The foundation upon which you’re going to build an effective family life is this: You expect your children to honor you. Now how does that happen? That happens when you and your partner sit down and develop guidelines, limits, and rules that both of you are prepared to carry out, and in your considered judgment, are in the best interests of your children.
Many of us, by the time we do our job, look at our recreational opportunities, and carry out our social opportunities, consequently find that we are too played out to spend quality time in the raising of our children. Let me say to you that if you want to give your children a sense of sure footedness, then you ought to accept the task of deciding what’s best for them. You are the one who has the experience to realistically decide what is best. There isn’t anybody in the world better qualified to decide what’s best for children than their parents, provided you’ve paid attention to what your children need.
Children without boundaries will become frustrated and live with a sense of insecurity because they are left to chart their own course. According to Proverbs 22:6, parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go.” Where a child goes and what a child does should be your decision, not theirs. You know what is best for them. They may buck you, but stand firm. Remember, it is not your responsibility to keep them happy, but to guide them in their behavior.
Agreement and unity are the foundation upon which you’re going to build an effective family life. You’re not concerned about whether your children like it. The important thing is that the two people in the world most qualified to make that decision are agreed that what you have decided is best for your children, because you both have the best interests of your children at heart.
Once you’ve decided what the plan is going to be, then the two of you can work together the rest of the time seeing to it that it’s carried out. You’ll make changes along the way, reviewing the day or the week and reviewing the rules. It may seem a big undertaking, but there’s nothing that will give you more satisfaction than you both charting the course for your family together.
Take a step . . .
Take a few moments to evaluate the way you discipline your children. Are you and your spouse on the same page? What can you do to approach the discipline of your children in the same way? What is one step you need to take to begin to guide your children in a more deliberate way? Ask God to help you take that step.
This is a summary from Dr. Brandt’s message Discipline That Counts.
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