Am I too strict? Not strict enough? Am I scarring my kids for life? Am I molding respectable adults? Surely I’m not the only parent who struggles with these thoughts on a regular basis.
Most days, I have no idea how to answer any of them.
Recently, my children have been testing limits. A lot. They’re testing limits inside the home, outside of the home, with us and with others. It’s exhausting and quite honestly, I take it personally. I immediately wonder what I am doing wrong for them to behave that way and beat myself up with how I’m failing them as a mother. I don’t allow room for the simple understanding that they’re children learning their way in life.
The reality is, if it didn’t bother me, I’d be doing something wrong. If I didn’t discipline them for their choices, I’d be failing them as a mother.
Proverbs 13:24 NIV
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
The one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
Do you see the beautiful encouraging power in that sentence? Not only is God detailing the need to discipline our children, but the mere fact that it can be found in His word is evidence that He knew it would be necessary.
Discipline is necessary. Love associated with discipline is spoken of several times in the Bible. Loving discipline is what teaches our children that there are consequences for their actions. Loving discipline is what molds respectable adults.
Satan, not God, works in telling us otherwise. Satan feeds our minds with the lies that we’re doing something wrong because discipline is necessary. Satan steals the love from the situation and taunts us with self-loathing.
Satan is the problem, not our children.