Summary: One of the greatest gifts you could ever give your children is to teach them biblical obedience through godly, loving discipline. Let’s examine three aspects of this.
David’s Undisciplined Son
1. David had a son named Adonijah who decided that he would take advantage of his dad’s failing health and old age. He began to plot how he could make himself king and put himself on the throne. vs. 5-7
• This young man had no self-control (couldn’t wait, wanted what he wanted now).
• He was full of pride (he exalted himself).
• He was full of selfish rebellion (“I will be king”).
• He was deceitful (used others in his plan of rebellion).
2. David was a man of God. Why was his son this way? The answer is found in verse 6. Adonijah lacked proper, biblical discipline. He had an indulgent father that wouldn’t say “no.” He allowed his son to do whatever he wanted to do.
3. Rebellious children can destroy the harmony of a home. They can turn the home into a war zone. Many parents have robbed their home of joy and harmony by failing to exercise proper, biblical discipline. Illustration: A screaming child in Wal-Mart.
4. Ephesians 2:3 teaches that we are all born with a sinful nature. This is why the untrained heart of every child reflects self-centeredness and a lack of self-control.
5. One of the greatest gifts you could ever give your children is to teach them biblical obedience through godly, loving discipline. Let’s examine three aspects of this.
First, let’s consider the motive of discipline.
1. The motive is not to simply make life easier on the parents. It is far deeper. You are shaping a heart for life.
2. Did you know there is something within the heart of every child that a parent needs to reach and drive out? Proverbs 22:15
• “Foolishness” is defined as “deceptiveness, trickery and deceit.” It is a variant of the word “folly,” which means “emptiness; thick headedness; senselessness; disobedience.”
3. Scripturally, a fool is an adult whose parents never trained and disciplined the foolishness out of him. This is the job of every parent. Through godly discipline, you drive out foolishness and replace it with wisdom, and thereby transform the heart.
Second, let’s consider the method of discipline.
1. When a child is young and is in those crucial developmental years, the Bible teaches the use of corporal discipline. Proverbs 22:15, 13:24, 29:15
2. Child abuse of any kind is wicked and disgusting. It is sick, perverted, and wrong. But God has created an appropriate place for corporeal discipline to occur – a place in which no bones can be broken and no damage can be done.
• The child will begin to associate stinging discomfort with rebellion, sin, and disobedience.
• Never is this to be done in anger or when the parent is out of control.
3. But, when loving, caring parents who are in total control exercise corporal discipline, it results in driving away the foolishness from that child. People may object and say, “But if you do that, it will result in the child being violent.” The Bible does not teach this, nor does American history bear that out!
4. Parents say, “But my child will hate me.” Actually, just the opposite is true. When it is done in love with a broken heart, the children sense that and it becomes an incredible bonding experience. My son (23 years old) still regularly hugs me and expresses love.
5. On the other hand, kids that grow up without biblical discipline many times grow up with no respect for their parents and become very defiant and rebellious.
Third, let’s consider the mistakes of discipline.
• Once you decide to use biblical discipline, there are two potential mistakes that we make as parents.
1. First, the repeating parent
• This is when we tell little Johnny to turn off the TV and do his homework four or five times before we finally bring discipline and make him obey.
• If he will obey by the fourth request, why not obey the first time? It is because we have not conditioned him for immediate obedience. The child has learned that we will coax, threaten, and bargain before we make him obey.
• If this is common, do you think the child will listen to God and obey Him immediately as he gets older?
• One of the most important elements in discipline is consistency. Remember, obedience that isn’t immediate is not obedience.
2. Second, the negotiating parent
• Many parents insist on complete obedience before the conflict comes, but in the heat of the battle they are willing to negotiate and accept less than complete obedience.
• Illustration: The parents tell their five-year-old, “Look at them and say ‘thank you’ nice and loud.” The child looks down at the floor and mumbles a thank you. He’s willing to surrender 50%, but will keep the other 50% for himself (self-rule).