If you knew you might never have to see your wife again you might be tempted to say and do some nasty things. However, since you know that tomorrow and the next day and the next you will have to live, work, and commune with her, you would be more careful not to damage your relationship. The permanence of a relationship governs the way we seek to solve conflicts which arise within it. In regard to the process of discipline this same principle is true in child raising.
No matter what happens, we will always be His children, once we have become a child of His b faith in Christ. So, too, the discipline of our children is governed by the fact that we are chastening our children. In this message I want to focus on several important principles which should govern parenting. The first has to do with the purposes and goals of discipline. The second defines the process involved in discipline. The third is a reminder of the privilege of discipline. Let us consider these important truths as we conclude our study of child-training in Proverbs.
The difference is between that of discipline and of damnation. When God condemns a person to eternal damnation He is giving that person both what he wants and what he deserves.
God is absolutely just and righteous in judging the sinner. When God disciplines a son He does so not to punish as much as to correct. Rehabilitation, a term used frequently in reference to the prison system, has much more relevance to the Christian than to the criminal. God disciplines His sons in order to turn them from their evil way to the way of wisdom and righteousness.
Divine discipline is therefore more corrective than it is punitive. While divine discipline has many purposes, the one which I would like to focus on is the purpose of reunion or reconciliation Sin always separates man from God. When Adam and Eve sinned, they withdrew themselves from the intimate communion they had formerly enjoyed with Him Gen.
The death of Christ has removed the barrier between man and God. Those who have trusted in Christ have been reconciled to God Rom. While sin in the life of the Christian can never separate him from Christ in the sense of losing his salvation, sin always impairs the intimacy and the enjoyment of the relationship between the saint and the Savior. Their relationship simply deteriorates and falls short of its potential during such disharmony.
So, too, the Christian cannot enjoy his relationship with God when he is willfully sinning:.
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When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever-heat of summer.
Divine discipline, then, seeks at least two goals: righteousness and relationship. Divine discipline may require a temporary alienation or separation in order to bring about repentance and reunion. In the case of the Corinthian Christian who was living in flagrant sin, Paul taught that he should be shunned, put out of fellowship, even turned over to Satan for discipline, but the goal of this discipline was restoration cf.
In the case of the prodigal son of Luke 15, the son actually removed himself, but eventually returned.
The Homecoming of a Wayward Son
I know there are those who teach that isolation is not a very good method of discipline, but I am not sure I can agree with them. If parental discipline is to be patterned after divine discipline, why should isolation not be considered a viable option? Sin does separate. Christians should separate themselves from certain sinners Matt. Temporary isolation or separation is certainly a sample of the consequences of sin, and may therefore be an appropriate method of disciplining a disobedient child.
The primary objection concerning isolation is that it may breed resentment and bitterness. While this is certainly possible, a spanking may also result in resentment--if the child chooses to respond foolishly. We must remember that the Holy Spirit can work in the heart of a child and a little solitude may provide just the right environment for contemplation and soul-searching.
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Let us not quickly or thoughtlessly reject sending a child to their room as a possible method of disciplining a child. The important thing about divine discipline is that since our relationship as sons of God is not terminated by sin, discipline is always conducted in the hope of repentance and the restoration of intimacy. The judgment of sinners has no such hope. Even in the midst of suffering for her great sins against God Israel could still look to God, knowing He is compassionate and forgiving and that there was hope:.
They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly, or grieve the sons of men Lam.
Even when God warns of imminent judgment, there is either an explicit or an implicit assurance that God desires to withhold His wrath if His people will repent and turn from their evil ways:. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it, if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it Jer. Jeremiah knew that after God had disciplined His people to turn their hearts back to Him He would once again show compassion on them and bring them back into the land.
There He would shower His blessings on them:. Thus, discipline could be averted and intimacy with God renewed:. Listen and give heed, do not be haughty, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before He brings darkness and before your feet stumble on the dusky mountains, and while you are hoping for light He makes it into deep darkness, and turns it into gloom Jer.
There was a point of no return for the people of God. Yet even then there was hope, for God had promised to preserve a remnant through which He would fulfill all His covenant promises Isa. Here we come to one of the primary purposes of prophecy--to produce hope, even in the midst of tribulation.
The Cricket and Seagull Fireside Chat : "Rescuing Wayward Children" by Larry Barkdull
And Jacob shall return, and shall be quiet and at ease, and no one shall make him afraid. Perhaps the most significant passage is found in the same chapter in the Book of Jeremiah. In the midst of all their tribulation on account of their waywardness, God sounds a note of hope and triumph. God has disciplined His people to bring them to repentance and to restore them to the place from which they have willfully departed:.
For after I turned back, I repented; and after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed, and also humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth. Is he a delightful child?
In these prophetic passages, especially the last one, I find a remarkable parallel to the discipline of children as taught in the Book of Proverbs. The discipline or chastening which Israel received was compared specifically to that which is typical of a young person Jer. So it is that we find Proverbs describing discipline as life-saving and life-giving. Parental discipline is not only to be carried out in hope, but it should also offer hope to the child:.
For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who forsakes reproof goes astray The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death In fact, you are in good company. Some of the best parents who have ever lived have struggled with wayward children. Providentially, this epidemic was foretold in the scriptures — and a remedy was prescribed.
Once parents become acquainted with this redemptive principle, miracles often happen. In this groundbreaking book, author Larry Barkdull investigates the unique latter-day conditions that affect parenting. He then explores the tools that become available to parents when gospel principles are applied — tools that infuse parents with spiritual power. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only solution for spiritual waywardness, the author uses the words of the prophets and the messages of the scriptures to give parents perspective, spiritual power, and hope.
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This book gave me "hope" and "encouragement" because it deals directly with this heart breaking problem. Very good advice, sensible solutions, excellent scriptural support and unexpected spiritual insights that left me with a much less depressed attitude. All eBooks. All Audiobooks. All Teaching Helps. All Art. All Statues. All Scriptures. All Movies. All Music. All Jewelry.