"A youngster's heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away." Proverbs 29:17,
"Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad."
Imagine that you're baking brownies and, about halfway through, you realize that the consistency isn't right. It's lumpy and soft in the middle, crispy and hard around the edges. Can you complete your task with the incorrect consistency? Sure, but the end product won't be ideal, and maybe inedible. The same is true when disciplining our children. Consistency is key. And one of the greatest things we can do for our kids is to mirror God's consistency. If we say something, we follow through, just like God is faithful to follow through on every promise. Children need the security of knowing what lines not to cross and what will happen if they do. And just as God is fair and just, we, too, must be ready to give a consequence that fits the offense. When corrective measures have already been set, the situation becomes a learning experience. This shows kids that they can count on us and that we will lead them where they need to go. Because when we give in, no one wins! Are we going to make mistakes as parents? Of course! But overall, we strive to keep that key ingredient - consistency - in discipline even when it's inconvenient and not fun. The work is worth the reward!
Assess the boundaries you have set in place as a family. Clear up any inconsistencies. Reinforce boundaries with your children. Then, when they're tempted to disobey, they'll be more likely to think twice. This will "give you peace of mind and make your heart glad!"
Dear Lord, help me to discipline my children with consistency and a spirit of love and wisdom. I want to mirror the love You have for me as a parent to them. In Jesus' name, Amen.