For some reason, I don’t remember the specifics about the first time I disciplined my firstborn. I only remember hating it.
I’m sure I’m not the only parent who felt that way. Disciplining a child – giving them a stern lecture, taking away their favorite toy, or putting them in timeout, all while they cry – is never fun.
It is, though, bound up in love. As parents we discipline our children because we want a peaceful home, yes, but also because we want them to learn to obey higher authority, and ultimately to obey God (Hebrews 12:5-9).
To fail to discipline is to fail to love. A child without discipline is a child possibly on the path to failure, to lifelong rebellion.
For most of my life I’ve thought of the book of Proverbs as a collection of “moral nuggets” – a buffet of sorts that has a verse for just about any situation in life.
Proverbs certainly has plenty of wisdom in it, but lately I’ve been looking at its overarching themes. That is, the “lesson behind the lessons.”
Moms and dads can learn a lot from Proverbs. Here are five themes that stick out to me:
1. Be a parent and not a “buddy” or “friend.” That is, a parent has God-given authority over their kids, a role that comes with enormous but wonderful responsibilities. The writer of Proverbs, Solomon, makes this obvious from the start: “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Think about your best friends in high school. Did you ever give them “instruction” or “teach” them anything? No, you just had fun. Of course, I have lots of fun with my children. We laugh all the time. But even though I playfully call my two sons my “buddy,” my role is to be their father. Continue reading