Do you remember ever being admonished about something you did and getting this feeling that the person [parent, sibling, friend, boss, colleague, pastor, etc.] admonishing you was more upset about how poorly your action reflected on them than about how it affected you.
When you feel that way, even though what you did might be wrong, you tend not to feel exactly remorseful. You kinda get stuck on the fact that all ‘they’ were saying was really about how your action made them feel or the impact of the consequences on them. You may likely feel more angry than repentant if there is no mention of how it affects you and any indication that the admonition is in order to help you see the error of your ways and make you a better person – for you.
Often, it builds resistance instead of remorse. It’s the same with children. Such admonition may not produce the intended result. Rather it may produce a rebel, one bent on kicking against everything; but love speaks otherwise.
When a parent admonishes from the place of love, it puts the interest of the child who has erred first; not how they feel about the wrong-doing or how it reflects on them. With this focus, the child knows that they are loved and that they are being scolded or disciplined primarily for their sake. They are remorseful and more likely to take correction.
In a nutshell: Parenting from a love perspective means putting the child first – their wellbeing, growth, development and future. It makes disciplining the child all about adding value versus demeaning the child. It also gives the child the security they need. Knowing that you love them, they know that when you do discipline them, it is for their own good, and are more receptive to your guidance and admonition. Discipline them? YES! But love them much more!
- “For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.” [Hebrews 12:6; AMPC]
- “. . . Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking . . .” [1 Corinthians 13:5b; AMPC]
Your Take: Is it possible to discipline a child and yet demonstrate your love towards them? How?