We tend to look at someone with a slender, athletic build and think, “They must be really disciplined.” We also know we’re called to discipline our children, so what does discipline really mean anyway?! When we discipline our children we apply appropriate consequences now in a way that helps a child choose correctly in the future. How is this different that punishment? Punishment is repaying someone for something they’ve done wrong. The root of punishment is retribution. This is the opposite of discipline. The root of discipline is love.
In Hebrews 12 we get a beautiful glimpse at how God disciplines us. God’s discipline to us is proof that He loves us. It’s the same with our children. We discipline them because we love them. Take a moment to read Hebrews 12:1-13 now.
So what does disciplining with honor look like? Here are a few practical tools to assure you and I are disciplining with honor:
Set realistic expectations. Know your children well to know what he/she is capable of. Push them to be the best them.
Never threaten. Take a moment to think through consequences before you throw them out there. Only give a consequence that you KNOW you can stand behind.
Don’t discipline in anger. It’s OK to send your child to their room and tell them you need to calm down (or send yourself to your room) before you speak with them regarding their misbehavior.
Be consistent. Don’t dismiss misbehavior one day and punish it the next.
Don’t be afraid of consequences. We live in a world with rules and consequences. For every action there is a consequence. Real discipline teaches this union.
Set limits. Discipline and boundaries illustrate love and safety to our children. Don’t be a pushover parent.
Don’t get caught in the cycle of using words to correct behavior. Children are not miniature adults who understand the heart behind what we do. Employ logical consequences.
Discipline is basically short-term pain for long term gain. It’s not easy to discipline. In fact it takes personal discipline to discipline our children. God has uniquely created our children, and our desire should be to help them become the person God intends. We do that when we discipline with honor!
Partnering with you,
p.s. If you haven’t checked it out already, this post goes with the original found in our Online Parenting Class! (click text to go to link)