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Friday, February 10, 2012

Loving Parents

A loving parent disciplines their child. Not in a manner that is done out of anger and hatred for their child, but in a manner of love and wanting to see them grow closer to Christ and to kill the flesh. I've come to realize that the bad parent doesn't want to discipline because it's easier. It's "easier" to ignore a problem. But then they become raging little monsters as they get older. Just like a sword, every parent wants them to be sharp. But if the only time you work on the sword is when you are angry and slam the rock against the sword you will just do damage, rather than create a sharp edge.

1 comments:

ACR said...

Daniel,

Amen and amen!

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, so I'd like to share some thoughts of my own:

It's also easy for a parent to be acute in his sense of what he is doing when he disciplines his children; confronting wrong heart attitudes and desires rather than manipulating behavior by rewards and punishments.

We need to remember that the discipline of parents is not demanded by some codified law which states that certain misbehaviors require certain punishments, but rather by the love of Christ upon us which sanctifies us from sin, and our requirement to show that love to children. We don't discipline children because they deserve it-it's actually completely undeserved. Discipline is not unjust at all, but it's also not demanded by justice. It's demanded by love.

You can easily get a child to obey because he's afraid of punishment, but wonder of wonders, the child is still obeying selfishly. You haven't changed the worship problem at the child's heart, you've merely driven the problem deeper inside. Instant hypocrite. Biblical discipline, on the other hand, confronts the worship problem directly. It's not penal manipulation; it's an act of grace. That truth runs so deeply against the disciplinary philosophy that's been ingrained in our society from centuries of influence by behavioristic schools- But I think Christians really need to start being more exegetically biblical in the way that we understand discipline and the way that it works relationally, or our families will quickly become whited-sepulchre factories.

Biblical discipline restores relationship, not because it atones for sin, which a spanking cannot do, but because it removes the sinful, rebellious attitude from the child's heart (Proverbs 20:30), and brings that child back into a state of right relationship with its parent, that of humble and willing submission, at least, when it's employed in the right context.

Stand Fast,

Andrew R.