Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a]
4 Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4
Children are called to obey and honor their parents. But Father’s are called not to exasperate our children so that they become annoyed or embittered toward us. There must be a balance when we are disciplining our children. We are called to raise children in the knowledge of the Lord and we are called to hold them accountable. We are not called to be their friend or their buddy.
One of the major issues facing our world and our culture are parents who desire to be their child’s friend instead of being their parent. Or on the other end of the extreme we have parents who have become absent from the lives of their children. It creates children who are filled with anger and rebellion because they have lacked the love they needed as a child and they have never come to respect those in positions of authority.
When disciplining any child we must explain to that child why they are being discipline. Discipline should always be used as an opportunity to teach and not merely punish. When we are disciplined by our Father in Heaven it is not meant for Him to pour out His wrath upon it. He uses every opportunity when He disciplines us to teach us and refine us.
The same should hold true with our own children. When disciplining any child it should always be done with balance and in love. If we simply discipline or punish out of anger we do it from wrong motives and it will actually produce a negative effect. But when discipline takes place from a place of love it would accomplish incredible purposes in the life of a child.
The problem and deception of our culture is they clamor against disciplining children. They speak time and time again about positive reinforcement, but in the long run this is not effective and will actually backfire. If we desire to truly raise children the way the Lord calls us to then we must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and not the wisdom of this world. Yes there will be battles as a child grows and tries to push the boundaries. But if we hold fast and hold children accountable it will produce within them character and maturity.
I am very thankful for the father I had growing up as a child. He held me accountable for my actions and when need be gave me the belt. He never struck me out of anger, but he taught me the importance of respect and obedience. I thank God every day for the father and mother I had. They not only raised me in the knowledge of who the Lord is, but they disciplined me in love when needed and it saved me from a road of destruction.