“For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them.” Hebrews 12:7-9
We live in an age in which committed parenting has fallen on hard times. There are many in our world who are living only for pleasure, and many times they find out too late, that the children they have begotten require a sacrifice that they didn’t bargain for. And so, the kids are shuffled from day-care centres to kid’s programs and kid’s camps. Many of these parents have little self-discipline, and the kids receive virtually no healthy parental discipline. And self-loving parents delude themselves into thinking that disciplining their children will hurt their children’s self esteem.
The writer to the Hebrews knew nothing of that sort of thinking. The only children that were not disciplined in his world were illegitimate children. He goes on to say, “We have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them.” The respect is not in spite of the discipline, but rather, a direct result of the discipline. A website entitled VeryWellFamily.com states: “What many parents who are reluctant to discipline children may not understand is how damaging it can be for a child to lack boundaries. Without discipline, children will lack self-control. They will not respect their parents or other authority figures. They will not know what is appropriate behaviour. They will be wilful, selfish, and generally unpleasant company. They will not have social skills that are important for making friends such as empathy, patience, and knowing how to share. They will be more likely to engage in negative behaviours that are harmful and even potentially dangerous for themselves as well as others. They will be unhappy.”
How vital, then, that we as believers discipline our children firmly, fairly and faithfully. While the best of us are imperfect parents, yet we are called upon by God to train up our children in the way they should go! May God help all of us to die to self in our commitment to raising up the next generation of responsible, secure adults, and may God add His blessing to our feeble efforts so that our children and our grandchildren, and the generations to come, may love and serve Him!