Saturday, September 16, 2006


My son is getting to the age where he can associate results from actions. So this means discipline starts. My daughter is also trying her bounds to see what her parents will do and allow. So we are a household full of learning moments. Sometimes this is the part that parents really hate- your kid(s) do something against the rules or something you have said to do and they are being coy about it or are just pushing a little and something inside you says "eh, it wasn't that bad..." If you are a parent, you rember the rules and the punishment and you carry it out. Anything else is a disservice to both you and the kids.

It occured to me a couple nights ago that some people associate punishment with pain. Others associate it with teaching violence. Some punish little, if at all. Others punish excessively. Both believe that doing so is the right thing. But none of these thoughts are true.

Punishment and discipline, when done in the proper context, will, of necessity, inflict some amount of discomfort and pain. The point is to knock off a burr, smooth a rough spot, purge the dross from the child. You do it to render the person better in the end. Parents forget that Satan has already started on their children before they (or you) were born. They look innocent, but their heart is dark and their ways are corrupt. Until Baptism in Christ, they have no redeeming qualities when it comes to eternity, or life here on earth. They want to do whatever suits them. So we start with a rough, corroded heart and we must polish, pound, and even burn off those behaviors they will try in order to teach them to be a benefit to society and how to be a Christian. This is our Christian and parental duty. God does the same things in our lives- He presents us with opportunities to learn, be disciplined, and grow in faith. Children is simply God's way of showing us what He does.

I don't want to read too much into the role of parenting and what example it shows- mainly because there is such a plethora of failed families out there that the meaning would be lost on many people. Those who it wouldn't be lost on probably already understand this. I could be wrong. Suffice to say, anyone who loves their kids will discipine them. Anyone who doesn't only hates them. I have great pity for the kids of those who are too caught up in themselves to care about their children.

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