Punishment and Prayer
My two girls are completely different. Every strong-willed child book that is out describes Yancy. When she was little, she would look at her mom and say, “Whip me some more, Mom.” She was strong-willed, but instead of letting that upset us, we just knew that God was going to use that little strong will.
Whitney, on the other hand, is totally different. All you had to do was say Whitney’s name and she would spout out, “Oh I’m sorry. Oh, God, forgive me! Forgive me! I’ll never do it again!” Then she would just break down and start crying, “I don’t want to go to Hell!” We would try to explain to her, “Honey, you are not going to go to Hell. We just need you to clean up your room.”
Two totally different responses from two totally different kids makes it tempting to base your punishment on the way your child reacts, but you must let the punishment fit the crime. This is a tough one for parents. Sometimes we are tempted to give them the gas chamber or the electric chair, but you must choose a punishment that fits.
Some parents don’t believe in punishment, but let me tell you what the Bible says. In Proverbs 22:15 it says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Proverbs 23:13 says, ‘Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” The Bible doesn’t say you’re going to kill your children by punishing them; it says your children will be harmed if you don’t punish them. Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
On the flip side, some of us parents need to take a chill pill. We need to go back and remember some of the bonehead stuff we did. Then we must ask ourselves why our child is acting that way. Most of the time it is because the child is acting just like the parents.
After you spank your child, one of the best things you can do is pray with them. Let them know, “I forgive you, and the Lord forgives you.” Tell them, “You have done what you needed to do by taking your punishment. Now, let’s pray.” And when you are finished praying, give them a hug. Physically show your children that you love them even when they mess up.
One of the reasons people have a hard time relating to Father God is that their earthly father didn’t show them love when they made a mistake. My real dad died when I was three, so as a young man, I had trouble relating to my Father God because I didn’t have an earthly father to learn from. My mom remarried a wonderful godly man when I was in college, but by that time I was not really living there.
The majority of what I learned about fatherhood was from just reading about Father God. So I proposed that when I had kids, I would be a model of our Heavenly Father to my children so they could know what He is really like.Hug your kids and love on them. Parents, we are the best chance our kids will have to know what their Father