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I have included only a few of the major areas of concern in the discipline of children. This list is by no means complete.
  1. Be consistent with discipline.
    This is probably the biggest challenge a parent faces, but it's a key to effective discipline.

    If a child knows there's going to be consistency in the discipline, then he'll stop at the boundary line set by the parents. Children need a boundary line for security.

    A child who has no boundaries is basically left to himself, and he runs out of control. There's no security in his life.

    A boundary line for a child is like a fence or a place of protection. I remember hearing the story of a school playground, which had no fence around it. The playground was located next to a busy street with cars continually whizzing by.

    The children stayed close to the school building while this huge playground remained empty. School officials couldn't get the children to use it at all, because they saw all the cars whizzing by and there was no fence or barrier to protect them.

    Finally, a fence was put at the edge of the property. Once a fence was up, the children played on the entire playground, because there was a boundary and they felt secure and protected.

    It's the same with a child in the family. When there are boundaries of correction, a child is free to expand and release himself in development and in educational and spiritual experiences.
  2. Discipline immediately.
    You have perhaps viewed a child being beaten by a angry mother or daddy, because that frustrated parent said, "I've told you 30 times not to do that, and now I'm going to spank you." After they've done it 30 times is not the time to correct children!

    Establish the rules or boundaries. If the rules are broken, then with no anger or animosity, go to the child and say, "What was the rule? What did I tell you to do or not to do?" Explain to him what he violated, and immediately correct him.

    When a parent disciplines immediately, instead of anger being instilled in the child, a bond of love will be formed in the parent-child relationship. Hug the child after you discipline him, reassuring him of your love.

    If a child gets away with breading the rules, rebellion will build in his heart and a barrier will come between child and parent. If that rebellion is not removed, the child will carry it inside and be alienated from his parents. But if there's immediate discipline when a child is small, the spirit of rebellion will have no place in him.
  3. Discipline for instant obedience.
    A child can be trained to obey after the third time he is told, or he can be trained to obey after the first time. It all depends on the trainer. Your children will be disciplined upon the basis of your level of tolerance or intolerance. They will rise to a standard or they will fall to it, depending where you set it.

    When Sarah was two years old, the training she received for instant obedience saved her life. She went out the front door and started running across the lawn toward a cat that was on the other side of the street. At the same time, a car was speeding down the street. Sarah, of course, had no comprehension of the approaching car, and the car didn't see her.

    A neighbor across the street stepped out of her front door just as Sarah and yelled, "Sarah stop." Sarah stopped immediately, and the car went flying right on by. Because of her instant obedience, Sarah's life was spared.

    If children don't learn to obey parents, they will have tremendous difficulty obeying the Word of God.
  4. Don't allow your child to cause a breakdown of authority between you and your mate.
    There's a breakdown in authority where either a husband or a wife will not back the authority of the other.

    If Sharon says something, even if I don't agree with it, or if I say something and she doesn't agree with me, we back the authority of the other. I you don't, you'll have rebellion. First Samuel 15:23 says, "...rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft...."

    If the husband and wife don't support each other, they open the door for the enemy to attack their children. Suddenly, there are all types of manifestations of evil and the parents wonder, "Where did this come in? We take our children to church every Sunday. We've done this, and we've done that."

    There must be unity and harmony between the husband and wife.
  5. The husband, as head of the home, should take the lead role of disciplinarian.
    God set Jesus as Head of the Church, and He set the husband as head of the home. God ordained the man to be the head of the family. The husband is to take the lead and the load.

    But what has happened? Because many husbands have abdicated their place of leadership, women have had to rise up and become strong. God intended of both the husband and the wife to be strong.

    As acclaimed speaker and author, Edwin Louis Cole said, "God created the husband and the wife, not to compete, but to complete each other."

    Sometimes, when there's a misunderstanding of the husband's or wife's role, an opening is made allowing wicked spirits to come directly into the children. In our case, Sharon and I both discipline the children, although I usually take the leadership role.

    There are times when it's not comfortable to discipline, but it's always expedient. Many men don't want to be the disciplinarian, either because they aren't strong enough spiritually or because they lose control of their anger too easily.

    God hasn't given men a spirit of timidity. If discipline has to take place in the home, then do it. Rise up to your calling. Discipline always brings the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

    What happens when you don't have discipline in the home? You have the fruit of unrighteousness and the manifestation of wickedness.

    In situations where there's no father in the home, the mother must assume the role of disciplinarian. But God intended for the man to take the lead in these types of situations!

    Source: Building Stronger Marriages by Billy Joe Daugherty.
    Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Billy Joe Daugherty
Web site: Victory Christian Center
Billy Joe Daugherty was founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was also the founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute and Victory World Missions Training Center.

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