Proverbs 3:12 - For whom the Lord loves, He corrects, just as a son in whom He delights
Hebrews 12:11 - all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who are trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
I believe the above scriptures do not only help us in our parenting but also in our own relationship with our father in heaven.
My daughter turned 4 last week, the two main factors in parenting that I have seen yield the best fruit is sharing the word of God with her on a regular basis, through devotionals designed for her age; and the second is disciplining from a place of love. With an emphasis on making sure it comes from a place of love.
In my own experiences I have realized that there are some different emotions you can experience as a parent when a child misbehaves. There is anger, there is disappointment, there is grief, and there is also compassion. I believe all these emotions have their place in our relationship with our children. But I have seen the best fruit come from discipline when it comes from the place of compassion. I have been amazed by how quickly and how much her behavior improves as a result of loving, consistent, discipline. It is really hard to do it sometimes, because I just don't always feel like it. It has become a labor of love for me. I love her and ultimately I know that following through with discipline will help her in her relationship with god and really set her up to be able to come under God's covering and guidance. It will teach her not to despise His chastisement. I also find that Noah is a lot happier after she has had to go through a period of discipline. Most of the time we do timeouts or take away privileges; but ever so often my husband has to intervene and give a spanking. He hates doing it, but he loves Noah so very much and he knows when she needs it. I stay away from spanking because it is to emotional for me. While Reggie is able to do it with a very level head.
The world today is not very good at encouraging discipline with our children, but I just want to encourage parents to do what is best for their children now so they can grow to be happy, successful adults. I want Noah to grow up to have 3 things:
1. To know how much she is loved by God and her mommy and daddy
2. With a sense of security and safety that comes from being God's care
3. The self-control that is necessary to be successful in the Lord and in life