Obedience And Discipline

Obedience And Discipline

I believe teaching your children obedience with Godly discipline is paramount. I don’t know how a parent can even attempt to homeschool a child without making sure they have learned how to be obedient. Here is some of the best advice on the subject I have ever read. It is from the book “Educating the Whole Hearted Child”. I have these things on index cards so I can quickly refer to them as needed. I need to reminded that it’s my duty as a parent to stay on top of this. Prayerfully consider if you are actively training your child in obedience or if you have let the ball drop & need to refocus & recommit to it. I know I do from time to time. 

God gave children only 2 commands:
1) Honor your father & mother (which speaks to “attitude”)
2) Obey your parents (which speaks to “actions”)
If they will not honor & obey you, they will not do so to God. You must secure both from your child. Obedience is not complete until it comes from the heart. Otherwise you are training your child in a superficial obedience that teaches them how to comply outwardly, without ever having to confront their inwardly sinful attitudes. Also if they do not obey quickly, you are training in their hearts a habit of disrespect. Your children’s obedience is the way they will show their love to God (John 14:15). Your job is to help them love God better.

Biblical discipline is a relational process of spiritual training that cultivates godliness. You must be actively & personally committed to training your child in godly character. 
Directive discipline is guiding your child into godliness. 
Corrective discipline  is confronting your child with his ungodliness. 
Both aim at godly character, are done in love, focus on the Word of God & have as their goal a change of heart not just behavior. Instead of just changing behavior, your goal is to strengthen your child’s will to say “no” to ungodliness & chose to live in a godly way. Rather than thinking about discipline simply as an act, think of Biblical discipline as a process involving 3 kinds of disciplinary methods: verbal, behavioral & physical.
The purpose is to instruct your child concerning what God says is right or wrong. Scriptural commands & principles are consistently taught, talked about, & learned so that the standard for all behavior is God’s Word. It affirms to them that you are their earthly authority & God is their ultimate authority. Instead of expressing your authority as “power”, it should be expressed through love that is willing to serve them. When confronting wrong doing or encouraging right doing do as Jesus would. He would be gentle, but authoritative, loving but truthful, gracious but firm. Gentleness creates a positive atmosphere of grace even though a discipline might be hard. In contrast, strictness, harshness, anger & judgmentalism creates an atmosphere of legalism. Yelling, nagging, blaming & shamming may result in temporary desirable results, but few parents really want their kids to obey out of fear & guilt. Gentless keeps verbal discipline in the realm of grace, where children learn to obey from the heart for the right reasons – to please God & their parents. 
Focuses on making your children accountable for their own behavioral choices. It’s teh “if…then” method that should be the heart of most parental discipline. It can provide incentives to encourage rightdoing, but more often provides consequences to discourage wrongdoing. The most common expression of behavioral discipline are natural & logical consequences. Natural consequences follow general foolishness & wrongdoing when their has been no prior agreement conscerning a behavior. You might also use time outs, loss of privilages, additional work or other natural responses. Natural consequences teach your child that they are responsible for their own behavioral choices. Logical consequences follow specific areas of wrongdoing when there has been a prior agreement concerning certain behaviors. The effect of the consequence is to make your child personally accountable for their own actions. They choose the consequences by choosing to disobey. It is their choice the key is consistency & follow through. 
Example: If chores are not performed on time – more will be added
Example: unkind words to sibling – write verse 10 x about speaking kind words
It is the end of a process in which the child has failed to heed verbal & behavioral discipline & has chosen open defiance or rebellion against parental authority. It should be reserved for the most serious offenses against your authority. It should be used with much discretion & great concern. Avoil arbitrary use of physical discipline by clearly communicating the specific behaviors or sins that will result in physical discipline. Then be consistant in using it only for those offenses. Before administering have him tell you why he is being disciplined. After comfort him, have him pray a prayer of confession to God & then have him ask forgiveness of anyone who has been offended. Finally affirm your love & confidence in him & then resume normal life. It should always be administered privately with genuine expressions of love & concern. Never use it as a means to humiliate or shame your child or use it in anger or haste. Never use as a “convenient” method of discipline. 

It is especially important to discern attitudes in discipline. If there is a resistant “I’ll obey with my body, but not my heart” attitude it must be immediately & directly confronted & if necessary disciplined. If bad attitude is not addressed you are allowing your child to slowly harden his heart to your authority & discipline. If you discern a resistant attitude, rebuke & admonish your child without hesitation. You need to see godly sorrow & submission.
Proverbs 23:13,14
Titus 2:11-13
Galatians 6:7,8
Proverbs 22:15
Hebrews 12:11
2 Timothy 3:15,16

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