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.

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

6. INCONSISTENT enforcement

7. Threatened discipline without FOLLOW THROUGH

8. Parental PRIDE: refusal to adjust or apologize

• Remember: your children inherited their sinful tendencies from you

9. Using FEAR to make young children behave

10. Seeking to please a child rather than CORRECT him/her

11. Not disciplining in AGE appropriate ways

• 18 months and 3 years — time to break self-will (no compromise)

• Once that is done, you can use reason more

• Junior high kids — avoid ultimatums (consequences, yes);

B. God disciplines US as adults!

• Are we alert to God’s discipline in our lives?

• Do we automatically assume that life’s struggles are from the curse, the world, or the devil? Do we always view ourselves as Job?

C. The purpose of discipline: long-term BEST interest of those disciplined

Hebrews 12:7-11, “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

1. Failure to discipline equates to disowning your children

2. Discipline’s purpose: the good of the one disciplined

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