Wednesday, September 10, 2008


About three weeks ago Shaunna (my uber awesome wife) and I noticed, that our children were not listening well, were very disrespectful and generally disobedient. I was getting tired of the constant discipline.

We started to brainstorm how we could parent more effectively when we needed to discipline . Both of us were very frustrated and during our brainstorm because the best we could come up with was harder spankings (now there is some creative parenting.) I left to go to the store and it dawned on me. We had not done family devotions in over two months. Because none of my children read yet our family devotions are their primary intake of the Scriptures.

I know in my own life that there is a direct correlation between the time I spend with God in the Word and prayer and my ability to resist and flee temptation. Of course this is true of our children as well. I was reminded that discipline has two sides. Discipline doesn't just seek to punish or correct sin but also must encourage us to follow, honor, and glorify God.

Discipline should always have as its goal discipleship and I was not thinking in terms of discipleship but behavior control. My goal as a parent must always be growth in God and I should never be content to merely curb sin. As a father I failed my children in the area of discipline and therefore failed also in discipleship.


Brynn said...

You have very small children, so what do you read or do for family devotions?
Thanks, I'm looking for ideas on how to start with my little ones (both under 3yrs.)

Phill Crust said...

I have three children 6, 4, 1, and we use The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm. The reason I like it better than other picture story Bibles is that it traces the theme of God's redemption throughout all the scriptures uniting all the various stories into one story of God's Salvation. It is by far the best one I have seen or read. It is divided into 26 parts. We typically read one or two parts each night and we have been through several times. Of course so much of keeping the attention of little children is in how you read (the more dramatic the better). I also stop to ask questions to keep them involved.

Phill Crust said...

In addition to reading from the Bible we pray and sing. For singing we do some of the children's songs they learn at church - Jesus loves the little children - Father Abraham - The BIBLE - But I also want them to learn great Hymns the church has been singing for a hundreds of years. These are a little more difficult to learn but we started with the Doxology - and have learned 2 verses from A Mighty Fortress is our God - and all of Holy Holy Holy. Each night we will do one or two of their songs and then one hymn. My son loves a Might Fortress.