Parenting (part 4) – Train Your Children (Obedience & Discipline)

Pastor Tan Chi’s message today focused on training (repeated activity leading to mastered behavior) the children intentionally. Click here to watch his video.

He stressed the need to train the children based on love so they will not rebel. Teach them to obey not because they have to, but because they love you & want to please you. Never shout or scream for it accomplishes nothing. But rather enforce the Proverbs 13:24 principle (spare the rod, spoil the child). For some (like my kids), once or twice is all it takes. The next time, you just give them a certain look, and they get what you mean. Talking & explaining why you had to do it, & why you will do it again if the need arises, helps a lot too.

I have in the past, when occasion called for it, spanked the children. They know I super love them, but early on, I used the method to discipline them. The trick is not to use it too much lest they get used to spanking & it doesn’t become an effective tool anymore. Now they know I’m serious.. and we are all chummy chummy once we got that out of the way. Their dad, on the other hand, is a softie! :P We have fought at times because he doesn’t believe in spanking (and see who the kids obey now, hunny!). So you & your spouse have to be on the same page.

Pastor Tan Chi gave some spanking guidelines..
– spank with love, never in anger
– never in public (never shame them in front of others especially their peers )
– never use hands (use a paddle or belt. Hands are for loving)
– few rules (concentrate on few transgressions that warrants spanking: disrespect & disobedience)
– be consistent (if occasion calls for it (transgression you have set out as a no-no), you have to do it regardless if you’re having a good day or a bad day)
– be affirmative (tell them you love them after you spank them. Explain why you had to do it. Then hug them to affirm your love & that the punishment is over)

Now that my kids are older, I don’t spank anymore. I use reasoning (sometimes guilt -which is both wrong! :P). Here’s a sample of my drama when I really really want them to do it my way..
Me: Haaaayyy.. i’m so old na.. 2/3’s of my life is over na.. how many years do I have left nalang ba??? 
Kids: okay fiiiinnnnnneeeee!!!
Mali!!! Regardless if they want to do it or not, they HAVE to obey! Kids, are you reading this??? @_@

The good pastor suggests the PIGPEN PRINCIPLE (parable of the prodigal son) as they mature. Enforce obedience or face the consequence of their action. If they do something that get the into deeper trouble as a cause of their action, don’t bail them out so that they will learn their lesson.

I have a trouble with this principle myself & I should really restrain myself from feeling too much. Whenever the kids get into a quandary I always jump to their rescue. Which is why they never (?) learn. Whenever a teacher gets on their case, expect to see me in school with my full gear on (make-up, eye-blinding bling & designer bag!), ready for a battle. I really should give them breathing space to learn on their own (note to self!!!).

Please allow me to share with you the summary of pastor Tan Chi’s preaching:

Train Your Children

Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Train your children intentionally
Effective training is not a lecture, nagging, or just attending church or Sunday school or memorizing Scriptures. It focuses on the heart and is motivated by love. Training includes discipline and practice until the lesson is internalized.

1. Training Focuses on Obedience
   “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:1-4

•Obedience is foundational
– Parents must first focus on training their children to obey. Until their child has learned to obey, they can’t be trained. Obedience to parents is the first commandment of God with a promise (Eph. 6:1).
– The way children obey parental authority will be the way they will obey their teachers, employers, and ultimately God. The only time you should not obey parents is when they tell you to do something against what the Bible says.
– The evidence of our love relationship with God is our obedience to Him. Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my commandments (John 14:15, 21).”
To God, obedience is better than sacrifice (1Samuel 15:22-23).
Obedience must come from the heart. If the heart is not right, we question God.

•Obedience leads to blessing
– God promises that when we obey our parents, it may be well with us and that we will live long life.
– God wants to reward our obedience.
– Obedience requires listening and believing; it is an act of faith; you have not believed until you obey (1 Samuel 15:23).

•Obedience is an act of faith
– The first authority to obey is parental authority. Subsequently, we will have teacher authority, husband employer, ministry, church authority.
– You submit to authority not because they always deserve it, but by virtue of their position. Even when they seem to be unreasonable you obey because you trust God’s sovereignty over any appointed authorities (1 Peter 2:18-19). The best way to impact those in authority over you is to show them respect and obedience so that they too will be drawn to Christ.

2. Training Involves Discipline

•Based on love (Hebrews 12:6, 7, 10-11)
– Those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines. Discipline often comes with pain but discipline motivated by love is not punishment.
– Make sure that you have loving relationship with the children before you discipline them, otherwise you will only create rebellion and animosity.

•Based on parent-child relationship (Heb. 12:8)
– Discipline is based on the parent-child relationship.
– The security of God’s people is the discipline of the Lord. If you are indeed children of God, He will discipline you when you disobey or do something wrong. Otherwise, if you don’t receive God’s discipline, then you need to ask yourself if you really are God’s child.

•For the child’s good (Heb 12:10-11; Prov 13:24)
– God disciplines you not because of rage or wrath, but for the sake of your character transformation.

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