Summary: Discipline is an important part of raising a child. Let us see the problem a lack of discipline caused Eli and his sons
• -- John Maxwell, in "What Children Owe Their Parents (and Themselves)," Preaching Today, Tape No. 140. Says the following: Do you read the cartoon Nancy? She says, "Things will be different when I’m an adult. When I have kids of my own, I’m going to let them do whatever they want, whenever they want." The next frame shows her rethinking what she just said. In the last frame, she says, "As long as they do it my way."
• What is one of the toughest things that a parent faces day in and day out with their children?
• It is discipline.
• What is one of the most important things we will do for our children? Discipline them.
• Today I want us to focus on discipline. We will look at what it is and we will look at some elements that need to be present for discipline to work. Finally we will look in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel to look at a man who did not have to courage to discipline his children and the tragic results.
I. WHAT IS DISCIPLINE?
Before we look at what discipline is, let us look at what it is not.
A. Discipline is not PUNISHMENT. Punishment is involved in discipline.
• When we understand that punishment in itself is not discipline, it will change the way that we discipline our children.
• We will see that there is more of a purpose than getting our children to mind or not to embarrass us in public.
• In the time of the writing of this verse, discipline was heavy handed. Paul is telling us that we are not to be that way.
B. If discipline is not punishment, then what is it?
Discipline refers to the process by which one learns a way of life. A disciple was like an apprentice who was learning a trade or craft from a master. Such learning required a relationship between the master who knew the way of life (discipline) and a learner (a disciple). Within this relationship, the master led a learner through a process (the discipline) until the learner could imitate or live like the master.
EPH 6:4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
The word discipline means to train or instruct.
The Ephesians passage tells us that we are to raise our children in the discipline and instruction in the Lord, not the punishment of the Lord.
Discipline is training. If you use the example of craftsman and an apprentice, the craftsman teaches his craft to the apprentice.
Everything that he does is for the purpose to making the apprentice a craftsman.
Discipline in a parent child relationship is the parent teaching the child the way of life.
Discipline is setting the boundaries from which a person will live.
TV gives us the picture that the children know more about life than the parents. Whenever we allow our children dictate what happens in the home, we are not only hurting ourselves, but we are hurting the development of our children. Our children need us to teach them about life.
Remember that the purpose of the family is to glorify God and to teach the next generation about Jesus.