"And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? -- "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him. For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons…For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12: 5-8, 11
Why are we so afraid to discipline our children? Why do we allow them to get basically what they want and then wonder years later why they turned out the way they did?
Discipline is so important to a child's development that the Bible is full of passages that support this:
"Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him." Proverbs 13:24
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4
Writer John Eldredge in his book, "The Way of The Wild Heart" explains how discipline can be a gift to the child as he writes,
"I am not the first to point out that children-boys being subject here-need two basic messages when they are growing up: you are loved more than you can possibly imagine, and You are not the center of the universe.
Discipline teaches us obedience, and immediate and unquestioned obedience is a great gift to endow a boy, a quality of character that will serve him the rest of his life. For it is an essential truth of life to know and appreciate the fact that the universe does not find you at its center. Rather it demands things of you, requires you to live within its limits. No matter how much you wail and bellow, the rain will fall, summer will pass into winter and a two by four will hurt you if you drop it on your toe. Welcome to reality. Learn to live within it." Pg. 71There you have it. So the next time you are tempted to give into your child's tantrum just remember the awesome responsibility that you have as a parent. Your response might not have only future, earthly consequences but more importantly eternal ones. The decision is yours: discipline your child and lead him to heaven or don't discipline him and lead him to hell.
Come on parents! even Arnold Schwarzenegger gets it: