Back before Christmas I was shopping, and I noticed a little boy was misbehaving. He was pulling things off of the shelf. I asked his very young mom how old he was. She said he was three.
Although she tried to correct him, he seemed to want to do what he wanted to do, and he seemed to think he could get away with it.
I am not sure why parents do not feel they can discipline their children.
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
“Chasten thy son while there is hope,” reminds us that the window of opportunity for shaping a child is not forever open.
If that lady in the store does not get the discipline right pretty soon, she is going to struggle with that child for the rest of his life. He will grow up thinking he can do whatever he wants, and he will believe there are no consequences for his actions. That does not bode well for the child.
Flash forward a few weeks. I was grocery shopping when I noticed a little girl walking with a game or some gadget in her hand. She was quietly playing as she went through the store with who appeared to be her mom. All of a sudden her mom snapped at her. I could not fathom what this child had done wrong. I think she must have quietly asked for something on the shelf.
As I continued to shop, I saw some children in a specially made cart. The cute kids, a little girl and a little boy, were sitting on the seat near the handle. All of a sudden their mom, or who ever the lady with them was, snapped at the little girl. From what she said, she must have been touching something, but I am really not sure what. Whatever she had done, she did it the moment I glanced away.
In both of these last 2 cases, I had to wonder what on earth the child had done to deserve the discipline they received.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
When discipline is done correctly and consistently and the child is brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, there is hope.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Sometimes a person will stray as they grow up. The teenage and young adult years are often a challenge. That discipline that was instilled in the child while they were young, can serve to do one of two things. It can keep them on course as they grow up, but it can also serve to bring them back to the Lord if they should stray.
Disciplining children can be a tiresome and challenging job. You want to keep them in line and teach them of the Lord. You want them to choose right over wrong. At the same time, it is a challenge to not provoke them to wrath by being overly hard when correcting them.
Tired parents often jump on a child for no reason. The challenge is to discipline correctly. Do not overly punish out of your own anger and frustrations. Do not skip discipline because you are too tired or too busy. Consistency is not only important, but it is the only fair way to raise a child.