I started a series on discipling our children in preparation for a workshop that I will be doing on this topic.
There are a couple of major principles about discipling that is different from discipline.
1. Don’t expect immediate or quick results.
One of my favorite author is Kevin Leman. He has a book titled Have a New Kid by Friday. As you can see by the title of the book, it attracts the attention of every parent who wants to have a “better” child, now! While I’ve read and love the book, the book has great principles about discipline, not discipleship; discipleship is not all that fast. Discipline can lead to discipleship, as I think Leman’s principles will do, but discipleship is a life-long process, not a week-long one. You can change a child’s behavior through the discipline of punishments and rewards within a defined period of time, but discipleship does not end there. Consider how long it takes for God to teach us a lesson, and how often we fail and have to be taught again, and again, and again – the same lesson over and over again. I still am learning about patience, can I expect my child to have perfect patience to sit quietly on a long car ride merely from a few lectures from me? I’m still learning about being generous, so why am I surprised when my child is not willing to share after umpteenth time of me telling him to?
Let’s begin with the understanding that as parents we should not be surprised to see failure in our children at not having learned what we hoped they would learn. Discipling does not say obvious things like “I’ve told you a thousand times already…” or “Do I have to tell you again to…” Of course, we have to repeat. Because discipleship is a long-term process.
2. Read it in the next post.