There is a discipline that is imposed on us by others to teach and to train. There is also the discipline we impose upon ourselves (parent and child) that produces good behavior. No one can see the heart of another apart from their actions. Only God knows the true heart of an individual, which shows Him our motives and purity. As parents, we must help our children grasp the truth that their behavior will always go before them and ultimately determine what opportunities are made available to them. A discipline or standard of behavior is of great importance in benefiting from all life has to offer.
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
This Scripture is filled with conditional promises (if, then). Discipline in its positive sense is a pattern of behavior that one is known by. Disciplined athletes will excel in their sport, and in the same way one disciplined in good behavior will excel in life. A disciplined individual chooses wisely, knowing that choices today will impact tomorrow. Each day gifts us with the opportunity to do what is required of us and to do it well, no matter our age or responsibilities.
What is “good” in regards to behavior? What does the Bible say on this subject? Proverbs 31:10-31 gives us a description of what is referred to as the “virtuous woman or virtuous wife.” Virtuous is “having or showing high moral standards.” Morality is still a welcome attribute in a fallen world; however, high moral standards will still take us and our children far in our successes. Good character still rises to the top.
Don’t get caught up in the female pronoun or the naming of a wife in this Scripture of the virtuous woman. The strengths that are pointed out are what we want to focus on in the shaping of character and behavior, and thus the same to be caught by the children we raise. Elevated to importance in this Scripture is character, wisdom, skills and compassion. These are four goals or marks of excellence. All are characteristics that set our children apart for great things. The individual with high moral standards is valued, can be “trusted,” and fulfills his or her roles in life well (parent, child, sibling, friend, etc.). No one is lacking who depends on them (family, school, or employer). They are not lazy and they respect the Lord.
What are our children “catching” from our behavior and priorities?