Everyday Life

Christian Parents, Please Stop Raising Brats

Disclaimer #1: The term ‘discipline’ as I use it here means: training that corrects, molds, or perfects mental ability or moral character; to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control (from Merriam-Webster’s School Dictionary, 2015). I know spanking has become a hot-button issue for people, but this post is not to start a discussion on spanking. (Perhaps, that topic will be covered in a later post.) I also am aware that mean-spirited and abusive individuals abuse children under the guise of ‘discipline.’ I am also vehemently AGAINST using any form of abuse to ‘discipline’ a child. I am against any form of abuse, period.

Disclaimer #2: This post will probably make people mad. If you are one of those people, please take an inward look and see:
1) if this post contains truth. Better yet, see if it contains God’s Truth.
2) if the reason you are mad is because you are failing on this front of parenting. If so, it is
never, EVER too late to begin to biblically discipline your children.

I’ve been a parent for 16 years (wow!). I am by no means an expert because, honestly, my children have more differences than likenesses. I think anyone who has more than one child would tell you the same: they are as different as daylight and dark.

But, while I am no parenting expert, I am certainly an observer of people. I have been appalled at times by the lack of parenting I have observed in Christian parents.

These families attend church and by all accounts, are Christian people. However, their kids are running wild. I have seen the following at various times and in various places:

a) Running amuck and screaming
b) Kicking Mom while Dad pretends not to see
c) Arguing with any and every statement their parents make
d) Hitting, kicking, or pushing your children while their parents pretend not to notice
e) Slapping Mom or Dad in the face with no consequence or even pause in the conversation
f) Pouting, sulking, huffing, or screaming “No!” whenever Mom or Dad FINALLY tries to correct them
g) Talking disrespectfully to their parents

 

Y’all, just writing that made me exhausted and raised my blood pressure.

Why?

Because in a Christian family, these things SHOULD NOT HAPPEN and BE IGNORED.

We have an INSTRUCTION GUIDE!!

Our God has been GRACIOUS enough to give us a guide that includes instructions on raising children. Raising these little sinners while we as parents are sinners ourselves, is no small feat. He knew this, and gave us instructions!

These verses are from the New American Standard Bible:

Proverbs 13: 24 “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”

Proverbs 22: 6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22: 15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.”

Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.”

Proverbs 29: 17 “Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; he will also delight your soul.”

There are many places in the Bible that reference child-rearing. These five verses come from one book alone.

Do I think that Christian parents will have perfect children? Certainly not! These children are sinners and must be trained so they can know right from wrong. And there is the crux of the matter: Christian parents in following God’s guidelines SHOULD have children that look a little different from the children of those parents who are not Christians. We, as Christians, have an “inside scoop” on how to parent. We have words straight from the heart of God to teach us how to teach them.

Did you see in Proverbs 13: 24 the part that says, “He who withholds his rod {discipline-my addition} hates his son….”? It says “HATES.” That is such a strong word! None of us would ever say we hate our children. If we truly LOVE them, we will correct them!

In Proverbs 29:15, the last half reads, “…but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” This is not just the embarrassment of your child acting out in public. This shame goes far deeper than that. A child who is left to his own devices, or is seldom/never corrected is not going to lead a very productive life. It will teach him that his way is always right. His way is the best way. He will not be teachable to learn what those in authority over him need to teach him. He will not seek God’s ways if they differ from his own.

Proverbs 29:17 reads, “Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; he will also delight your soul.” This does not say that he will arrive on this earth giving you comfort or delighting your soul. It is an “if-then” statement…or a cause/effect statement. The correction HAS to come first. If you take the time to put in the work when your children are young, their later years SHOULD be a comfort to you.

I get it.

Trust me, I know.

It is not easy.

It is all-day, everyday, 24/7/365.

Parenting is the absolute hardest “job” I have ever had. But, the rewards are so much greater than anything else I have had.

I was not just given these children to admire and adore (although I certainly do!), I was given them to mold, to shape, and, yes, to discipline. If I forget that, I am spoiling their futures. They will have many hard, difficult lessons, that could have been prevented if I had disciplined and taught them earlier in life.

***In the comments, what do you think?

Are you seeing what I am seeing: Christian parents refusing to discipline their children and their children are running wild?

Do you hate your children (by failing to discipline them) or do you love them (and discipline/correct them), training them up in the way they should go?***

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