Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Learning Life Lessons

WHAT do you think of when you hear the word discipline?  For most, the word has a negative connation, but it yields positive results. 

WHO do you think of when you hear that word?  Is it a teacher from the past, your parents, your boss, or God?  It could be any or all of them.

The word discipline means training that corrects, molds or perfects moral character.  Those of us who have children know the burden of disciplining them.  Yes, I said it is a burden.  It’s hard.  It’s hard on us emotionally to do something that we know is going to upset our kids even when we know it has to be done.  There are many times when making sure that your discipline remains consistent with your children ends up punishing you too.  It’s immensely difficult to stand your ground. 

So, why not just give in?

We don’t give in because we love our children.  Discipline is one of the building blocks of love.  We are all born with the nature to do wrong.  We have to be taught what we need to do, and the difference between right and wrong.  This training teaches our kids respect, to have standards and to have self-discipline.  Ask any teacher and they can tell you easily which students have rules that are enforced in the home and which ones don’t.

Developing moral character in our children is the goal.

 The process isn’t about beating them over the head with what they did wrong over and over again, but getting to the HEART of the issue and instructing them how to handle a situation better next time.  We do it out of love and grace.  We push ourselves to remain consistent because the years of redirecting, and teaching pay off as our children grow up.  When we fail to do this, it sends the message, “ I don’t care either way what you do.”  

How sad would that be to feel that from God?

God is our Father.  As His children, He will discipline us.  God is molding us into what He wants us to be, and if He sees us going down the wrong track, He will set things in motion to teach us something valuable.  Being the child receiving the discipline isn’t fun either, but it is necessary.  The beautiful side of it is that we know that God loves us, because if He didn’t, He wouldn’t bother with trying to teach us something. 

God loves you with mercy and grace- He forgives and He FORGETS! My relationships would be so much better if I could get that "forget" part down.

God is slow to anger- but He does get angry! Just as we get angry with our kids, it’s usually because they have hurt us.  I think our Father above may feel the same at times.

God loves you with a love that never stops- There are no conditions to His love.  Whether we choose to obey Him or not, He is still going to love us.

As God shapes us into what He wants us to be, the process is painful, because we are fighting against our sinful nature, but the results are always good.  How awesome is it that He loves us enough to help us get up when we fall?  It would be much easier to just turn away and focus on His children that are “behaving” better than we are at the time.

Hang in there!  If you are feeling like nothing is going your way, God might be trying to teach you something.  Stop, find a quiet place, and ask Him what you need to know.  Then…LISTEN and allow yourself to learn.

Passages to Ponder:

Proverbs 13:24- Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.  Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Proverbs 22:15-A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.

Proverbs 29:17- Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.

Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Tammy Holtzapfel, Kim McClure, Marla McDonald and Kristy Tolley

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