Over the many years of my ministry I have had many parents come to me concerning their children. Some wanted to do the very best they could in raising their children, others wanted to know where they had failed, and yet others wanted to know if there was any hope. I must tell you that I am not an expert in this, but the Bible gives us some very clear direction.
In Proverbs 13:24, we see that a parent who loves their children should be willing to discipline them. Everyone is an expert on how to discipline someone else's children. I think it is high time that we work on the discipline of our own children before we begin telling others how to discipline their children.
In Proverbs 19:18, the parent is instructed to chasten the child while there is still hope. I believe that parents should begin training their children at birth, but if they haven't they need to start now before it is too late. After the child is grown and almost ready to leave home is not the time to being training them. Don't let their crying cause you to curb your discipline.
In my many years as a parent I have found that Proverbs 22:15 & 23:12-14 have been a help in understanding the child. In my early marriage when I would be disciplining my son he would cry out so loud you would thinking I was killing him. One time I took him to the restroom at church to correct him and he began to scream out before any discipline had started. From these verses I learned that if you discipline properly they will not die. I have also learned that if you don't discipline them you will regret it later in your life.
I believe the Bible teaches us in Proverbs 22:6, that if we will train our children properly when they are young, that when they grow up they will remember what we have taught them. Remember not only must you teach them with words but you also teach by your actions. If you say one thing and do another your children will do the same.
My parents were hard on me and at the time I didn’t like it. But now I hope they can look at me and say that they made the right decisions in their discipline. I feel I turned out okay. Sometimes I feel I failed in training my children like I should have. I have two wonderful children and four step-children. In looking at their lives I did what I could and now I have to leave them in God’s hands.
Follow God’s plan and then allow God to finish the molding process. Don’t beat yourself up it won’t change anything.