Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Bible and Discipline

Hebrews 12:11: "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."

My mind tells me that I need to be the tough mom. Even the Bible tells me that my role as mother includes being the disciplinarian. Who am I to argue with the Bible? After 16 years of catholic education, I can say I'm pretty familiar with the rules, guidelines, testaments, commandments and beatitudes. I am a huge fan of the honor thy mother and father commandment. My kids aren't the biggest fans of that one, however. Maybe if they had seen Moses hike up the mountain and schlep down carrying those heavy stone commandments they would have a deeper appreciation of the basis for my authority.

Rationally I know that I am disciplining them for their own good, safety and well-being. It's not for the cheap thrill of being the mean mommy. It's the right, smart thing to do. I don't feel bad when they cry or stomp off in disgust. I'm just tired of having to discipline for the same things over and over. Seriously. What is the learning curve for normal, healthy toddlers and grade school children? Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results. So, who is crazy? Me? Them? Are the inmates running the asylum? I like to think we practice calm, reasonable parenting. Ok, most of the time I am calm and rational. Humor me. We explain what is expected of them. We give a warning about the consequences of ignoring us. Them we carry through. Sara has lived with this for 7 years. She is a seasoned vet. Why does she still react with shock and awe when we follow through? Christian tests us on a daily basis. If you ask him what will happen if he doesn't obey, he will tell us that he has to go to the corner for a time out. Then he does it anyway.

So, I'm left wondering when do I get to feel the peaceful fruit of righteousness??

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