Thursday, June 17, 2010

Correction vs Discipline

As part of our refocusing, Nathaniel and I have been working on changing/editing some of our views and methods on parenting. One of the biggest areas that has been placed on my heart is the difference between correction and discipline. This is an area that I never really understood, until lately. I have been receiving a LOT of correction lately. Some is self induced, and the rest is from God. I have been reminded lately that my children are not my own- they are HIS! I am blessed to have them for a while, but they are not mine. My job while I have them is to raise them to be ready to do His work. With that in mind, how much more carefully I need to treat and guide them!
I have always been told that I am too harsh on my children, that I should give them more grace, that not everything requires discipline- that kids will be kids. I agree with this to a point. Maybe not every wrong that Pea or Grunt commit requires discipline, but it all requires correction. This is true of ourselves as well. Not every sin is punished, but all are corrected- and if you feel as though your sins have gone uncorrected, then you need to read your Bible and pray more. (Hebrew 12:6- the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.)
I have definitely been more of a disciplinarian with Pea, and there are many instances where I could have extended more grace and corrected instead of disciplined; however, there are always going to be things that you wish you could re-do as a parent, and it's better not to dwell on them, and just move on. I want my children to accept correction with grace, I want them to be okay with being criticized, and not feel beaten down and broken when they are rebuked. This is huge for me! I hate being criticized and corrected, and I always have, but I want my children to feel differently about it. I am trying to keep their personalities in mind when I discipline them, to be careful with the words I choose, to be mindful of my goal in raising them... not to break them, but to strengthen them through discipline.

Scripture is full of verses on discipline. Here are a few:
Proverbs 12:1- Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 15:5- A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

Proverbs 29:15- The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

Proverbs 13:24- He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves his son is careful to discipline him.

Proverbs 13:24 says, "CAREFUL to discipline him." I'm refocusing on this point. I need to be careful to discipline and careful in discipline. I love my children, more than words can express, and I need to make sure that I always discipline out of the love that I have for them, just as Christ disciplines us out of his amazing love for us.

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