Parenting is hard work. Particularly because we are called by God to direct and correct young human beings who are born sinners (Ps.51:5), by nature chafe against the instructions of God (Rom.8:7; 1Cor.2:14), and are obstinately focused on pleasing their own selfish appetites (Eph.2:3). And yet, even from the youngest of years, this work to curtail, limit, shape and redirect young rebellious lives is precisely what God requires us to do (Eph.6:4; Pr.22:15).
Of course, our ultimate goal is to bring them to a mature understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but at the same time, throughout each season of immaturity our job is to reign in, curb and restrain their innate impulses to do what is sinful (1Sam.3:13). For even before the transforming work of regeneration takes place, “a child makes himself known by his acts” (Pr.20:11) and parents are evaluated by either the submission or the insubordination of their children (Tit.1:6). And considering the great personal costs to your child for his or her moral choices (Gal.6:8), it makes sense that a mom or dad’s effort in this task is seen as the definitive measure of parental love (Pr.13:24).
It should come as no surprise that when permissiveness characterizes a home, shame, regret and disgrace will surely follow (Pr.29:15). So if you are in the throes of correcting and corralling young sinners, take heart, your consistent, firm and loving discipline will reap a harvest of peace and righteousness (Pr.29:17).
-- Pastor Mike
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