Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Daddys don't spank."

No, this isn't a quote I read in a parenting book or a piece of wisdom I gleaned from another more experienced parent. This was a matter-of-fact statement made by my daughter not too long ago. "Daddys don't spank. Just mamas." That was one of those wake-up moments in life.

Why would Jacey make this observation? One possible reason is because Shelley is with her more, and therefore has the opportunity to bring correction when needed. I'm just simply not around as much. But I'm afraid that's not the whole story. The truth is I don't like for my child to hurt or be disappointed. That dumb statement "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" really is true. Much of the time I want to cry right along with Jacey when she is being punished. So naturally, I wish I could just give her the benefit of the doubt and let things slide. I'm not a push-over...just a loving father, right?

Insert quote from THE loving Father here...

"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 3:11-12

Oh, man. We discipline our children, in whom we delight, BECAUSE we love them...just as God loves us. Not providing appropriate discipline to Jacey is not only un-scriptural, it's also selfish and unloving. Needless to say, the very next opportunity that presented itself, Jacey got a spanking from Daddy. As a three year old, Jacey is learning that boundaries are necessary and good and obedience is mandatory. Not because we want her to grow up to be a good girl that won't embarrass us, but because by learning to obey us, she will learn to obey God.

Father, thank you that You love me enough to discipline me. You know I need it. It brings me closer to You. Help me to love my children the same way.

WARNING: There is a balance! Discipline is only effective when given in a warm, loving relationship. Otherwise, it will only lead to resentment and rebellion. We must discipline out of love, not anger or control.

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