“I love them, so of course I can’t discipline them.” A frazzled mother in tears told me that recently. Her little children were running around our church, ignoring everything she said. One stole her phone and refused to tell her where it was. Another threw toys. Two others fought with each other. She helplessly shrugged and said, “I love them, so of course I can’t discipline them.” Have you heard that? Do you believe that? It’s not true. Here’s why: Children have sinful hearts, just like we adults do. They need discipline. They need to be told when they’re wrong. Just like I do!
That’s why the Bible says the opposite of what most people expect: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them” (Proverbs 13:24). Love isn’t accepting everything everyone else does. Love is caring enough about a person to point out their sin, so that you can point them to Jesus our Savior. Children need that. They need loving, firm discipline. All the time! For all of you parents, don’t give up. You aren’t powerless. You are the God-given authority in your children’s lives. You love your kids. I know you do! So be willing to discipline them. Teach them right and wrong from God’s Word. Have consequences for when they refuse to listen. Show them how much they need Jesus. Forgive them like Jesus does. You love them, so of course you’ll discipline them!