Finding that line of enough but not too much can be quite the challenge. Yet even more difficult is a parent is trying to consistently walk the line of disciplining children. I know for I’ve been there, mothering 3 children always questioning if it is enough or too much. Even now with grown children I still look back and ask- was I too strict or too sheltering or too lenient? Sometimes I must stop the questions and give them to God. I tell him I did the best I knew how to do at the time. Even though I know many mistakes were made I ask Him to redeem them for his glory and their good.
As a parent and teacher I’ve seen the products of over- and under-discipline. The children I feel most sorry for are the ones who lack discipline. Though a teen may take joy in having free reign, the truth is they need someone to love them enough to use discipline to teach and guide them. Our society is suffering a love drought. We need more love for each other even when we have differing opinions and we need more love for our children showing up in discipline.
Sometimes I can be demanding as a teacher, or maybe more often than ‘sometimes’. I ask boys to remove their hats, I tell them no foul language, and I won’t let them sleep in class or be disrespectful to each other. Why? I love my students and want the best for them and that means teaching them how to interact with others and how to behave.
Job suffered blow after blow. His friends came to sit with and comfort him. For 7 days they just sat quietly before deciding to help counsel their friend. Some of their thoughts were totally off base for they believed all suffering such as the calamities Job faced were a product of sin. From the first 2 chapters we know God allowed his model servant to be hit hard by Satan because he knew Job would be refined by the process not because he sinned and deserved punishment.
Eliphaz the first friend to speak did give a truth worth reading.
“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.” Job 5:17
When my children were very young, discipline was often followed by hugs and cuddling. Teen years not so much for grounding seldom led to hugs. Yet I still grounded them out of love.
God is our model for how to love our children. He loves us too much to leave us like we are so he guides, sands off the rough edges, and yes, disciplines when needed so in the end we look and act more like Christ.
Lord, discipline is not enjoyable yet I know it comes because you love me. Help me to accept it and grow through it so I can be slowly perfected. Please hold my hand through the refining process. Amen!