In football, as in most sports there are clear lines and boundaries that control play on the field. Without the constraints they provide, the game would be a free-for-all. Likewise, parents must establish boundaries that are consistent and clearly marked for their children. When kids don’t know where the lines are, they feel uncertain, unsure about what is permitted and what is not. God’s Word is clear on the subject of discipline. (Pr 19:18). Start when they are young and be alert and consistent in calling violations when they occur. You will reap the rewards of faithfully staying the course and holding the line as you see your child grow and develop into an adult who understands discipline, instruction and love!

Scriptures
Pr 29:15, 22:15; Heb 12:10-11; Pr 19:18; Eph 6:4

Verse
Correction and discipline are good for children. If they have their own way they will make their mothers ashamed of them. (Pr 29:15) Children do foolish things, but if you punish them, they will learn not to do them. Pr 22:15) Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives. (Pr 19:18)

Thought
You must discipline with a purpose, not just because you can. Discipline is not one option and instruction another. They go together. When working through the process of discipline consider this acrostic as a guide: D – Discern the punishment that is age appropriate and fitting for the offense committed. Pray for wisdom in this process. E –Enlighten your child and use discipline as a teaching moment. Help them to understand why their action/behavior was unacceptable. A – Affirm your relationship with the child. Let them know that you love them too much to allow them to continue doing something that is wrong or harmful. L – Love them unconditionally. Let them know that you love them at all times—good, bad and ugly, and that you always will. DEAL

Questions
What is a minor violation in your household? What is a major violation in your household? Do you have a standard punishment for minor and major offenses? Do you get creative with discipline to match the punishment with the offense? How consistent are you in correcting your child/children? What do you feel you are doing well? What do you feel needs improvement?

Response
If your kids’ boundaries need work and your method of correction is in need of an overhaul, don’t delay…get started! DEAL – Use the acrostic to work through your discipline decisions. If you are angry, pause to consider what is appropriate. Don’t delve out punishment in the heat of anger. Love your child enough to keep them on the path of correction.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for entrusting me with the care of the amazing children you have given me. Help me as I seek your guidance daily for wisdom and strength to be the parent they need. May I honor you and teach them to honor you as their Heavenly Father. Guide me I pray, in Jesus Name, Amen.