"Baby, not so grand"

When one of my sons was a young boy, he carved some words into a pristine piece of wood. Unfortunately, the beautiful board was part of our baby grand piano. Needless to say, my wife and I were not delighted with his newly honed woodworking "skills." He soon discovered that the destruction of another person's property leads to being disciplined. You might say he had to "face the music" for defacing our music maker!

God's Word plainly states that to discipline a child is vital for their growth and maturation: "Those who love their children care enough to discipline them" (Proverbs 13:24). We also read that God disciplines us for our own good and because of His love for us (Deuteronomy 8:5; Hebrews 12:6). To imitate His example means that the disciplining of our children isn't an option, it's required.

So how can we do it in a way that honors God and provides the right kind of correction for our kids? The apostle Paul provides some great insight with a little negative and positive "reinforcement" found in Ephesians 6:4:

The Negative. "Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them." This teaching was radical for the patria potestas (absolute father authority) society of Paul's day. It called for fathers to be considerate of their children's feelings. "Provoking" children leads them to become resentful and unwilling to receive correction. A Christlike parent will encourage and discipline in love. The Positive. "Bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord." Children should be tenderly corrected and instructed at home, being brought up in ways that reflect the way our loving God delights and disciplines us.

Children need discipline. They need to face the music. Just make sure you're providing loving correction, not provoking them to destruction. , Tom Felten, Our Daily Journey

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