Kids have a way of pushing us to our limits. One mother tried to correct her young children by making them take a nap when they became unruly. After sending one of her boys to bed, she overheard him tell his brother, “I can’t figure it out. Every time she gets tired, we have to take a nap!”

As much as we love our children, we know that sometimes they will need discipline. This is an indispensable part of the child-training process. In fact, love demands nothing less. Our kids need to understand that certain behavior is unacceptable, sometimes even hazardous to their health. One way to communicate this is by saying no. Another way is by the use of the “Board of Education.” My father always said this should be administered hard, fast, and low. I know from experience that this means of discipline is very effective in curbing youthful unruliness. This method is in line with the parenting guidelines found in God’s Word.

When discipline is necessary, try to follow these four steps:

  1. Seek God for wisdom to administer the correct form of discipline. Every offense may not need to be handled the same way.
  2. Discipline out of love, not in anger. Take this opportunity to teach your children why their actions were unacceptable.
  3. Discipline in expectation that your children will obey the Lord. Ultimately, you want your children to submit to God’s authority. They will learn this only as they learn to submit to your authority.
  4. Forgive your children after you discipline them. Don’t hold grudges against them or remind them about the matter later. By forgiving them, you will model to them how to forgive others.

Discipline is one of the hardest things for a parent to do — but it is God’s way of driving foolishness far from your children. It prepares them to face the rigors of whatever task God has planned for their future. Do you love them enough to correct their shortcomings now? You will save them much heartache later.

God has no pleasure in afflicting us, but He will not keep back even the most painful chastisement if He can but thereby guide His beloved child to come home and abide in the beloved Son. — Andrew Murray

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.