Love Through Discipline – part 2
Continuing Monday’s post on Love Through Discipline, I would like to add some background and means of carrying out expectations scripture has for us with parenting.
For most of my Christian walk, I saw God as a Father who only had words for me when I needed to be corrected or rebuked. I believed discipline was only a response to my behavior. This is very important because what the author of Hebrews is saying is that discipline is also training. It isn’t merely correction and rebuke. It is also training and instruction, meaning it can precede behavior.
Discipline plays out much the same way in our homes:
Bad behavior + Child = Discipline (Nothing wrong here)
But, what if more times than not, it looked like this:
(Parents + Child) + Discipline (Discipleship) = Behavior
I am not pretending that formulas work, and I am not suggesting we control the heart or the behavior of our children. What I am suggesting is that we are responsible for the discipleship of our children. We aren’t capable of predicting behavior, but Christ through discipleship can pierce heart issues if training is the natural rhythm of our homes. Perhaps if discipleship is at the forefront rather than only discipline at the back-end, we would have more effective parenting.
Train [discipline/disciple] up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4b
How do we carry out these instructions practically?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise [any and every time, place and activity].You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-10
The Lord has been teaching me much about his discipline over the last several years. He is only beginning to teach me about the discipline of my children. I will be learning of both until the day I die. But, one thing is certain, neither can fall into correct order until the beginning of this Deuteronomy passage melts into the marrow of my being —
love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your might.
Do your children only hear from you when they need to be corrected?
Or, are they disciplined by you on the forefront of issues as well?
Do you recognize the Lord’s love through his discipline?
Are your children able to recognize your love through your discipline?