Parenting by Design - May 4

Discipline and Love

Prov 3:12:  For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights (NASU).

As hard as it is to deliver a consequence to a child for a bad choice, the alternative can often be even worse.  When I am tempted to forego discipline, I have to ask myself, "What is the most loving thing I can do for my child?"  In almost every case, the answer is to give the child the consequence he has earned, so he can learn the lesson God has designed for him.  A good consequence, delivered with empathy, demonstrates love and respect for your child's freedom to choose and his ability to learn from the consequence of a bad decision.  The author of Hebrews says it well, "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness," (Heb 12:11 NASU).

Delivering consequences with empathy is an act of love. 

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