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Firm but Fair – “It’s Not Fair!”

ParentingWho Said It…Pat Kavanaugh

Dr. Patrick Kavanaugh, a musician whose compositions range from electronic music to opera, is the father of four sons.  He coached their soccer teams, and later joined them in wrestling and pick-up football.

Pat’s interests include shooting pool, memorizing Scripture, reading drama and poetry, and bowling—not necessarily in that order.

Pat has been a minister of music for more than 20 years.  He is executive director of the Christian Performing Artists’ Fellowship.

What He Said…”It’s Not Fair!”

Children cry that for good reason.  No one wants to live in a world without justice.

That’s why a child raised in a permissive home tends to grow up insecure.  In the short run, he may delight in getting away with wrongdoing without penalty.  But in the long run, he lacks the conviction and security that result from a home in which correction is doled out consistently, fairly, and without delay.

Administering justice is one of the toughest responsibilities of parenting.  On one extreme are softhearted parents who can’t bring themselves (or take the time and effort) to discipline children, who clearly need it.

On the other extreme are parents who punish in anger and are abusive to their children.

Bible verses that implore us to discipline our children aren’t given simply so that we’ll keep them in line.  They call us to model God’s own justice, a part of His very nature.  Children raised in evenhanded homes learn to appreciate God’s sovereign justice.

Adapted from Raising Children to Adore God (Chosen, 2003)

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, help me to reflect Your justice and mercy in the way I discipline my children.

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