Proverbs 1:8-9 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
The instruction of the father refers to the chastening, the reproof, correction, and instruction given by a father. This is something that is lacking in America today. Too many today do not have godly fathers and too many do not have a father figure in their life at all.
The instruction of a father is to train the child in the issues of life. You have to teach them how to live godly by example first. You may tell your children to do what you say and not what you do, but your child will do as they see you doing. Therefore you must set the proper example.
The greatest example to set for a child is for a parent to know Christ as their Saviour and to teach the children of Christ every day; to teach them about salvation through Christ and the consequences of not having Christ. Then you can teach them the ways of Christ and help them to build upon the principles of God’s love. The doctrine of Christ is a doctrine of loving God and loving others. It teaches them to put others before self and therefore teaches them to behave well.
A parent does not have to be harsh all the time to get results in training their children. If a parent shouts at their children all the time when they misbehave then the child will also shout when they do not get their way. Parents would do well to calmly and softly talk to their kids when they misbehave and then follow through with the proper punishment if they continue to misbehave. This teaches the child self-control and lets them know that the parent means what they say. Cooler heads will always prevail.
But the instruction must be given before discipline can be instilled. You must teach them what is right and what is expected of them. You must then teach them what is wrong and what to expect if they do wrong. The punishment must fit the crime, so to speak, but they must first be taught, instructed, and trained.
As Christians we do not automatically spank a child the first time they get out of line. There must be mild but sincere judgment and punishment for the first offence. They must be taught, and you must ensure that they understand, that the punishment level will intensify with each time they continue to disobey. However, it is not the severity of punishment that acts as a deterrent; it is its inevitability that punishment will come.
Therefore as a parent you cannot afford to make idle threats either. If you tell your child that you are going to give a certain punishment for disobeying, then that punishment must be given for that infraction. To do otherwise is to teach them that there is no real consequence for doing wrong.
You must always show them that you love and care for them after you have punished them. They must understand that they are loved, even when they have to be punished for doing wrong. It does not do well to punish and child and then leave them feeling rejected and broken. When punishment is done, you must love on them.
The ornament of grace and the chains of beauty are the blessings that will come to them and to others as self-discipline and obedience will make them pleasant to get along with. But it all starts with the parent being right with God and teaching the ways of God in the love of Christ. -Preacher