Bible Reading: Proverbs 22
Key Verse: Verse 6 - “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Key Words: Train up
Discipline is not a list of “do’s” and “do not’s.” Discipline is control. The reason we discipline our children is because they refuse to control their own behavior; so we attempt through punishment to give them the right desire to bring their behavior under control. But years of experience have taught me that proper discipline in our children is not just taught, it is also caught by children from parents who live a Christ-centered life. We as parents cannot lead beyond our own example. We often hear the motto, “Christ is the Head of this house.” But as Christian parents this should also be the motto of our hearts. As parents our “self-control” should be to let Christ rule in our hearts, and then we can lead our children to a proper code of conduct for their lives. The following are ways which we can influence children for Christ.
- Be honest. If we are not honest in our daily tasks, how can we expect our children to be honest? You should not expect your children to be honest with you and others if you lie and cover for your children’s absences, or if you attempt to cover for them when they misbehave. Be honest. You cannot expect your children to be honest unless you lead the way (Ephesians 4:25).
- Be consistent. You cannot expect your children to put God first in their lives if you do not put God first in your life. Lead the way (Matthew 6:33).
- Be respectful. When my granddaughter, Audra, was fourteen months old she was in the room (unbeknownst to me) while I was working. I was admiring my work and simply let out a loud “ooh-wee.” From the corner of the room I heard this loud cry, “Ooh-wee, PaPa.” Children repeat what they hear. You can’t expect your children to give proper respect unless you lead the way in it (Hebrews 13:17).
- Be realistic. Don’t expect perfection from your children. Believe me, they see your mistakes, and when you require them to be what you are not, it leads to misbehavior. The key is not perfection, but a 100% effort on both the parents’ and the child’s part. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
What to do:
✞ Apply the principles outlined in this devotion.
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