© 2013 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
by Danny Boggs
Do you love your kids? Do they know it? How?
According to the Bible, discipline properly practiced is evidence of a parent’s love. “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death” (Proverbs 19:18). “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother…Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart” (Proverbs 29:15,17). Hope, wisdom, peace and delight are some of the results of good discipline.
Parents who discipline are like the Father in heaven; He proves His love for His children through the discipline of struggle (Hebrews 12:3-11).
I once studied these principles with a group of Christian teens to help them see how much their parents loved them. Most went home more appreciative of Mom and Dad. Sadly, a few went home with God’s verification of what they already felt — their parents' failure to discipline them meant they didn’t really care.
How do your kids know you love them? Because you buy them all the best? Because you are taking them on a great trip this summer? We demonstrate our love in lots of ways. But letting them do whatever they want is the opposite of love, and sooner or later kids figure it out. Discipline has no substitute.
Discipline expresses love in a special way. Despite the fronts they may put up, kids want to be disciplined. It’s not always easy to know how to do it. Even when we attempt discipline and make mistakes, it still powerfully communicates how much we care. Giving up only shows how much we don’t.