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Summary: Life — including the Christian life — is best lived in a context of reasonable discipline and solid instruction. Balanced discipline and love are not adversarial, they are joined at the hip.

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Note: I preach 30 to 35 minutes, but only made it through the first point.

Joined At the Hip

(Proverbs 23:13-17)

1. Andrew Chan illustrates how many (not all) moms are so perfectionistic, doting, and idealistic with their first child and lower standard drastically with their others.

1). Your Clothes : 1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as doctor confirms your pregnancy.

2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

2) The Nursery :1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.

2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.

3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?

3) Pacifier: 1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.

2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.

3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

4) Activities :

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

5) Swallowing Coins:1st child: when first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.

2nd child: when 2nd child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for coin to pass.

3rd child: when 3rd child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!!

4. But what about disciplining the children God gives us? And what about the Lord disciplining us — no matter what our age?

Main Idea: Life — including the Christian life — is best lived in a context of reasonable discipline and solid instruction. Balanced discipline and love are not adversarial, they are joined at the hip.

I. Discipline: For Our GOOD (13-14)

We discipline our children because we love them, and we show our love for them by doing what is in their best interest. God does the same.

A. Here “discipline” refers to “corrective PUNISHMENT” for willful defiance

1. The rod represents corrective punishment (stick, staff); not only

2. First we are urged to use corrective rebuke (Proverbs 13:1), not to be confused with the more prolonged/humiliating practice of scolding.

B. Parents to CHILDREN: common mistakes

1. Too MUCH correction or too HARSH (aim low/confer)

• Some children never require spanking; not in public

• You want to sting, not bruise; one spank might be enough

2. Disciplining while ANGRY

3. Disciplining to save FACE, not the child’s best interest

“Today, I come home to find my nephew holding pieces of my new $3,500 Sony Video Camera. He told me he threw it out the window because it was a portal for aliens. “

4. Treating all children ALIKE

5. PROLONGED discipline rather than “quick and done”

• You do not want to crush a child’s spirit


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