Time to Begin Discipline

“I believe people should be required to learn how to train a well-behaved dog before they start having children.”
 
I laughed at my friend’s remark, but grimaced at the fact that he was referring to my two yappy, hyper, very loved and pampered dogs.
 
I knew he was right. I had been an indulgent pet owner and neglected to enforce some basic rules. So, over the next several years, I made an effort to re-train some basic behaviors into my two little dogs. It took a lot of consistency and insistence, but it worked – for the most part. I never did succeed 100%. If I was not there to enforce the rules, the rules were not binding. The dogs had been allowed to grow up acting like – well, dogs! Allowed to bark and jump at will because that’s what dogs do.
 
Oh, the mistakes we make in parenthood! “To allow a child to follow his natural impulses is to allow him to deteriorate and to become proficient in evil.” 1
 
This is the worst form of parental neglect; the effects are eternal. “Blind affection… is not balanced by the wisdom or the fear of God. Blind parental affection is the greatest obstacle in the way of the proper training of children. It prevents the discipline and training which are required by the Lord… It is the dangerous undercurrent which carries children to ruin.” 2
 
Ezekiel 33 teaches the principle of the watchman. Verse 7 says: “I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” The chapter goes on to explain that the righteous have the duty to warn those who are in peril of losing their lives, who are living in iniquity and wickedness.

 

Applying that principle to parenthood, parents are the “watchman”. “If… father and mother allow children to take the lines of control… and become wayward, they are held responsible for what their children might otherwise have been… We are just as responsible for evils that we might have checked… as if the acts had been our own.”3

 

Here is the key to good parenting: Do not permit faults, however small and insignificant, to go uncorrected. Do not give heed to those who say, “It is a phase,” “The child will grow out of it”.  The present and future good of your children requires intelligent discipline.4 

 

When it feels as if there is nothing more you can do to discipline or train your child, remember: “Cry unto Jesus, and He will help you to bring your little ones to Him.”5

 

I promise. It works every time.
 
 
 
© 2010, C. Gillan Byrne

 


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Complete Published writings of EGW

Bible Gateway website for KJV

 
1White, E. G. (1954/2002). Discipline in the Home (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 234, ¶ 2). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

2White, E. G. (1954/2002). Discipline in the Home (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 234, ¶ 4). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

3White, E. G. (1954/2002). Discipline in the Home (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 235, ¶ 2 & 4). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

4White, E. G. (1954/2002). Discipline in the Home (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 237, ¶2 ). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

5White, E. G. (1954/2002). Discipline in the Home (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 238, ¶1 ). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.