Summary: Use the principles to improve the consistency of your discipline in your home.
We come to our third message in this series. The springboard for this series was an acrostic I came across in some material by John Maxwell. If we want to build secure families, these six characteristics are essential.
Six Characteristics of a Secure Family:
S = Spiritual Bonding
E= Express Positive Thoughts
C= Consistently Discipline
U= Unite During A Crisis
R= Recognize Each Member’s Value
E= Encourage Each Member
As we think today about discipline, remember that if you haven’t been cosistently disciplining up to now, immediate and sometimes painful changes have to be made. New habits must be developed. Apologies for past inconsistencies must be offered. But the stakes are too high for us to avoid this route. FIrst let’s get into our heads that discipline is a blessing, not a necessary evil.
Three Blessings of Discipline
Discipline is an evidence of love, Heb. 12:6
Discipline is an evidence of relationship, Heb. 12:7-8
Discipline pushes toward higher ground, Heb. 12:10-11
the higher ground of:
Partakers of holiness
Fruit of righteousness
Above all else, our discipline must be reflective of
the Lord’s manner of disciplining us. Love and purposefulness must saturate our philosophy of discipline. When we say purposefulness, we mean that discipline has definite goals in mind.
Six Goals of Discipline
But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. Malachi 2:15
In this passage in Malachi, look at what God says--Why do two people become one flesh? Because "He seeks godly offspring." While procreation was a goal in the creation of marriage, the QUALITY of that procreation is also a big issue. Our marriages’ ability to produce godly offspring has a direct affect on the quality of life in our society. What will godly offspring look like? Bigger, faster, and smarter are not necessarily what we look for. The perfect child is beyond us. In Buddy Scott’s book, "Relief For Hurting Parents", he encourages us not to have unrealistic goals in our child-rearing. We should therefore make our goal in discipline to build a godly citizen who is ....
1. decent--not morally outrageous 2. spiritual--we can’t FORCE salvation on them, but we can teach them morality, eternity, biblical truth, etc.
3.legal--it’s not too much to ask them to obey the laws of our society.
4. respectful--real life expects this from everyone, and it’s an indispensible job skill.
5. cooperative--get along with others in order to achieve common goal.
6. productive--a kid who just shows up isn’t enough.
This is all great rhetoric, these blessings and goals. But how do I begin?
Eight Guidelines For Discipline (once again referencing Scott’s "Relief..." book)
1) Set the example--more is "caught than taught"
2) Know the difference between immaturity and defiance--a three year old throws something at you; a 15-year old throws something at you. Not the same things is it? Immaturity requires a different discipline than defiance. This is how you also avoid the "it’s not fair" argument. You don’t always give the same time for the same time if immaturity vs. defiance is an issue.
3) Respond to what your child teaches--"You’ve taught me you can’t be trusted when we’re gone" You’ve taught us that you have trouble knowing what ’be home at 11 means.’" Put the burden on the child--discipline is a response to their choices.
4) Keep your perspective
a)how big is it? is this really worth WWIII?
b) did you struggle also? remember what it was like when you were that age.
5) Allow them to experience the pain of their choices--parents, this is paramount. Pain is God’s greatest teacher. Don’t bail them out.
6) Introduce positive spiritual experiences--be part of a church that puts spritual growth before fun.
7) Provide opportunities for change--give them specific goals or actions to show they are learning. Keep the door open, but don’t be the door mat.
8) Affirm and reward--let them feel the joy of positive choices.