by Dr. Faron Hollinger
Effective discipline has enormous value and is a necessity in virtually all aspects of life. Most of us would probably agree that highly effective discipline is generally initiated through effective parenting in the home and can be the determining factor between success or failure, progress or stagnation, and excellence or mediocrity.
According to prominent author and psychologist Dr. James Dobson, effective and appropriate disciplinary practices are among the most important strategies for successful parenting. Dobson also contends that effective and appropriate disciplinary practice is characterized by certain distinguishable ingredients, among which are clearly defined and communicated boundaries and rules for expected behavior, distinguishing between accidents and mistakes as opposed to willful disregard and disobedience, and a disciplinary environment characterized by loving correction as opposed to condemnation and rejection.
Discipline is also a necessity in our life of faith and we can find great comfort and encouragement in the certainty that we have the perfect parent in our Heavenly Father.
“And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as children? He said, My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves…” – Hebrews 12:5-6
His discipline is perfect and has all the right ingredients! He has given us clearly communicated and defined boundaries in His word and he knows our motives and intentions in their minute detail and entirety. When required, He always administers His discipline in love with the desired outcome of accomplishing His specific purpose in our lives. As His child we have the benefit of perfect parenting and we can therefore focus on the plan and not the pain of discipline.
- Dr. Faron Hollinger
This Week’s Quote:
“God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness.” — Billy Graham
About Today's Contributors
Dr. Hollinger has served as an educator for more than three decades in Alabama's public schools, from special education teacher to retired superintendent of Baldwin County Public Schools. He currently is an education consultant who also volunteers with the University of Mobile's Center for Leadership as the coordinator of the Education Alliance.