Objectives of Discipline

We have had a difficult week, Lucy and I. She has done the exact opposite of every request I have made. I have punished her bottom a couple of times and she’s been sent to her room two or three times. It seems that I have spent every day giving her choices to either “obey” or “disobey”. We have read books about obedience. We have read about different Bible characters that were obedient. We have listened to audio stories about Bible characters that were obedient. We have had prayer, both together and alone. We have sung Scripture songs about obedience. Nothing seems to be working!

I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. I’m starting to act authoritarian. I’m starting to question my methods of parenting. I’m starting to question my effectiveness and suitability for this job called “Motherhood”.

But morning worship is the perfect time for respite and reflection and I read: “The object of discipline is the training of the child for self-government… self-reliance and self-control… [A]s soon as he is capable of understanding, his reason should be enlisted on the side of obedience…[S]how obedience to be just and reasonable. Help him to see that all things are under law, and that disobedience leads, in the end, to disaster and suffering.”1

I look at the words “training”, “reason”, “just”, “reasonable”, “help”.

Other paragraphs discuss the unfortunate consequences of “severe training” and “iron rule” – children “who are weak in mental and moral power”, “easily lead by others’ judgment in the wrong direction.”2

And then…

“God never designed that one human mind should be under the complete control of another… It requires skill and patient effort to mold the young in the right manner… children… need the most careful culture to develop and strengthen their moral and intellectual faculties. And the responsibility of the parents is heavy indeed.” 3

“Evil tendencies” – naughty behaviors – “are to be (1) carefully restrained and (2) tenderly rebuked; (3) the mind is to be stimulated in favor of the right. (4) The child should be encouraged in attempting to govern himself.” 3

Hence, our morning worship talk today involved a discussion of Satan versus Jesus and the power of choice which we have been given. Even though she's not quite 3, it’s time for her to know she has the power of choice between right and wrong behavior. My job is to patiently guide her toward the right.
 
 

© 2010, C. Gillan Byrne



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Complete Published writings of EGW

Bible Gateway website for KJV

 

1White, E. G. (1954/2002). Objectives of Discipline (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 223, ¶ 1). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

2White, E. G. (1954/2002). Objectives of Discipline (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 227, ¶ 1, & p. 226, ¶ 1). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

3White, E. G. (1954/2002). Objectives of Discipline (Chapter Title). In E. G. White Publications (Eds.), Child Guidance (p. 22, ¶ 1 & 2). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

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