"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Of all the amazing promises in the Bible this is one of best! What matters more to you than the spiritual development of your children? And this great verse promises that if parents build the proper formation under your children, God will be actively involved in the construction of the rest of his life.
Building the right stuff into your children will make it much harder for them to do the wrong stuff!
Implicit in the word "train" are four guidelines for building the "right stuff" in your precious prodigies.
"Train" means to define what it means to be a Christ-follower in your family.
"Train" means to direct that process of becoming Christ-follower in your family.
"Train" means to discipline those developing Christ-followers in your family.
Discipline has become an unpopular term in our modern culture because discipline acknowledges that actions have consequences and our culture hates that idea. Discipline also involves delayed gratification and our culture wants it all and wants it all immediately!
So what is the heart of discipline and how do you build it into your kids?
"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 22:15
"For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 3:23
Discipline is the process of teaching your children (and yourself) to say "no" to the fool in your nature and "yes" to Jesus, "the gift of God", in your new nature.
Easier said than done! Proverbs 22:15 essentially says foolishness has to be beaten out of us! So, discipline must necessarily involve some pain and it must involve some rewards. We must make it painful to do the wrong things and rewarding to do the right!
The goal of discipline is to make it more rewarding to do the good than the bad until our children eventually learn self-discipline. It is, perhaps, the hardest task of parenting but also the most urgent responsibility.
Are you self-disciplined enough to discipline your children?
It is foolish not to!