Moving Beyond Guilt: Love and Discipline
"A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them." - Proverbs 13:24 MSG
Thoughts for Today
One of the most difficult issues for parents to work through is realizing late in the parenting process that they have failed as a parent. People who have tremendous guilt due to feelings of failure as a parent often give in to inappropriate behavior by their children. One mother who had a 21-year-old son living in her home admitted that she sometimes permitted her son to abuse her verbally and physically. She also allowed him to drink alcohol in the home even though this was against her values. Why did she allow this behavior? "He had a difficult time during my divorce, and I don't want to hurt him anymore!"
This mother had not been the best of mothers, but she had committed her life to Christ and was now involved in ministry. Nonetheless, instead of walking in the freedom of forgiveness that was hers through Christ, she allowed her past to haunt her. Guilt over the mistakes she had made as a parent ruled her current relationship with her son. In her mind, allowing him to do whatever he wanted was making up for her past mistakes. In fact, she needed to show her love by holding him accountable for his actions.
Consider this …
Have you made some serious mistakes in parenting your child? Are you now allowing guilt to prevent you from holding him accountable for his actions? Meditate on today's scripture. The best way you can love your child is with kind but firm discipline and guiding him in ways that are pleasing to God.
Father, I know you've forgiven me for my past mistakes. Help me to forgive myself and move on. Help me to love my child enough to discipline him and hold him responsible for his actions. I pray that your will be done in his life. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from . . .
Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.
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