A story of Discipline:
I recently witness a young boy nearly be hit by a car in a parking lot.
The mom yelled STOP to her child repeatedly, but he ignored her and took off, followed by the sound of screeching tires, as the car turned the corner and didn’t see him.
Everyone around saw what almost happened.
It was a terrofying moment.
However, I quickly realized it was the same child I had seen in the grocery store earlier, loudly acting out in disobedience to his mom’s repeated request.
This mom had seemed to let the child have the steering wheel in the store that day, letting him do whatever he wanted.
Now there could have been endless reasons of what was happening in her life personally that day, so I’m not judging her as a parent or for her displaying a lack of anything etc… We’ve all been there and NONE of us are perfect.
Least of all me.
But it was learning experience nonetheless.
I saw it as a missed opportunity to instill respect & obedience in a “safer” environment, that nearly resulted in a catastrophic conclusion later on.
And I get it. I have 2 kids, one who loves to pick the most in-opportune moment to act out and do anything but obey.
And everytime I’m faced with a choice.
Let my child win and give them whatever they want to be quiet or risk some mild embarrassment and go through the inconvenience of disciplining them.
I hate disciplining my girls.
I dispise it every time, cause I never feel “good” after.
I don’t like spanking or disciplining this little one that I LOVE so much.
There is no immediate joy or satisfaction in disciplining.
I usually wrestle with failure as a parent & guilt for at least the next hour… or week!
I know, I know… I’m sewing seeds in her life for her own good later on, but I hate the feeling of breaking her heart.
The same daddy who catches her and keeps her safe is now expressing disappointment and I know she feels the separation her disobedience has caused.
When I say “STOP” it might be as simple as needing her to not complain or keep sassing her mom.
Maybe she’s running down our wooden stairs in socks without holding on or leaving toys out… EVERYWHERE!
But what if that same “STOP” demands her immediate obedience to SAVE HER LIFE!!!
Am I more concerned about hurting her feelings or saving her life in that moment?
Does she hear my voice and obey it, no matter what her viewpoint is or her evaluation of its “fairness” at that moment?
Often when disciplining, I walk away feeling broken by the conviction that God has been whispering those same disciplines to me. Through the pains of life I learn and grow and though sometimes seemingly unfair or unjust I have to learn to trust He is aware of what is best for me in my life and knows what I need more then I do.
Often it’s the wooden spoon of life moments that are saving me from much greater pain and consequences…
Just like I explained to Ava again earlier today and probably again tomorrow.
The pain of a spanking or whatever form of discipline for that moment is far less then the pain of what “could” happen in her disobedience.
She’s only 6 but I believe she is learning the early lessons in life, that the wages of sin, ultimately is death.
And that’s a lot to take in. Our disobedience today resulting from a sin nature that began long ago.
But she’s learning this in little doses… via discipline.
For her now it might be the death of going out for icecream or having her baby doll taken away.
Maybe the death of going to play or something she really wanted to do today.
I’m not perfect and I’m full of dumb thinking and am trying my best,
but I can’t shake the reality that a mother nearly watched her 5 yr old pay the ultimate price for disobedience.
I almost saw the result of NOT disciplining unfold at it’s worst.
Seems heavy right? Absolutely.
But if we don’t teach them who will?
I remember my dad always told me,
“Casey, the world will punish you a lot harder then I will if you don’t listen to me.”
I knew He was protecting me. Didn’t always agree or like it, but I believed him.
And now years later, it’s funny how you hear your parents voice again when talking to your own kids.
And so I hate discipline… But greater then my hate of it, is my LOVE for my daughters.
I’m tearing up as I type this, because I have dreams for her as does God for me!
So with every discipline, I pray she makes the bigger connection.
She one day will make the connection of my discipling her being a result of my great love for her.
However, my ears also keep hearing the Father’s disciplines in MY life as well.
That I’ll trust Him the way I want Ava to trust me.
And remember that He loves me and is protecting me as well, always wanting the BEST for me too.
I know this is a touchy topic, but how do you deal with this in your home?
Anything you’ve learned or is this a polar opposite way of thinking for you?
I’d love your thoughts!
Here’s some thoughts to encourage us:
“For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.
Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.