Monday, March 13, 2006

Christian Discipline

Tulip Girl has a wonderful post about disciplining our children with the gospel in mind:

I believe Christ paid the penalty for my children's sins on the cross. When my children sin--I want to point them to the One who has already been punished for their sin. When my children sin (and they do--I do not have a weak view of sin)--I come alongside them, confront them with the ugly reality of sin in their lives, and help them repent. I pray that the Holy Spirit softens their hearts and enables them to truly repent. We pray together. We ask for God's grace to do the right thing.

I wrote the following in the comments' section:

I think that when it comes to our children we throw the gospel out the window. Teaching is moralistic not gospel driven and discipline is judgment not grace. Our desires are commendable (we don't want them to grow up committing the same sins that we did, we want them to be close to the Lord). But if we aren't careful, we will raise Pharisees, they will be going through the motions but their faith will not be real since it will be based on the law and not on the gospel.I think that we would all be wise to follow your discipline technique since it is biblical:

Galatians 5:1-2 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I think it's the gentleness that we are usually lacking when we discipline. If our children are believers, then they are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we should treat them as such and keep verses like this one in mind. When we discipline, we should also restore them to fellowship (with us and the Lord) just as you mentioned in your article.

Deut. 6:4-7 should be the passage that we live by as we teach our children about the Lord so that we strengthen their faith with knowledge. This is what Israel forgot and think that we are following in their path.

Thank you for reminding us of the place of the gosple as we discipline. I think it's a message that is very much needed and one that we all should heed.


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