Love Balances Discipline
by Drenda Keesee
The second pillar of the table is love. I purposefully put love next to discipline, because love balances discipline out. They go hand-in-hand. You should never discipline without love, and discipline should never derive out of anything other than love.
On occasion one of our children has approached Gary and me and said, “My friend is allowed to do such-and-such, so I should be allowed to.” My response is…
My response is…
“I love you too much to say yes to that.” We didn’t apologize to our children for choosing what is right and protecting them from the corruption of the world. Love says yes to the right things, and no to the wrong things. When you love your children, you choose good and healthy things for them.
What can your children say to that? How can your children argue against being loved?
We model how much we love our kids by the boundaries we set for them. Children want parents who love them enough to confront them for acting out. They might not thank you for it in the moment, but they will respect you in the long run. Don’t let them play the “everyone else is doing it” card on you. That is manipulation, and you love them too much to allow them to manipulate their way around accountability.
I always tried to make things in our home fun for our kids. If you’re harsh or always angry with your kids, you’re going to cause them to rebel against God. Nobody wants to be in that kind of environment.
Without love, discipline turns to abuse. Your children will resent you for discipline that is not acting out of love, and that’s why the two go hand-in-hand. When Gary or I spanked our children, we always started out by explaining why we had to spank them. We explained what they did, and how much we loved them. After we spanked them, we gave them a hug and reaffirmed our love. That is crucial. If you don’t reaffirm your love after discipline, your children feel separated from you and could form resentment.
Many parents fall on the legalistic side, only giving their children rules and regulations and never doing anything to affirm their love. Your children will begrudge you if the only time you show up is to say no to them. If children then realize the only time you give them attention is when they misbehave, they will do bad things to at least get some sort of attention. Love and discipline must be balanced. You can do and should do fun things with your children, and it doesn’t have anything to do with money. On the flip side, buying them expensive things doesn’t equal quality time and attention from you. They need your time, not an open line of credit. Borrow camping equipment and get out there. Do the best you can with what you have and have fun!
A lot of parents are afraid to tell their children the truth. They are afraid that if they are honest, their child will turn from God, so they embrace their sin instead. Love does not ignore the truth; love is your mission to spread it. If you love someone, you will tell them the truth. You need to be honest and say, “According to my personal conviction and God’s Word, this is wrong. I’m not going to badger you about it or keep bringing it up, but it’s important that you know where I stand. I love you, and I care about you deeply, but this is sin.”
Love is the glue that holds together a family. We all make mistakes—parents and children alike say or do the wrong things— but love ties us together. First Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
*Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.