Sin is the target
Heb. 12:10: Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness (NIV).
Our kids can be award-winning actors when they think showing remorse will persuade us to forego a consequence. When they pull at our emotional heartstrings, it can be a tempting proposition because following through with discipline is inconvenient and energy draining most of the time!
Of course, we try the same thing ourselves when we pray for God to rescue us from the results of our poor decisions. But God usually allows us to suffer the consequences of our sin as part of His loving plan to transform us into the image of Christ. It takes a deeper love to give us what we need over what we want.
We imitate the Perfect Parent when we are strong enough to see the long-term benefits of discipline even when our kids can't. It's not always easy, but when we calmly and lovingly follow through with discipline, we prepare our kids to see the love behind the discipline of their Heavenly Father.
Wise discipline is a reflection of a truly loving parent.