Today’s post is from my mate Miles Paludan. Miles is an Aussie from down under, but now lives in Edmond, Oklahoma where he is the Campus Pastor of LifeChurch.tv Edmond. Miles has been a great friend over the years! We have laughed together, walked through incredibly difficult times together, snowboarded together and plan to hit the Gold Coast together! He is a tremendous friend, leader, pastor, father, husband and he is truly the real deal. Miles better half is Bonnie and she is a true Saint! And as you can see from the pic, they have 5 ankle biters (kids)! What a great family! It is an honor to call them friends and if you would like to connect with Miles, you can find him on FACEBOOK.
So here’s Miles…
Have you ever stood in line at the grocery store checkout and suddenly your 3-year-old becomes a monster?
His eyes glaze over, he starts salivating and he becomes obsessed with one thing only…the colorful candy at eye-level.
Uh oh. But it doesn’t stop there, now he’s grabbing candy! He’s got it in his arms, pockets and mouth. You think to yourself, whose kid is this? You have 2 options: #1) Walk away, he’s not your kid, #2) Embrace the fight before you. Normally as a parent we take option #2. You start prying the candy out of their mouth, their fingers & their pockets only to hear screams of agony as you take away from your 3-year-old the colorful candy that they so desire.
Has anybody else been through this? WHY do store managers put candy at a 3-year-olds eye level? Do they enjoy watching the scene that must surely unfold daily? I have 5 kids and have experienced this with every single one. (I only took option #1 on one occasion…just don’t tell my wife.) The question is: Why does this happen?
As parents, we are charged by God to raise kids that reflect Christ. This is not an easy task when children are born with that 3-letter word called SIN, but as parents we have to shape, guide and direct them. The Bible clearly talks about how discipline is part of that process. Discipline helps a child understand their sinful nature and make right decisions for them.
So how do we discipline and how much is needed?
The Bible says in Proverbs 13:24 ‘Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline.’ Careful is an important word there because every kid is different. As parents we must be careful in discerning how much pressure to apply.
I like the analogy of a marble. Have you ever had a marble on a table? Think about it; if you want to direct that marble you have to put your thumb on top of it and move it around gently. If you don’t put enough pressure, the marble rolls of the table. Too much pressure and the marble flies off, shoots you in the eye or breaks something. Just like a marble, your child needs pressure applied. As parents, it’s our job to discern the right amount of pressure.
So how do we apply the pressure gently but firmly enough to guide our children? Pressure can be applied in many ways. It can be applied with an old fashion spanking; get one of those spanking spoons and spank their bottom. It can be applied through a time-out, it can be applied by giving a consequence where you remove a privilege from them and it can also be applied through offering a reward. Whatever you choose, take the time to discern the right type of pressure and how much is needed.
All too often we see parents that don’t discipline while the kid runs amuck and goes crazy or parents apply too much pressure and the kids bolt, run and rebel. Seek God for the type of discipline you need to apply. Too little and they roll off the table. Too much and they fly out never be seen again.
Hebrews 12:6a ‘for the Lord disciplines those he loves…’
Bottom line is this: as parents it is our love for our children that causes us to discipline them. All discipline should come out of love. Just as the Lord disciplines those he loves, we too should discipline our kids b/c of our love for them.
Where are you? Have you been applying too much pressure? Or too little pressure?