Check out a great article by a dear Christian husband, father, grandfather, friend and servant of God.
Raising children is not easy; love, discipline and teaching them to know God is a monumental challenge…please let us know if it’s easy for you, we would all like to get your autograph and learn from you. When I speak on rocket science in schools I ask students, “what is the most challenging job you could ever undertake”? Lots of answers; we’ve been talking about math, science, physics and rocket science so they give intellectual responses. After I’ve set the hook I break it to them: “being a parent is the most difficult role you will ever attempt; I can write an equation that will tell you exactly how a rocket will behave and perform, but I could never write an equation to predict how any of you will behave because you are unique”.
Today I read the post of a young mother about how both of her kids screamed hysterically all the way through Sam’s Club. Ever have those days when you feel like a failure? When you feel everyone is looking at you and thinking “why can’t he/she control those kids”? I have. You work hard, you read books, you get advice, you listen to God and they still humiliate you on a given day. And what others don’t see, we don’t even wanna talk about that…at home. Sheila Jones dropped by one day when our daughter Sarah was maybe 11 years old; Gail was yelling at Sarah about something (not the first time). Sheila who is a godly woman, a mom, famous author & book editor and Gail’s dear friend, she overheard the conflict and asked, “Gail, do you always to talk to your kids like that way”? Ooops, didn’t plan on that one! How would you like it if your husband shared your parenting mistakes on FB? Hey, I’m not telling you anything Gail hasn’t said to groups publicly, she is a humble & honest woman.
Back in the day (1970’s) a counselor shared a story about disciplining his son. They were having lunch in a restaurant and five year old was misbehaving so he took the son out to the car to discipline him. A sensitive woman had seen this coming and followed them to the car; in the middle of the spanking the woman yelled at him saying, “WHAT are you doing”!! The five year old knew exactly why he was being disciplined but he didn’t understand the lady questioning his father’s discipline. The kid turned off the waterworks and turned to his dad to ask, “Dad, what’s wrong with that lady”?
We spanked our kids when they were younger, up to age 5-6, typically with a small switch from a tree or bush. They hated switches but they learned wisdom & godliness. We never abused them. The biggest danger of my ‘losing it’ would be to see any of you abusing your children in the name of discipline, but it is also abuse to neglect discipline they need. And discipline continues as kids grow up; not spankings but appropriate discipline.
With our children and with everyone else the bible commands love; love must win over everything else and every command. James tells us “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13), Peter says “above all, love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8). Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). This applies to our children; and children, this applies to our parents. It applies in the family first and foremost, even before it applies to all the other people we know.