Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Disciplining - No Guilt Allowed

Oh how the days and weeks to come are being filled on the calendar with exciting events, parties, shopping and baking.  There will be fewer posts as the to do lists grow longer and the big day creeps closer.  We will be busy baking in the morning at Nanny's, and then we will be heading to see Disney on Ice tomorrow afternoon.  This is a tradition with my Dad's side of the family, and is always looked forward to with great anticipation.  This will be our fourth straight year, and we know it will be spectacular as always.

My littlest one is still trying to grasp exactly what all is taking place.  She and I tried to wrap presents today while Sissy was at school.  Unfortunately that did not go over too well.  I am not exactly sure how that task is going to be completed, nor how those presents will make it without her ripping them open before the recipient gets the chance.  She had done well not touching the tree until today.  She managed to tear off about twelve ornaments in a two second time period.  Thankfully none were broke, but the little scolding she got with the wag of my finger sure made her little feelings break.

Funny how in my Bible reading today the importance of disciplining children was the topic that stuck out the most to me.  I know I felt guilt after disciplining her this morning.  But, if I do not correct her, who will.  It is my job.  Yes I feel a little guilty when my girls want something, but I will not give it to them.  Or when they lie, and I put them in time out.  Or when they throw a tantrum, and I sharply say, "NO FITS!".  Or when they pout, and I send them to their rooms to cry.  Or when they talk back, and they get something taken away.  And the list of crimes and punishments could go on and on.  My guilt could cause me to stop disciplining but, we know the saying, "Spare the rod spoil the child".  We know there is evidence of this in the Bible.

The actual verse this saying comes from is Psalms 13:24, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)."  We discipline because we love them.  We discipline because they need to learn right from wrong.  We discipline them because we want them to be the best they can be.  We discipline them because God tells us to.

The Bible story I read today is found in 1 Sam chapters 2-4.  This is where God is calling Samuel to be His prophet and servant.  There are other things going on as well.  You see, Eli the priest had two sons that were  doing very rotten things.  They were actually called "sons of Belial" or worthless men or scoundrels.  If you recall our last topic/post where things were "heard" in the Bible times, this is another example of that.  The difference is, the things that were "heard" in this Bible story were not good things at all.  We read in 2:22-24, "Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Isreal;...And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.  Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear..."

This is not the kind of things anybody should be doing, but what made it even worst were these were the priest's children.  Eli had "heard" of their evil acts.  Nobody wants to "hear" their children are disobeying.  And then to make matters even worst, besides that little questioning series, Eli did nothing about it.  He did not discipline them.  He did not rebuke them.  He did not punish them.  And as verse 25 says, "they hearkened not unto the voice of their father...".  My Women's Study Bible says, "The case of Eli's sons demonstrates the need for firm parental instruction and supervision...".

Eli and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, all died in the end of chapter 4.  They died because God told them He would have to judge them "for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not."  1 Sam 3:13.  Eli knew of their wrong doings, but he did not discipline.

It is up to us to correct our children.  It is up to us to show them God's way is the only way.  We must pray for wisdom on how and when to properly discipline our children.  But, the key is we must do it and we must do it promptly.

Today's verse
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  Prov 22:6

You probably guessed that was going to be our verse.  And yes, I know there are cases of children rebelling even in very loving Christian homes.  There are prodigal sons and daughters out there now, and their loving parents are praying for their safe return.  But when they have The Truth in their hearts, and they have been trained and disciplined the way God has called us to, I fully believe God can restore them.  Our children are His first.  Our jobs as parents is to teach them the right path. We are to show them God's love with correction and loving discipline to help them not depart from the right path.  No guilt allowed, we are doing what God has called us to do when we teach right from wrong.

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