Okay, maybe the title is click bait. I guess you could add in the word “some”. Some parents should not discipline their children. In fact, some people should not have children at all and here are a few reasons.
1. They are angry.
All you have to do is go to Wal-Mart and you can look at some parent screaming at their child. You can tell that parent just hates their child. They cannot even stand their own child! I have fallen into this trap many times, especially when one of my kids does the same thing over and over and over again. Perhaps you’ve done the same thing. The child comes to you and says, “I’m sorry.” And you scream “You’re not sorry! You’ve done this 100 times today!” You hypocrite. How many times did Jesus command us to forgive (which, by the way, has nothing to do with a number) How many times have we done the same thing over and over and over again and then ask God for forgiveness? Do we ever expect God to be up in heaven with that response “Tisk, you’re not sorry. You’re about to do it again in five minutes…” No! What grace and patience the Lord Jesus approaches us with! We must do the same.
2. They have invested nothing.
Most kids’ moral “teaching” only comes when they’ve done something wrong. The child does something wrong then receives a slap on the back of the head, “what’d you do that for, stupid? You know that’s wrong?” If the child has not been instructed whatsoever, how can we expect him to know? Right now I’m in the process of teaching my daughter to “come here.” She (2-year-old) is well able to understand my words and knows exactly what I mean when I tell her to “come here” (I often point down at my feet to further aid her). She has practiced with me before and done it successfully several times. One night, she did not. So, I took her to her room and gave her a light spanking (just enough to make her know I was not playing a game). Then I gave her a big hug. Then we practiced 4 times. I would place her on one side of her room and walk to the other side. Then I would say “Abigail, come here” while pointing down at my feet. She smiled and ran to me and I would pick her up, give her a hug, and commend, “Good job!” And we did it again, and again. Parenting takes time. Parenting takes investment! People who do not have this time have no business being parents. Why do I go through all this process? Because there could be a scenario one day where she’s about to run out in front of a car. While I’m sprinting toward her I should be able to say at the same time “Abigail come here!” and expect immediate obedience. An obedience to save her life. In fact, all of our children are in the midst of another destruction called sin. We must be vigilant in training and take the time to invest in them so that they remain on the path of blessing, not destruction in sin. The Bible does not entrust this training with the schools, or the churches. God expects this training from the fathers (see Dt. 6).
3. They have too much authority.
Have you ever told a child, “Because I said so!”? Repent. I sure have. Christ has given us authority as parents, but it is not our authority. Imagine if I were preaching at a local congregation and told the people “you must not lie because I said so!” I would hope someone would pick up a Bible and throw it at me. We must not lie because God said so in His Word, it has nothing to do with me. Parents have idolized their authority to the exclusion of the One who gave it to them. When we teach our children, we teach them as people under authority. That is why when I wrong my children, I go to them and ask them their forgiveness, but I cannot stop there as I so often lazily do. I must continue and go to the scripture to explain what Christ demands of us. When they do wrong, I must go to the scripture, as if Christ were their schooling the both of us saying to my child, “See what Christ demands of us?”
This is somewhat a paraphrasing and retelling of a portion of one of Paul Washer’s Sermons. You can find the full message here.
For an excellent parenting resource, check out Shepherding a Child’s Heart.