The Attitude of a Parent

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare (Proverbs 15:1 NLT).

Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from instruction is wise (Proverbs 15:5 NLT).

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you (Proverbs 3:11 NLT).

Parents may have discipline in mind when they respond, with outbursts of anger, to their children’s bad behavior. But the children often interpret these outbursts as pure punishment. What are parents to do? Train your child to know God’s ways, do them and the children will become secure in them.

The Blueprint

How Jesus speaks and acts provides a blueprint for how we are to speak and act. We may spiritualize how we see Jesus, but Scripture says he faced every temptation we will face—read about Jesus’ difficulties. He was misunderstood, prematurely judged, punished without being guilty, and died a shameful death.

Now, parents are responsible for how their children act and speak. Teach your children how to cooperate with God’s work in their lives. Grace and compassion win overall, but discipline and correction for misbehavior remain necessary.

Punishment Verses Discipline

Punishment is focused on past actions. It produces negative characteristics in children: guilt, shame, bitterness, self-pity, and resentment. Discipline may be applied to current situations, with a forward-looking goal to teach good behavior.

The aim is to correct wrong behavior while keeping the child’s best interest in mind (not the parent’s anger). Train your child to know God’s ways, do them and the children will become secure in them.

Prayer: Father, help me guide, teach, and correct the children you have given us in your ways. Selah.

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