Discipline - A good thing in the long run!

by Lucy Britten

"If you refuse to discipline your children it proves you don't love them, if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them." (Proverbs 13:24)

What I'm going to talk about may lose me a few friends, but it's all part of becoming the person God would love you to be! Children and teens, if your parents are disciplining you, don't rebel against it, appreciate the fact that they love you enough to see you mature to your full potential, without making lots of huge mistakes. (A note to parents though, that the discipline should be only to develop a child's character in the long run, not to squash it.)

It's a very sad fact that there are too many young adults who have not had the privilege of discipline, which can stunt the growth of their life skills. These are skills which teach a child how to look after themselves and how they should be treating other people and their property. If a child is taught the difference between right and wrong from a young age, they also learn how to respect their parents and other people around them.

I truly believe that with more constructive discipline there would be less crime overall. As someone who has chosen to follow God and therefore is learning to love and respect people and their belongings, I find it so hard when young people don't even realise it's wrong to steal a car, or beat up an innocent person for their money. What has happened to them to make them believe they are actually entitled to someone else's property? I believe a big reason, but let me make clear, NOT an excuse, for this is that when they are undisciplined they learn from others around and not necessarily the right things. This isn't just talking about bigger crimes, this includes the smaller day to day things, for example; keeping your room tidy if your parents ask you to; not answering back when the teacher tells you off; accepting that when you've done something wrong you will have to be punished, and it's not your teacher or your parents fault that they have to discipline you.

It's a tough lesson to learn, and while I was a teenager I would do anything rather than let my parents find out I'd done something wrong. But when they did and I was punished, I learned to think before I acted, and see the consequences before they happened. Those lessons are so valuable, and when you begin to see the bigger picture of life, and realise you don't know everything when you're young, you really do start to appreciate having barriers and being taught right from wrong.

In the Bible we can see time and time again stories of God disciplining people, sometimes with very harsh results. But this discipline comes only to take that person deeper into God and His promises. So, if you want to mature quicker than anyone around you, look into God's word, see what He says about discipline, and act on it. It may be hard work, but surely putting realistic boundaries in place now while you're young, is better than becoming someone and doing things you'll later regret. Just go for it!!