It’s the beginning of the school year, and parents are posting their pictures of their children heading off for their first days. I think this is a great thing, and my wife posted pictures of our own kids. Yet, at the same time, with the beginning of school also comes post after post of how “unfair” everything is. Some parents constantly disparage teachers, constantly go on tirades against “the system,” and constantly point out everyone else but their own children. While I agree, some things are truly wrong, most of the time we want a venue to complain while doing nothing to solve a problem. More alarming is how parents don’t seem to want to hold their kids accountable to very much. Many of us do have a knee-jerk reaction of “not my kid,” but we need to step back a minute and see both side of an issue.
Having been in a position of leadership, I’ve had to deal with many parents over the years. Whenever I’ve had talks with kids, I have had some parents scream at me as to why I singled out their child, while ignoring others (and they weren’t there when I talked to the kids, I never disciplined them, I usually begin by asking if everything is okay, asking why they felt the need to draw attention to themselves like they did, and then asking them not to be a distraction, and usually that’s it). I’ve had parents go so far as to tell their kids they don’t need to listen to or respect me in any other capacity (makes it hard when you coach, believe me!). Many parents understand my point of view, and others don’t care what their kid was doing, they don’t want little Johnny or little Suzie to have any adversity.
I’ve read several studies and articles of parents called “lawn mower parents.” These are not at all like the parents deemed “helicopter parents” who constantly hover over their kids and control every facet of their lives, but these are parents who desire to remove every obstacle from their kids’ paths. This is dangerous for the kids, as it sets them up to fail. If our kids have no adversity, if they have no struggles, and no hardships they don’t grow and learn. When we don’t parent our kids, but instead try and give them everything they want, we build weak minded kids who turn in to weak minded adults who don’t know how to cope in life. Our children are ours for a little while. We’re here to teach and train them. We’re their primary educators, their protectors and guardians, but also the ones who are there to see them to Adulthood. It’s a large task, and full of hospital visits, teacher visits, and hard lessons, but it’s worthwhile. We need to take train up our children. They have plenty of friends, but we are their parents. Raise, teach, guide, introduce them to Jesus, and raise them up in Him to produce, not merely good, but godly young men and women who are firm and strong.
Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:4- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 -Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
Proverbs 13:24- Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Psalm 127:3- Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Proverbs 29:15- The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:17- Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9- And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Proverbs 1:8-9- Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
Proverbs 23:13- Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
Exodus 20:12- “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
Proverbs 19:18- Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
Psalm 103:13- As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Hebrews 12:7-11- It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.