Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Child Left Undisciplined

Undisciplined and pampered children. I see them everywhere today. It’s as if we are afraid our children won’t like us if we tell them “no” or if we are the last parent in their class to allow them to own a cell phone or I-pod. We are afraid of OUR image as well as THEIR image being tarnished.

We’ve put image ahead of character building.

The bible says, “A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.” Proverbs 29:15 (NIV)

When our children grow up, they won’t know how to respect us, be generous with us, or be sympathetic or compassionate to our needs because their world has been so focused on themselves. We’ve allowed that to happen. We’ve bypassed the chance to teach and correct them so many times in lieu of trying to be their friend or to be deemed that we’re acceptable and cool. We’ve sacrificed our own children’s health, spiritual, and emotional development.

Our children NEED boundaries. They need to be told “no.” They may not like it, but they need it. They need us to have wisdom and discernment to know when those times come. They need us to have a strong enough sense to know we are right at times, even if we are unpopular. They need to know that above all, everything we’ve done for them is out of love. We’ve disciplined them – out of love. We’ve held things back from their lives – out of a love for them. We’ve enforced chores and responsibility – out of love. We’ve imparted Biblical knowledge, morals, and values to them – out of love.

I truly hate it when my children are mad at me. I would much rather be their favorite person. But at times, I know I’m doing the right thing for their lives.  You only learn pride and the value of things by having to work for them and not getting everything handed to you.  You only learn compassion by sometimes getting hurt. You only learn humility by being at the bottom and not always at the top.  These are lessons that our children need. otherwise they will grow up to be narcissistic, deluded young men and women who don’t give the time or day to those around them --- including us as their parents.

Loving and raising a child is hard stuff. It’s tough at times to do the unpopular thing – the right thing. Many tears and frustrated moments come. But it’s worth every prayer you toil over, every change you make to help mold and shape a child who has strong roots in the Lord, a wise and discerning heart, and a kind and giving heart.

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First published at Devotional Christian - March 2011

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