How much do I want to read more? 6/10

A series of questions and answers. Some question can seem amusing (about love and sex), but all the answers almost always make sense, even though I am not deeply involved in the Bible.
Here is one question about education. (I pay close attention to this topic, being a new parent myself)


President Reagan has correctly stated that the answer to all of life’s problems can be found in the Bible, if people would only read it.


Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”


My wife and I do not agree on the matter of disciplining our children. I maintain that a child needs a firm hand and a spanking now and then. My wife says that all they need is love and understanding. Who is right?

Discipline and love are related. They are two sides of the same coin. Correct discipline is an act of love. “The LORD disciplines those he loves,” Says the Bible (Hebrews 12:6). The purpose of discipline is not only correction. It is to help a child conform to God’s standard so that the child will be able to lead a happy and productive life.
But there must be the right kind of discipline and parents must agree on it. A child will sometimes exploit different approaches to discipline by his parents and that could be damaging to your child and to each of you.
I have one child who rarely needs to be disciplined. Even if I spoke to her reprovingly, her heart would be broken. I have another who responds to punitive discipline, and pays little attention to the “soft reproof.” I think it is hard to lay down any hard and fast rules because children vary so much. The Bible teaches that discipline should be used when required. But it suggests that discipline and love must go hand in hand. It says: “For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:12 KJV).
It is much easier on the nerves to just let children go, than to plan and execute the kind of discipline they need. But greater than discipline is the power of a good example. Children are more impressed by conduct they can see than by lectures and spankings. If parents would live the Christian life before them, it would have a tremendous influence upon their children.

I’d like to know what guidelines you would give for raising children. We are about to have our first child, and I think about it a lot when I see some of the problems other families seem to have.

But let me suggest three general guidelines that may help you to get started in your thinking. First, surround your child with love. I know that sounds simple, but it is easy to forget sometimes. For example, some parents in their zeal to have their child behave better will constantly criticize their child. A child who constantly is hammered with criticism grows up feeling he is not loved and also that he is not worth very much. Love your child-and don’t be afraid to express that love, even when it is difficult or when he has done something that is wrong. Be quick to praise.
Then have clear guidelines about behavior and discipline. The other day I heard a leading psychiatrist say on national television that we need more discipline today, and I agree. We discipline not out of anger (or at least we shouldn’t), but out of love, knowing that a child needs to learn he is responsible for his actions. Don’t change the rules all the time either, or threaten punishment and then not carry it out.