Just a few days go I checked my email, it was filled with ads, discounts and things that I needed to “catch up” on. I rigorously went through every email taking care of the ones that needed attention and deleting others. I came to an email that was sent from our Administrative Team through BSF, I thought this is important. I normally skim the BSF emails but since it was the New Year, I decided to read the whole thing in its entirety. Included were a link and a password to a video, I clicked the link entered the password and began watching; shortly into it, a feeling of conviction came over me.
I’d recently been feeling “mom guilt”, I felt like my parenting hadn’t been the best. The busyness of the holiday season essentially put Miles on the back burner. Homework was nonexistent, I only read shorter books during bedtime and for prayer time let’s just say the Lord’s Prayer came in clutch, it was quick and easy. Yelling had become a norm; spanking was an option and quick dismissal was on the table too. I was seriously “failing” and opting for quick corrective options. But, after listening to the video it changed my view on discipline.
After processing the information, I first needed to understand what discipline meant. My view had always gone directly with the definition: to instruct and correct. But when we look at scripture from a biblical lens, God disciplines His children so that our character and actions mirror His. Had I’d been leaning more towards a secular view of discipline or a Godly view of discipline?
Hebrew 12:10 says: They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
This scripture helps me see that there is a similarity in redemption and discipline. Redemption calls us to persevere looking to Christ as our example.
John 13:34-35 says:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Redemptive discipline trains children to love God and others. It starts with how an adult response to a child. For example, if Miles repeatedly does something that I have told him not to do, I should think about my response to him. Is it loving? Is it pointing him back the cross? As I grow in this my prayer should be that my heart changes from result-oriented to growth-oriented. Growth-oriented discipline says God wants to change their heart for eternity not their behavior for the moment. Redemptive discipline (growth-oriented) asks how I can help this child love God and love others. Result-oriented discipline makes children think that they can earn God’s approval and acceptance with good behavior. But the truth is God doesn’t require us to earn anything, Jesus paid our debts on the cross.
If you have been struggling like me on what discipline should look like for your child, I want to encourage you to pray, seek scripture and weigh your options. Not every child can be disciplined the same because all children are different. It’s not easy to change old habits but God’s loving grace can change you and your sweet child from the inside out.
And just like the video ended I want to remind you to “lead with love and grow with grace"
**BSF: Bible Study Fellowship