God gives us free will to live our life, but He also gives us clear direction about how to get the most out of life. If we follow God’s direction, life works better. If we don’t, there are consequences for our actions…God still loves us, but there are consequences to ourselves & others. The same is true between ourselves as parents & our kids.
That’s one reason that the Bible tells us as fathers that we must train up our children in the way they should go, and that in order to do this, we must discipline our children to help them understand that their actions have consequences, just like they do in life. The Bible tells us that a father disciplines the son that he loves.
Anytime we discipline, it cannot be in a spirit of anger… it must be in a spirit of love, training, and helping them to understand the ‘why’ behind the action & not just the ‘what’ they did that was wrong. Explaining the ‘what’ helps them understand life & how we are to live it in a way that they can internalize, & will help them in all future decisions. Our goal when we do this should be to teach them & for them to
1) Understand that we love them, and that is why we are taking the time to not only give them a consequence for their action, but also to
2) Talk to them and help them understand it better, so that the next time they face that decision, they will know how to navigate it better (& the consequence will help them remember)
If we don’t do this as fathers, our kids will not learn to obey rules and laws and that can result in them in jail or even worse, dead. It is because we love them and want to help them avoid these consequences that we as dads must teach them about this now, while they can learn with only a relatively minimal consequence. And remind them that they chose the behavior or action that broke the rules, and thus they chose to have this consequence.
It is very simple- when a policeman uses radar to determine that we are speeding, he simply pulls us over, asks for our information in a calm voice, & then processes the consequence and hands it over to us. There is no reason for us to be angry at the officer because he is simply enforcing the law. Likewise, when our children break the rules, we need to remain calm & simply administer the consequence that we have decided on in advance with our spouse. This could be taking away electronics, a chore around the house, an early bedtime, or some kind of exercise like push-ups or sit-ups (or use something like they do on their sports teams when they goof off, like a short run, etc).
When we do this correctly, our children fully understand it, respect it, & learn from it. As opposed to harboring anger & resentment for a ‘punishment’ that they don’t fully understand. Doing this correctly is one of the best investments of time that we can make as fathers…if you haven’t done this before, try it and you will be amazed. Sons- when it happens, you need to understand that your father is trying to help you learn how to live life on your own when we are not there to help you.
10 Session Life Skills Course - 10 Topics To Get Right:
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Each session includes a 25-minute video that guides you through key principles for each topic, including activities that make it fun & effective.