PTC_Proverbs 19 - "How to ruin your child's life"

5/22/13 - PTC_Proverbs 19 - "How to ruin your child's life"
Priority Time Challenge 2013
To view the instructions for our journey through the Proverbs and the daily schedule, click here.

Proverbs 19:3 & 18 (NIV)

"3 A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
    yet their heart rages against the Lord."

"18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
    do not be a willing party to their death."

I have seen verse 3 hundreds of time and I have experienced it personally. Those times in life when I, with a hard heart, choose my own way. When the consequences came, I've turned to God in frustration as if He were to blame for my struggle. There is a direct relationship between my "folly" and my "ruin." This is the reality of being foolish. At some point the bad decisions catch up with us. I will never forget sitting across a table at a restaurant trying to help piece together the remainder of a man's shattered life. Through tears he mourned the loss of his family. His wife had enough and took the kids and left. He was left broken and empty. He was begging God to heal his marriage and put things back together. Yet, prior to this brokenness he had an ongoing affair with another woman and only after she dumped him did he realize what he had lost. We cannot escape our foolish choices. Please know that I have great compassion toward this man and many who are like him. I don't use this example to judge him or elevate myself or others. The point is, we all make foolish choices that lead to some kind of ruin and yet our tendency is to blame God. We complain that God didn't stop us or that God should make them forgive and take us back or that if God were loving He wouldn't let this happen. 

You parents reading this, remember that one of the most important lessons you can teach your kids is the relationship between decisions/actions and consequences. We don't make decisions in a vacuum and every choice we make affects others. This is the bridge between verse 3 and verse 18. We must discipline our kids (train them) so that they learn the way decisions and consequences work. We do this early and often so they cut their teeth on this principle when the risk of major damage is low. We don't want them to learn this when the risk is too great. 

This is why the proverb says, discipline leads to hope. The hope is, we train our kids to suffer less by their own choices. We can't control others but we can control ourselves. This is a powerful concept there is NO hope without discipline. In parenting, nothing changes until something changes. We cannot wait for our kids to "warm up" to discipline we must create the avenues by which our kids need to grow. When parents fail to bring discipline, they become a willing party to their child's death. That is why you will hear me constantly beat the drum of #7000days. Every day matters and you get get NO SECOND CHANCES. My heart breaks when I see parents that did not make the most of their #7000Days and live with the regret that things could be different. Things can be different. Start NOW. Don't be afraid of discipline. Start with planned, positive and proactive discipline. Try to make proactive discipline more common than reactive discipline.

These Proverbs raise important issues for our lives. We cannot underestimate the importance of taking ownership of our own decisions and not blame God when our poor choices cause pain, regret and ruin. Likewise we cannot miss the opportunity to train our kids in this truth by supplying much needed discipline.

God, I pray for Your wisdom for this day. I pray You help me see foolishness long before I have the chance to consider it. I pray for the parents reading this. Nothing is more concerning than knowing your kids will make foolish choices and will have to learn the hard way on some things. God, protect our kids. I pray for the ability to bring planned, positive and proactive discipline to my boys. I feel like we end up just reacting to all the minor infractions that we are missing the opportunity to prepare them for the major challenges that are no doubt ahead. Help us make the most of our 7000Days.

Application questions:
What is an area of foolishness you allow in your life right now?
What is the #1 area of discipline your child/children need right now (be specific for each child)?
What percentage of the discipline in your home is planned, positive and proactive vs reactive?

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Posted by Andy Savage at 8:00 PM
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