May 7

TODAY IS…

a good day to teach our children to accept responsibility.

“O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger or discipline me in Your wrath.”  Psalm 38:1 NIV

Part of being a good parent is teaching our children that our behavior carries with it consequences. The consequences of good behavior are recognition and rewards. Conversely, the consequences of bad behavior include discipline. While we never want to discipline our children in anger, we do want to teach them that they must accept responsibility for all of their actions, and that includes those that carry with them the need for some form or discipline or punishment.

David cried out to God in the same way a child cries out to a parent. David knew he had done wrong, he just didn’t want God to discipline him while he was angry, and this is a good lesson for us as we raise our children: do not discipline a child in anger. Discipline should be used as a tool to teach a child, not simply as punishment, and never as a way of venting our anger or demonstrating our dissatisfaction.

Our objective should be to teach our children to accept responsibility for the things they do. If we can get them to do that, we have a better chance of getting them to think before they act. We must instill in them a love of God, and respect for themselves and other people and start from an early age making sure they understand their responsibility to God, themselves, us, and people around them.

David knew that he had done wrong and knew that God was angry. Just the anticipation of punishment and his feelings of guilt caused him to be physically ill. “Because of Your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins. My guilt overwhelms me – it is a burden too heavy to bear.” (Psalm 38:3-4 NLT).

Through conscious effort and the Bible’s help, we can teach our children to recognize for themselves when they have done wrong, accept responsibility for it, and ask God’s forgiveness.

Teach your children that being responsible means being accountable and being accountable includes being accountable to God.

*******

Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson

About Tony Casson

" For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
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