How much punishment is enough?
The goal of discipline is to teach children four key principles of living a life pleasing to God:
- Conviction realizing where we have gone wrong;
- Confession asking God’s forgiveness for our wrong behavior;
- Forgiveness claiming what God freely offers;
- Change Behavior practicing the new principles God shows us.
Therefore, an observant parent should keep an eye on the child while he is being punished: so that the parent detects the moment that the child recognizes his wrong behavior and is genuinely remorseful. At this time, the child is most susceptible to being taught. It is then that he realizes that he will be punished again if the same behavior occurs. While a young man is being punished at the Paul Anderson Youth Home, the staff member often talks to the boy, saying something like, “It wouldn’t be fair to let you get away with what you did. I want you to understand that I care enough about you to make sure you learn this lesson. In that way, punishment is doled out in an atmosphere of love…which is the way God instructs us to discipline.
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