Child Abuse or not?

One thing that probably bothers me most in public places is the absence of discipline by some parents. Some may accuse me of being a little too strict with my child, but it is because of discipline that he behaves.

I recall a few years ago hearing a parent in Walmart say to their child “if you don’t stop ___, then I’ll ___.” Within the next five minutes, the child continued to misbehave, and the parent continued to threaten. But that’s it. The child didn’t stop, because the parent never carried out the punishment that was promised. The child knew he would get away with doing wrong because he was never disciplined.

On the other hand, extreme cases can result in child abuse, which I am obviously against.

However, I think it’s fairly easy to strike the right balance between the two with a little practice and trial and error.

As I read my devotion today, it just happened to strike me that we MUST discipline our children. This is quite interesting:

6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” 7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. – Hebrews 12:6-10 (NIV)

And for those of us who don’t really like being disciplined ourselves, we must remember:

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:11-14 (NIV)



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