Biblical discipline has to do with love and delight, not primarily accountability and control. Biblical discipline is not about fairness, it is about mercy. Biblical discipline is not about treating children as they deserve. Which of you would ask God treat you as your sins deserve? Stay with me here! I am not advocating laissez faire parenting or child centered discipline. What I am doing is calling us back to the biblical truth that should be the cornerstone of our parenting as well as our faith. We have hope only because God does not treat us as our sins deserve. This is the gospel message of the cross. This liberating message often gets lost in the language of parenting.
For example, let's look at raising young children and toddlers. In Shepherding a Child's Heart, Tedd Tripp rightly points out that establishing authority is the fundamental task given to parents in years 0-5. Tedd also teaches that parental authority is derived authority. Parental authority is not earned, but is given by God. It is essential that this truth be passed on to young children. Following Hebrews 12 and Proverbs 3, parental authority is to be administered with loving discipline. Discipline is not justice. Discipline is not retribution. Justice and retribution have to do with judgment and hell, not parenting.
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]