Parenting: Discipline to brokenness

Does discipline ever get easier as a parent?

After nearly 20 years of parenting I would say no.

I know that kids today have so many things thrown at them that giving into temptation just seems easier.  I don’t recall it being that way when I grew up.

Maybe my life was just sheltered growing up in the 70’s and early 80’s.  Maybe it was because we lived out in the country where we could ride our bikes on the road and could wander in seemingly unlimited fields and woods.

I don’t know.

I do know that my son is a pretty good kid, but has so many influences around him that I know he has to struggle with seeing the right path to choose at times.  I sometimes wonder if as a parent I am helping him enough to choose the wise path.

But in those times that he makes an unwise decision I still struggle with knowing the right amount of discipline to adjust his attitude and behavior.  I want to correct him, but not weaken him.  The Bible says in Ephesians 6:4 to bring up children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, and not to provoke them to anger.

That’s where this dad struggles sometimes.  I can really come down on my son to the point where he becomes angry.  I don’t want him to be angry – I want him to be broken.

In Psalms 51:17 it says that God desires the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart.  A heart that says I am truly sorry for what I have done.  A heart that says I repent for what I have done against you and am turning to go another way so as not to do this again.

That is what God desires of us, and that is what I desire from my children.  I want them to understand where they have disappointed me, be broken for the wrong, and set out on another path.

God please direct me as I discipline my children toward brokenness.


How about you?  Do any of you parents have this discipline thing figured out?  If so – I’d like to hear from you…



  1. drpotgieter

    I agree. The popular style of parenting that avoids conflict at any cost only postpones the pain, and magnifies its effects many times. Avoiding certain conflicts for the sake of choosing our battles has its place under certain circumstances, however dumbing down the rules to the point the kids are in charge is a costly error of thinking.

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