’!
SoulFood: Gen 20–23, Matt 19:15–30, Ps 66:13–20, Pro 6:23–25
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©