Teach them discipline.
No one ever had to tell me to ride my horses. When I became impassioned with them I put pressure on myself to be the best equestrian I could be. When my children began discovering their own gifts and talents I was amazed at their drive to excel. Drew would play basketball all night if I would have let him. Dane would become a wilderness pioneer hunting bear, deer, moose, elk, and living off the land. Aidan would play football year round. Ethan would read books, ride his pony and swim. Meghan would sing and make hand-crafts. Each child developed a self-discipline in one skill or another. Their discipline was motivated by the passion in their heart.

Little by little, the drive they exerted in their sports and hobbies began to spill over into other areas in their lives. In Drew's junior year of homeschooling he began getting up earlier than everyone else in order to get ahead for the day. He and Dane would willingly keep their room cleaned up so that they could have friends over each week. Dane would clean up the kitchen in order to have baking and cooking privileges. Much of their self-discipline was acquired through the sport competitions they love.

Learn an important lesson from a New Testament writer named Paul. Teach your children to follow the rules, learn how to win, how to maintain self-control, how to give their best and play well, how to focus on the right reward, and how to discipline their minds and bodies. For every effort that you are willing to invest, you will reap an abundance of rewards.


Pastor Timothy Palla and His lovely wife Jennifer live in McDermott, Ohio with their five children: Drew, Dane, Aidan, Ethan, and Meghan. You may contact him at tpalla@rocketmail.com.