Reclaim your parenting backbone

"Reclaim your parenting backbone"
Ok parents, listen up! It's time to reclaim your parenting BACKBONE! No more excuses. Every family out there with an out-of-control, disrespectful, back-talking, temper-tantrum-ing, utterly selfish, demanding, manipulative, argumentative, and downright spoiled kid needs to read this post! The number one job of a parent is DISCIPLINE. Not hugs and kisses, not coddling, not giving them everything their little sinful heart wants - NO - they need discipline. That's right, old school, because-I-said-so, I'll tan your hide, not in my house discipline.

Before you get upset with me, this is not my idea - it's God's! Proverbs 19:18 says, "Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death." This passage outlines some of the basic truths of parenting that most of us have lost sight of or have never seen in the first place.

1. All children are on a path of self-destruction.
Believe it or not but your child was born with a sinful nature. They were NOT born with self-control; neither were you. Self-control is something we must learn and parents have the 7000day task of training kids to use self-control. Without self-control, your children will self-destruct. This is why the author of Proverbs urges parents not to be a "willing party to their death." When we fail to discipline our children, we literally help them self-destruct…it is an utter failure to love our children. This is why discipline is the #1 task of a parent. Think about your child and their bad attitude and disrespect and bad behavior. Do you think this will magically change? Do you think your teen will wake up tomorrow and apologize for her back talk? Do you think your 4 year old will suddenly stay in his bed and give you no more trouble at bedtime? They need discipline.

2. Discipline creates hope.
"Children are the hope of the future." I hear this all the time. This is only true if those children receive appropriate discipline from parents. Discipline is what produces hope. The Proverb reminds us that in discipline there is hope, not in our children! Nearly, every dysfunction I see as a pastor is a result of people getting their way too much. There is NO hope for children without discipline. They are on a path of self-destruction until you or someone steps in to change their trajectory. Until your child feels the pain of bad choices they will keep making them. Your job is to create pain around bad choices. Discipline does not require explanation. You are the parent, not the criminal on trial. You do NOT have to answer to them! The goal of discipline is to create a memorable response to bad behavior to deter them from making the bad choice again. Be prepared, they are resilient, they will do it again…and you must follow through again. Firm, quick and consistent discipline is the name of the game in parenting.

3. Discipline is your calling. 
The first words of this Proverb is "Discipline your children" (emphasis mine). These are your kids. God has entrusted them to you. You are their authority. Have you accepted the call of being your child's authority or are you their warm-fuzzy friend? Your kids won't begin to think about you as a friend until their late 20s so get over it and be their parents and maybe they will actually make it to their late 20s. Discipline is your calling. It is God ordained. Yes, we ought to love our kids, but love without discipline is only placating their sinfulness and self-destruction. Discipline is not mean parenting, but it is firm and clear and will likely come with accusations that you are mean and unloving. Remember, you are the parent and authority and no one can set the trajectory for your kids like you. You have 7000days to fulfill this calling. Everyday matters. 

I hope this makes sense and puts a fire under you to fulfill your calling as a mom or dad. 

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Posted by Andy Savage at 9:10 PM
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