Few parents enjoy their God-given responsibility of disciplining their children, and even fewer children enjoy being on the receiving end. The Bible tells us to expect discipline to be uncomfortable, but also promises positive results. This section will provide you with innovative suggestions to use when correcting your children, to help them learn to practice respect.
“…for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So He subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.”
Begin by establishing suitable boundaries. When a child wilfully crosses the boundary, follow through with a pre-determined consequence. For example: “Renee, Tom has asked you to stop tickling him and you have not respected his wishes. If you do not respect your friend’s boundaries, then you have to go home.”
In the case of showing disrespect for friends or toys, ending a playdate works well. God chose to subject those who rebelled with bitter labour. Once you have returned home, emphasize work instead of playing. You may also choose to bring your child to do errands with you, such as grocery shopping or washing your vehicle. You may also choose to find a “bitter” job (one that he/she does not enjoy) for the offending child to do.
Talk to your children about God’s heart of love and willingness to forgive them when they are sorry. Encourage your child with Isaiah 57:15:
“For this is what the high and lofty One says – He who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’ ”
Explain that when we are deeply sorry in our hearts, God is willing to forgive us and continue His friendship with us. Affirm that earthly parents are also pleased to hear their children repent when they have done wrong and are quick to forgive as God is.