"No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way." Hebrews 12:11 (NLT)
We were already late for church when the fight began. One daughter was upset the other had told a lie. I sighed. Not right before it's time to leave, please!
It'd been a long week and I was tired. But lies are not allowed in the Glasgow home and this was something I had to take care of now. I called both girls to The Pink Couch, the place set aside to talk to our children.
They both sat down and gave their side of the story. It was clear who was telling the truth and who wasn't. I dismissed the one that wasn't lying and asked the one who did to admit she had and to say sorry. She wouldn't. After 15 minutes she still hadn't confessed. She was only four, but don't let a four year old fool you, she knew I needed to get out the door. I was her Sunday School teacher.
It would have been so easy to put her lie on the back burner, but I made an executive decision. "Dale would you teach my class today? I can't leave until this is resolved." As the rest of our family headed out the door, I told my daughter that until she told the truth she would sit on The Pink Couch. An hour passed, then two, then three. How could my child who normally couldn't sit still for thirty minutes bide her time without any entertainment for hours? Though we were sitting quietly, waiting it out drained me.
Finally, she admitted her lie with a sincere heart and said, "I'm sorry." We hugged and to this day I've never heard her say another lie.
I've got five almost-grown daughters now. Whew! The discipline part was a lot of work and one thing remained constant whether they were four or 14—discipline always took time, wisdom, discernment and love.
It would have been easier and saved energy to just let the lie slide. But, the Bible tells us "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way" (Hebrews 12:11).
Discipline is not fun for those receiving it OR for those administering it. Let's be honest, parenting can be exhausting! But consistency comes with a great reward. Investing time and ensuring the same consequences yields good fruit in our children's lives.
My husband and I have pear trees on our land. Some can take years to bear fruit, but with regular watering, pruning and fertilizing, our trees eventually show the results of our labor.
Most parents would say they desire for their kids to grow up and live in peace with the Lord. That's exactly the outcome Hebrews 12:11 promises us if we don't give up when our children are young. Rather than making a quick decision that only modifies their behavior for the moment, we have to aim at changing our children's hearts for the long term.
As my then four-year-old daughter and I sat for hours that Sunday morning, I knew I had to nip this in the bud or the consequences would negatively impact her future. She's an adult now and will gladly tell you what a strong impact the discipline of sitting on The Pink Couch had on her.
Unimaginable energy goes into raising godly children. You may want to do what I did: stay on your knees in prayer and mediate on the Word day and night so that you can be encouraged and have wisdom on rearing your kids. It can be exhausting, but the work is worth the great reward!
Dear Lord, give me the wisdom, discernment, time and love I need to discipline my children to be the godly people You desire. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources: I Used to be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer will help you manage your time, so you can have more to invest in your children.
Reflect and Respond: Do you follow through in disciplining your children in consistent ways? If you told them not to do something one day and they do it the next, what are the consequences?
In order to discipline in love we need a relationship with Jesus, who is love. Spend some time today focusing on His Word, praying or worshipping Him.
Power Verses: Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (NIV)
Proverbs 29:17, "Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire." (NIV)
© 2013 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.
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