Discipline Your Child a Biblical Perspective
You can’t help but notice all the craziness that goes on in the world today concerning the raising of children. There are many theories and ideas presented by people from all walks of life on the topic of disciplining children. The question has to come to mind who is right? Is it the psychiatrist, the psychologist, your local neighborhood writer or the blogger who has an interest in kids? Perhaps we should go back to the source of truth on child rearing to see what God’s perspective is on raising children. God being perfect has to be right!
As a parent who is a Christian it is important for us to be able to believe and trust God to raise our children. Proverbs is a good place for a believing godly parent to start.
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Parents as you work the Word of God and get an understanding of Him you will gain a knowledge of how to handle situations with your children, and He will direct your steps!
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
The word rod in this verse is the word shebhet in hebrew which is switch, or staff a stick. So how do you utilize the rod to correct your children? For us today the rod could be a wooden spoon or your hand. Giving your child a tap on the butt or thigh with the rod is designed only to get their attention so that you can reprove them. Reproof is given to bring the child back to the right doctrine or instruction. Wisdom is the knowledge of the doctrine applied. Here’s an example:
One day I walked into our bathroom and found a smear of toothpaste on the mirror. As I proceeded to scan the bathroom I notice a glob of toothpaste on the sink another pile on the toilet seat and a final heap on the floor. At the time my daughter was only about a year old and my son was eight years old. Now my wife in all the years we have been married has never left the bathroom with toothpaste scattered all over the place. My daughter who wasn’t walking yet would have had alot of work to do to get up on the sink and get at the toothpaste to spread it around. So by the process of elimination I called my son into the bathroom and asked him what happened. Of course I got the true child response that is perhaps the most common thing a child says when asked a question where they fear they may be in trouble. He said “I don’t know” so I replied “son I’ve been with your mom for fourteen years and she has never left globs of toothpaste all over the bathroom. Your sister is to small to get at the toothpaste so I know she did not do it. You are not in trouble just tell me if you did this.” After some prodding he finally owned up and said he made the mess. “What happened?” I asked. “Well I was having trouble get the toothpaste out of the tube so I shook it.”
We had never instucted him on the art of getting toothpaste out of a tube that was almost empty so shaking the tube makes logical sense. I proceed to show him how to roll the toothpaste container up from the bottom of the tube. This instruction is the doctrine he needed to get the toothpaste out of the tube. Once my son was instructed the rod and reproof are used to correct him if it happens again. Let’s say I walked into the bathroom on another day and discovered toothpaste all over the bathroom again. I would bring him into the bathroom give him a tap on the butt to get his attention and then I would remind him (the reproof) of the doctrine I had showed him. I’m happy to say that since I instructed my son he has followed the doctrine and I have not found toothpase in odd places since.
Notice the conclusion of the above verse states that a child left to himself brings his mother shame. A child who has no reproof and correction and is allowed to do whatever he or she wants can only be trouble for the parents and bring shame to the mom. I didn’t come up with that God did!
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
People children are foolish, they don’t always think clearly and sometimes they do really dumb things. The rod is utlized by the parent to drive the foolishness from a child. It’s giving the child a small tap on the butt or thigh not to hurt the child but to get his or her attention so that you can instruct them as to what you want them to do. Let’s face it correcting children is not always easy but it is absolutely necessary. The best time to do the correcting is at the point of the foul. I know it is not always convenient to reprove a child (especially when your favorite show just came on) at the point of error however it is vitally important to make the correction at this time if at all possible.
13Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Beatest here is the hebrew word Nakah- which means to strike (it could be light or severely) Here it could not mean to strike severely or there would be no deliverance of the soul. If parents are beating there kids really severely that is going to put the child in fear of their parents. The bible says that God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. So the striking of the child has to be lightly to get their attention. You are getting your childs attention because you love them and want the best for them. I know that there are many people that believe you should never strike a child, but God says that if you do, it’s not going to kill them in fact it will deliver their soul from hell. When a child is trained up in the way he should go when he is old he will not depart from it. Why? The years of training have given them a standard that the parents got them to follow by the constant reproof that was done out of love for the child.
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Chasten means to correct or discipline. People don’t stop correcting your child because they cry. My daughter loves to put on the tears when we decide to do something she doesn’t like. Don’t give in, if you do you are teaching them that crying gets them what they want. Better yet make them more unhappy by using the rod so they realize that you mean what you say. By holding the line you will find your children will follow your direction because they will know you mean what you say.
Now Let’s talk about disciplining a teenager. Teens are not going to repond to the tap with the rod. Their discipline is slightly different than a younger child. There needs to be a consequence for not obeying the standard that the parents have set. The question you can ask is what will your punishment be? I will say this it needs to be something that they really don’t like. Perhaps taking away their cell phone, or the car for a few days. The main key is to follow up on what you have done and stick to your guns until the period of punishment is over.
Anyway it’s good to apply what God says on how to raise children. It works, everyone I know who has applied what has been shared here in raising children, has children who are blessed and their parents are also counting their blessings, because their children do what they are instucted to do. As I wrote in another post you leave a lasting impression on your children. The question to ask yourself is what kind of impression am I leaving? Is it one that the parent and children are happy, or is it a relationship where the children are rebelious which makes both parties unhappy.