|Standing on the Promises:
A Handbook of Biblical Childrearing
The first thing to note is that effective discipline is painful. Hebrews 12:11 says it this way: “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Short-term discipline is painful. The long-term result of discipline is the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
God disciplined the Hebrew children in the wilderness for their grumbling. Because of our connection to Adam, children will start grumbling as soon as they figure out how. The parents must respond, “In God’s book, complaining and grumbling and whining were not permitted,” and then the child must be disciplined for it.
We tend to think that forgetting is a reasonable excuse [for not obeying], whereas in Scripture it is an additional offense. “They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt, wonderous works in the land of Ham, awesome things by the Red Sea” (Ps. 106:21-22).
Another aspect of effective discipline is that it cannot be prolonged. Pleasantness should reign in the biblical home, and discipline should be a brief event. But in many homes chronic unpleasantness reigns all the time. When discipline occurs, it is simply a matter of going from bad to worse. Godly discipline is not like that; of course there will be acute unpleasantness from time to time during the discipline, but an atmosphere of joy and peace and graciousness reigns most of the time.
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