Discipline your children, and they will give you rest; they will give delight to your heart. Proverbs 28:17 NRSV
What does the word discipline mean to you?
A stern lecture?
Recently I took a parenting class and learned that discipline means to teach.
That's right. To teach.
Disciplining your children means to teach them how to behave: within the home, with friends and in society. And teaching involves more than telling or demanding. It involves showing, encouraging, modeling and practicing. There are also consequences when the child gets it wrong.
Yet, many parents are so wary of punishing their children that they have neglected teaching their children. They might tell their children what to do but they don't know how to do more than that. Of course, their kids are not going to do as they ask! No one has encouraged them, showed them, made them practice, modeled good behavior or made them accountable for their actions.
Proverbs reminds us that when we take take to teach/discipline our children we will be rewarded with children who let us relax (maybe enjoy retirement?) and in whom we are delighted.
Are you disciplining the children you know?
God, help us to learn how to teach our children and all children whom we love. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims