“Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did—they’ll turn out delightful to live with.” Pr 29:17 TM
We’re producing a generation of kids who are allowed to rear themselves with the aid of television, violent videos, and the Internet (which can be a minefield!). Often both parents work, leaving one child to supervise another. As a result they become a law unto themselves. “A child left to himself disgraces his [parents]” (Pr 29:15 NIV). Most of us are loving parents, but our children need discipline and rules to live by. Love has a backbone; it’s called law and order. Without it, love is just license. “A refusal to correct is a refusal to love” (Pr 13:24 TM). Remember the cute cartoon where Dad, strap in hand, makes disobedient Dennis “assume the position”? He says, “This is going to hurt me more than you.” Dennis responds, “Don’t feel obligated to hurt yourself on my behalf.” Enforcing law and order isn’t easy. But the alternative is a betrayal of our children and our God-given responsibility! Failure to enforce law and order to gain short-term popularity with our kids always ends up costing us their long-term respect. Expecting younger kids to figure out what’s right and wrong is a burden they shouldn’t have to bear; their neurological and moral equipment isn’t sufficiently developed yet for such responsibility. The Bible says, “Young people are prone to foolishness and fads; the cure comes through tough-minded discipline” (Pr 22:15 TM). Your children learn to make good decisions from the rewards and consequences of dealing with law and order at home. So don’t fail them!