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The Apostle Paul on Parenting

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  • Dr. James Boyd

    As we continue to look at 2 Corinthians 2:6-8, we remember that Paul is likely referring to the man who was having sexual relations with his father's wife (1 Cor. 5:1). Paul told the church to provide correction to the man (1 Cor. 5:5, 11). Having disciplined the man for the holiness of both the man and the church body, Paul then gave some important follow-up instructions that may prove helpful to parents as they discipline.


    The punishment inflicted by the majority is sufficient for that person. 
    As a result, you should instead forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, this one may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 2 Corinthians 2:6-8 (HCSB)

     


    First, by way of review, effective correction is correction that comes equally from both parents. Second, after the punishment has been given, parents must forgive and comfort their children.  Forgiveness means that one releases the child of any further obligation due to the infraction. The offense is not brought up in the future as a means to guilt the child into a particular behavior. The sin must not become something by which the child derives his or her identity. The parent must forgive the child in the same way God forgives the parent. The parent also comforts the child. This is done by reminding the child of the parent’s love for him or her. This becomes a teachable moment in which the parent can reinforce to the child that nothing will diminish the parent’s love for him or her. The parent can also teach the child that the ultimate goal of punishment is not to inflict pain or suffering, but to train them in godliness, which is the most loving thing a parent can do. This is because without confirming love through comfort and forgiveness after discipline, the child might be "overwhelmed by excessive grief."  We do not punish to break our children's spirit.  We do not scare them into obedience.  We do not beat them down emotionally in order to bring about obedience.  After we have allowed our teens to experience the natural consequence of their actions, or have provided a consequence, it is our kindness that will lead them to repentance, at least eventually. Be God’s hand of correction in the life of your child and then reflect God’s method of discipline by confirming your love for your child through comfort and forgiveness.       

     

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