Childhood is the most important stage of a person’s life. During that time they are learning right from wrong, good versus evil, and shaping their ideas and beliefs about God and the world. Parents have a significant role to play in this important process. There is a fine line between discipline and abuse of authority. The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not be so hard on your children that they will give up trying to do what is right.” It sounds like a complete change from other verses we read about discipline in the Bible.
Why would the Bible include this verse? As important as it is for children to obey their parents, it is just as important for parents to build relationships and train their children up in the Lord. When you respect your children and show them what love and grace look like, they will learn more from your actions than your words. Children are always watching to see how you will react, how you treat others, and how you live in general. So if your actions and lifestyle do not match your words, then that is what you teach them.
They must learn grace and forgiveness, and the only way for them to learn that is if they receive it as well. It is still important to have expectations and standards, but when your children don’t meet those, use it as a teaching moment instead of discouraging them. Then you will get to see what the Lord is doing in their lives.