There’s no responsible parent on the planet who hasn’t struggled with getting a child to obey, and it can be an excruciating experience. How do you get children to listen without losing your mind? That’s a challenge, and God’s Word has much to say about how we, as parents, can meet that challenge. It shows us how to discipline our children in a way that is consistent with their responsibility. If the most important thing for our children to learn is to obey, what do we do when they won’t?
Four Parenting Styles
First, it’s important to understand how your parenting style may be contributing to the problem, especially in a culture that has made discipline A dirty word. If you think of disciplining your child by a parent today, it conjures up images of uncontrollable anger and brutal beatings. That’s not biblical discipline. Two case studies — one sociological and the other biblical — show us what appropriate, godly discipline is all about.
Reuben Hill, a sociologist, conducted a study on thousands of Minnesota teens and their parents. Hill organized his research in a grid that included an x-axis and a y axis as well as four quadrants. The horizontal…