Indulging them destroys them ...

Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them. Punish the insolent—make an example of them. Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson. Kids who lash out against their parents are an embarrassment and disgrace. If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own, you’ll soon be out of your depth. -Proverbs 19:18, 25-27 MSG

I grew up in a family of six, a brother and two sisters, on Staten Island in New York City. My dad sometimes worked three jobs to make ends meet. The only indulgement that I can remember was the occasional pizza on Saturday night. Life seemed different then - rules were clearer and we usually knew when we were stepping over the line. My brother was a bit rebellious but it was so obvious that he loved my parents. He struck out on his own but later came back home.

In contrast, the county where I raised my children was very affluent. It seemed that the lives of my children were so very different than my childhood. Compared to my youth kids in our area lived indulgent lives. Even so, it seemed obvious who the disciplined kids were. Discipline knows no societal boundaries. Rich and poor parents alike can either indulge or discipline their children. And in the end, teaching a child discipline prepares them to strike off on their own.

Give us wisdom Lord to know how to discipline our children and prepare them to be disciples.

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