If we were to stop and scan the scriptures for advice on parenting, one of the themes that would stick out is that God is concerned about the state of our hearts, rather than simply behavior modification.
I think we have all been there. Your kids are playing together and then one of them lets out a blood-curdling scream. You run over to investigate and learn that Johnny hit Sally — all over a toy he wanted to play with. After making sure everyone is unharmed, your mind shifts to behavior modification and how to discipline your kids.
Often, there are several basic ways of handling these kinds of conflicts with kids. The first can be to try and determine who had the toy first and justly return the toy to its original operator. A second option would be to try and encourage the kids to be better at sharing. Or another option altogether would be to take the toy away and tell the children that since they cannot “play nice” they do not need to play at all.
But have you ever thought about how God would want you to handle that situation? How would he want you to teach discipline to your kids in that moment? Have you ever evaluated your own goals during a scenario like that?
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