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.
If discipline relates to discipling (from Latin, disciplina: instruction), if making disciples is our duty (including the children we've been given), then failure to discipline is deadly.
It brings about a parent's worst nightmare: a spoiled brat who becomes a spoiled adult, as in damaged, diminished or ruined.
Of all the modern parenting pitfalls, failure to discipline may be largest. I did fairly well when my kids were young, but as they grew, I grew preoccupied. But Jesus restored the girls I ignored.
Today, discipline has had a facelift. It's been cut, smoothed and sewn back together. Time-out is our bandaid for every wound, followed by generous pats on the back, followed by affirming explanations and the removal of all obstacles.
The Word of God sees discipline differently. It sees it as physical and timely. It sees it as the surest sign of love: 'Because the Lord disciplines those He loves' (Proverbs 3:12). Even so, some with-it Christian parents have hearkened to Psychology Today more than to their perfect Father's Counsel.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, consider my own hypothesis: if our kids are hounded by demons (clearly illustrated by Jesus), if demons incite bad behavior, if His Spirit brings deliverance, if He says to discipline our kids, could His Spirit join our discipline in a holy collaboration? Could this duo force bad guys to flee?
Whether I'm right or wrong in my guess, God's Word is divinely straight forward. To discipline justly is to love; failure to discipline is not love.
'Discipline your children, for in that there is hope' (Proverbs 19:18).
To Be Continued...
* My daughters and a good friend (Nise Davies, Christian casting director and producer) recommend the book, Dare To Discipline, by James Dobson. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/255128.The_New_Dare_to_Discipline
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Parent Traps series.