No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
Parents, this one’s for you! Be encouraged that God has given you his permission to set and enforce healthy boundaries for your children.
Disciplining our children takes time and energy. It takes strength and wisdom. It is a never-ending task. It takes repetition. Discipline takes patience and steadfastness.
Today as I pondered the efforts required to be a parent, I initially felt defeated. It can seem as if our efforts are fruitless. Our best intentions and well made decisions are greeted by ungratefulness and anger. Boundaries we’ve set result in confrontation and disobedience.
Take heart, Parents! “Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up!” (Galatians 6:9) Look to your heavenly Father and his perfect example of parenting. God is a God of order and he sets boundaries. For example, the ocean, rivers, seasons, and marriages all have boundaries.
An ocean without boundaries results in devastation. A child without boundaries will live an uncontrolled life and end in devastation. A river void of solid bank results in chaos as the water spews over onto the land around it. Children who are never corrected for inappropriateness of words and broken rules are children who destroy themselves and others. Children too must learn to live within both social and physical boundaries. They must also be given appropriate privileges in the right season of their life. A season sent too early would ruin the crop and a teenage privilege afforded to a young child will not yield its intended outcome.
Our children do not have to understand why we have set particular boundaries. They do not have to be happy with our limits on time and relationships. When we infringe upon their happiness is should be because we are more concerned about their holiness than their happiness. If God feels the need to create boundaries for the earth and for our relationships, then we can feel confident that he will give us the wisdom to set healthy boundaries for his children!
James (chapters 1 & 4) reminds us that if we don’t have it’s because we haven’t asked according to God’s will. God also loves to give his wisdom. So, ask God to help you have the wisdom and energy to set and enforce boundaries. God’s will is that through earthly discipline his children will learn to obey their earthly parents and in turn learn to obey Him. Go on, just ask! He will be delighted to answer!