by Randy Schroeder
Discipline of our kids is generally an area of life that we leave unmentioned. And we want to change that at Hope Church. So let's begin the conversation.
I have come to believe that disciplining children without also having compassion for them is dangerous. I think it can very easily lead them to rebellion, because it does not accurately reflect the heart of God.
Psalm 103:13 says "as a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him."
It seems that a father showing compassion to his kids is just assumed....because our Heavenly Father has compassion for us.
When are we least likely to feel compassion for our kids? Is it not when they misbehave and need discipline?
I was guilty of feeling more anger than compassion for my kids when they were young and misbehaving. Fortunately, Staci got her arms around this Biblical truth and even found herself occasionally weeping when she had to spank our kids. She and I started to experience the compassion of God in a whole new way.
Hebrews 12 tells us that God disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. Proverbs 13:24 says that if we love our children we will be diligent to discipline them.
So it is clear that if we love our children, we need to discipline them. The question is how to do it and accurately represent the heart of love our Father has for us even when He has to discipline us.
First Corinthians 13 is a powerful reminder that I can have all knowledge and give my body to be burned for the gospel, but if I don't love well (and this includes me needing to compassionately, consistently discipline my children), my "spirituality" is worthless.
This is much more we can reflect on going forward, but for now, let me encourage all of us to seek the Lord in prayer about how to faithfully discipline our children and how to do so in a way that shows 1 Corinthians type love to them in the process...all for the glory of our God.