The Way of the Master
Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. Ephesians 6:4 (MSG)
The worst child-rearing advice I ever tried was to refrain from using the word “no.” The premise behind this was that the word “no” would damage the child’s self-esteem.
I could convey the boundary was there, but not use “no.”
When I tried this method it sounded like this, “Johnny, the oven is hot. You don’t want to get burned do you? Let’s come over here where it is safe instead.”
What do you think that 2 - 4 year old did? Yep. Went right back over to that stove and got burned. The pain of the hot stove seared the boundary into the child’s mind.
A firm “no” would have been more decisive and saved the kid from the burn.
Completely absurd, worst advice ever and I threw the book away.
Marines say that you fight like you are trained. It is the same with children. If we want them to be godly, then we must discipline them to be.
To discipline means to train or to teach. From the Latin, it is instruction given to a disciple.
Marines are the best fighting force in the world. Why? Because they are disciplined (i.e., trained) to be. According to the Lord, it is the same with children.
We must train them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6 NIV)
- Do not know the boundaries that will keep them safe.
- Are constantly frustrated because they are not in control and don’t know why.
- Are dangerous to themselves and to others.
- Will not be ready to leave the nests at the appropriate time.
Think about what our Main Ingredient verse says. The point of discipline is not to wear your kids out and frustrate them, but teach them instead the way of the Master.
How do I know the way of the Master? Is it in a book?
Yes, it is in the book . . . The Bible.
In order to show a child the way they should go, you must know the path yourself.
Do you know the Way, Jesus?
Parents, you fight like you are trained. If you had a dysfunctional family system, you pass that on to your own kids unless you yourself know the way of the Master.
If you want to raise godly children, you must let God do a work in you. Untrained parents are even more dangerous than untrained children.
Parents, knowing the Bible will help you:
- Delineate healthy, safe boundaries (Exodus 20:1 – 17)
- Teach your child who is in control . . . God (Psalms 18:30; Genesis 1:1)
- Make your child a blessing to you and everyone they meet (Proverbs 4:1 – 9)
- Make them ready to be on their own because it teaches them to be financially responsible, physically healthy, emotionally mature, and spiritually well-rounded
Lord, make us the parents we need to be by teaching us as the children You know us to be. Discipline us and train us! Let us fix our eyes on You, Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our own faith so that we may pass it on to our children. As we run the race of perseverance that is marked out for us, let us run in such a way to obtain the crown so that when our children see it, they will know the Way, Jesus. In Your Precious Name, Amen.
© 2018 by Robin Jones. All rights reserved.
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