Mom and Dad, Is Your Emphasis on Discipline or Delight?

Mom and Dad, Is Your Emphasis on Discipline or Delight?

Proverbs 3:11-12 [NIV] – My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 

Proverbs 29:17 [ESV] – Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

Over the years, I have taken literally a hundred thousand photos and videos of life with our five kids. Once in a while, I pull them so that we can all remember the fun we’ve had and memories we’ve made.

One goal for every parent should be to enjoy life with their child, make memories, and have fun. This is how God parents us. Did you know that God delights in you? He does not just love you; He also likes you, likes being your Father, and likes doing life with you. This is because God is a grace-based parent who puts love and relationship at the starting line instead of the finish line for us.

Because God loves us and seeks our best, he continually delights in us to encourage us and grow our trust in His care for us. And, our Father occasionally corrects us. Importantly, God does not continually discipline you and occasionally delight in you. The opposite is fact – God continually delights in you and occasionally disciplines you.

We are to parent our kids the way that our Father parents us.  Discipline is course correction to get back to having fun and making memories as sin and folly push us off course.  The purpose of discipline is not to punish since Jesus already paid that price, but rather to associate sin and folly with grief and pain so that we learn to avoid it going forward. The ultimate goal of corrective discipline is not for us to control our child, but instead help them grow in practicing self-control. At some point, our kids grow up and get to decide if they want a relationship with God or us and start making their own life decisions. If we delight in them as God delights in us, the odds increase that they will invite us into their life seasons and decisions because we know we care and have their best interest at heart.

Growing up as a child, was your home mainly one of delight or discipline?

Mark Driscoll
hello@markdriscoll.org

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