In my previous columns I shared how Dr. Ruth Chang taught me how to: keep my daughter close and win her heart by giving her the right kind and amount of praise; accept her individuality and support her interests; respect her and acknowledge her feelings despite her tender age; empathize with her when she feels upset and make her feel that her feelings matter; nurturing her carefully and lovingly; and teach her intentionally the ways of the Lord.
Next, I related how Gary Chapman’s teachings showed me how to widen my perspective, deepen my understanding; and guide how to best show my love.
Today, I will share with you how Tedd Trip in Shepherding A Child’s Heart made my job description as a parent clear to me—both as a God-ordained authority in my child’s life as well as a God-bound follower of Christ.
Shepherding A Child’s Heart covers a wide range of parenting topics such as the heart being the control center for life, the shaping influences that make a person who they are; how to develop Godward orientation and that being the standard both for doing and aspiring for things, to setting and reassessing one’s parenting goals; to ultimately – the purpose I waited for that book for two months – how to effectively discipline with love using a rod.
Without divulging the contents of the book, let me give you five reasons why I was won over by the use of the rod.
Because children need to be disciplined for they are born sinners. Proverbs 22:15 states “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.”
Children are innately like fools controlled by their mere desires therefore needing correction. Don’t you notice that all your kids say is “I want this… I want that… I want, I want, I want…” Post-discipline talk is the perfect time to teach your kids that the world does not revolve around them nor their wants. Selflessness can be taught as early as at one or two years old.
Because I don’t want to end up having a rebellious child. What will happen if you do not discipline a young child with foolish tendencies? Count a few years and you have a rebellious teenager. When would you choose to correct: repeatedly while they are still young and malleable and you are the only influence in their lives? Or when they are older and have grown accustomed to having their way always and you correct them repeatedly but to no avail? I would rather get “headaches” now repeating things than later on when my child is old and “cant learn new tricks” anymore.
Because I want to be with my child in heaven. I don’t want her to suffer forever in hell. The rod is for the purpose of rescuing your child’s soul from spiritual death.
An undisciplined child will grow up selfish, making poor choices, leading an undirected life without purpose, engulfed by sin.
Proverbs 23:14 says “Punish him with a rod and save his soul from death.” I always tell Gummy that I discipline her because I love her and I want to save her soul. This is so ingrained in her that it moves her to choose to do things that will make God and not the devil happy. Because doing bad things make the enemy happy and eventually that will lead her ending up with him and as early as now, Gummy is so sure she does not want that.
Because to use the rod is a God-ordained task and I will be remiss as a follower of Christ to not obey Him in this area … even if it is hard and painful for me too. While I am an authority in the life of my child as a parent, I am also her equal as a follower of Christ. And if as a parent I fail to do what He asks me to, just because spanking my child feels painful then I become disobedient to my Lord too.
Spanking is a directive from God—an action to be taken as an immediate response to correct disruptive behavior. I see to it to tell Gummy that if I do not use the rod on her and let her get away with things then both of us become disobedient children of God.
Because ultimately the one our children offend is God. Parents must never discipline their children because they were offended by their kids’ actions or were inconvenienced by their behavior but because ultimately they have disobeyed and have offended God.
I would love to give more reasons but then you may not buy the book anymore and you would’ve missed out on an exceptional parenting read with great insights on disciplining with love.
Next week I will share with you how I discipline my Gummy, what it felt like the first time I spanked her bottom and how I knew I did the right thing because of the look on her face.