Respect for God’s authority is not nurtured in an environment in which there is no respect for parental authority. This snippet (part two of two short posts about child discipline) is taken from a lesson about Mrs. Phinehas from I Samuel three and four from the new book Women of Scandal, and gives four things not to do when encountering situations in which your kids need to be punished. The target date for the book’s release is late March. Many thanks to Publishing Designs (www.publishingdesigns.com) for the excellent and tireless work they are doing at the moment to publish this and so many other books for the family of God.
1. Don’t yell. You do not want your children to obey you because you are loud. You want them to obey you because you are Mama!
2. Don’t abuse. We really do know the difference between anger induced lashing and gentle, but firmly administered discipline. We know that one is of God and the other is a sin of the devil. Never leave any red marks on your children that will remain there for over fifteen minutes. Never bruise, burn, squeeze or immerse in water. I suggest that you use your hand to pop your children when needed rather than other objects. You really know the force with which you are touching them when you use your hands (plus your hands are always “handy”…right there when you need them).
3. Don’t lie. Whatever the good thing you promise your children, break your neck to keep your promises. But make the same commitment to your word when you promise a spanking “…if you touch that again,” or “if you say one more word about that.” This gift of your word’s reliability is huge in developing trust and respect in your children. It is also huge in the development of their own integrity as they travel to adulthood.
4. Don’t count. I was recently speaking with a grandmother who spanked her small grandson when he blatantly disobeyed her. He whirled around to her and exclaimed, “Why Grandma! What are you doing?” She calmly explained that she was spanking him because he did not obey her. “But Grandma!…” he wailed, “…you didn’t even get to one, much less two or three! What are you thinkin’?” God doesn’t count for us when He commands. He expects our immediate attention and obedience. That’s respect. Sometimes mothers teach counting and even fractions (“two-and-a-haaaalllf…”) during attempts at discipline, but fail to teach respect.