What to Say to Your Children When You Discipline Them

As Christian parents, we’re all called to raise our children in the instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  In order to do this we are going to have to discipline our children when they make rebellious choices (Proverbs 13:24; 23:13).  But have you often thought why this is necessary?  The object our parenting is not simply to create moral children (moral people go into eternity without Jesus every minute), yet at the same time no amount of discipline is going to save our children’s souls (God is the only one who can do that).  So, why do we discipline our kids?  If outward morality is not the ultimate goal, and we can’t give our kids salvation, then we must discipline to show our children that sin is something they need to be saved from and that Jesus is the only one who can accomplish that for them.  That means discipline needs to be combined with teaching.  Next time you discipline one of your children say something like this:

Son, I know it may not seem like it, but I discipline you because I love you.  If I didn’t discipline you, I would be letting you think that your sinful choices were not that bad, and then you would think it’s okay to keep sinning.  The Bible tells us that sin hurts you, hurts other people, and most importantly sin offends God because he made you and he lovingly told you the right way to live, which is also the best way to live.  Every time you sin, you say to God, “I don’t want to live your way, I want to live my way”.  Sin makes life hard and the more you sin, the harder life becomes.  Sin deserves punishment and hell is the horrible, painful place where sinners go forever.  But God is a good and loving God who made us a way to escape sin.  Because God loved the world he sent his only son, Jesus, into the world to live a perfect life and pay for the sins of sinners like you and me.  When Jesus died on the cross he died in the place of sinners and God treated him like he was the one who sinned instead of us.  The great news is that if you run from your sins and trust Jesus to save you from them, then God will treat like you lived Jesus’ perfect life; you’ll get great blessings now and you’ll get to go to heaven to be with Jesus forever.  Daddy disciplines you so that you will see that sin is something awful and scary that you need to run from… into the arms of Jesus… the only one who can save you.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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