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Summary: 3 of 4 messages on parenthood. This message deals with discipline and four mistakes Parents make - Over Indulgence, Over Protection, Over Permissiveness, and Over Activity.

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Parenthood – Launch Pad Disasters

May 7, 2006

Undisciplined Children are Unloved Children

The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as his child.

So hold on through your sufferings, because they are like a father’s discipline. God is treating you as children. All children are disciplined by their fathers.

If you are never disciplined (and every child must be disciplined), you are not true children.

Hebrews 12:6-7

Discipline is described by one author, Gorden McDonald as “Intentional Suffering”. I’m not sure if that is enough. I think I’d say it this way, “Discipline is the imposition of intentional suffering to obtain a desired goal. It can be imposed on you by others or you can impose it on yourself. Anyone who has signed up to exercise at the MAC understands the principle of “intentional suffering” to gain a slimmer body.

When we speak of discipline and children we open up a key and critical piece in the parenting of children.

All too often we fail our kids by not loving them enough to discipline them.

Throughout this message I have some comments from some of the teachers in our body about what they observe that the kids in their classrooms deal with every day. Consider what Shannon Nedd’s comments

Undisciplined Children are Unloved Children

"Too many parents are more concerned about their job than the well being of their child.

Too many parents see their children as an inconvenience rather than a blessing."

Shannon Nedds, Okemos Montessori Teacher

I’m going to share with this morning 4 mistakes that parents make in the discipline of their children.

Remember that discipline is the “intentional suffering” that we have imposed on us to achieve a greater goal. In other words – discipline is not punishment – it is a learning and growing process that a loving parent makes sure his kids benefit from.

Over Indulgence

Ok, the first mistake: over indulgence. Sometimes it’s just easier to give them what they say they want! But it creates an attitude of entitlement! Listen to Tom Hampton’s comments…

"We live with a generation of people who believe they deserve everything without having to give anything.

"You owe me _____" Fill in the blank. People don’t want to work for anything and so the lesson to their children is, as above, "I deserve everything but have to pay nothing… for it."

Tom Hampton, New Covenant Christian School Teacher

This is essentially a combination of greed and a ego-centric attitude. Or in other words, “It’s all about Me, Me, Me.”

Jesus set a different standard and would have us walk a different path.

Over Indulgence

15 Then Jesus said to them, “Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much one owns.”

Luke 12:15

One of the important jobs we have as parents is to teach our children that there are more important things in life than just material things. If we constantly give them everything they want – if they have every toy, every article of clothing, get to go anyplace they want & do everything they can – they’ll never learn the value of things.

Think back to your childhood, to the time when you didn’t get the bicycle at Christmas that you had longed for. Remember how disappointed you were, & you decide, “I just don’t want my child to go through that kind of disappointment here.”

But you never stop to realize that maybe the waiting & the wanting & the longing developed character in you. And the same would be true of your children.

It’s valuable to learn the lesson of being joyful for what you have instead of constantly whining about what you don’t have. Learn to be joyful!

Sending my kids on mission trip was one of the most important things I did for my kids. Recently one of our families got to visit New Orleans.

Over Protection

The second mistake we make is over protection.

"Some of my students think its ok to fill in answers from a friend and don’t see that as cheating. I’m all students working together but copying answers doesn’t cut it!! It’s dishonest and a horrible habit to get into!!!

Hardest problem to solve - apathy!"

Kathy Sheufelt, Okemos Chippewa Middle School Teacher

Kathy Sheufelt comments about how some kids think it’s ok to cheat and are apathetic about learning. Now where does this come from?

When life is too easy and there are no struggles there is no real growth and learning is there?

The writer of Hebrews says it this way:

Over Protection

4 You are struggling against sin, but your struggles have not yet caused you to be killed. 5 You have forgotten the encouraging words that call you his children: “My child, don’t think the Lord’s discipline is worth nothing, and don’t stop trying when he corrects you.

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