“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
You’re Grounded for Life!, by Randall D. Kittle

Imagine the scene. Your teenage daughter has just crossed the line for the umpteenth time. She knew she shouldn’t have been doing what she was doing, let alone saying what she’s been saying to you. Her behavior hasn’t just been over the line. It’s been way out of bounds. She seems to be afloat in a sea of disrespect for you and disregard for what you say. You sternly turn and with finger pointed declare, “That’s it, you’re grounded young lady.” Immediately the plea comes forth as if from one wrongly accused, “For how long?” To which you smugly reply, “You’re grounded for life!”

While that might seem fair and satisfying as a parent, the truth is that such a harsh, vindictive punishment falls under the category of what the Bible calls “provoking” your children. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger …” (Ephesians 6:4). Any discipline that is overly harsh, out of proportion to their actions, or excessive in its duration will exasperate and frustrate our children, not instruct and train them.

This entire verse tells us, “
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The Lord’s plan is not that you punish your children by “grounding them for life,” but that you diligently oversee them being trained up, discipled, and instructed in the ways of the Lord. God expects every parent to ground their children in the Word of God and the ways of His kingdom. This and nothing less will “ground them for life.” And while being part of a good church helps, the responsibility to ground your children in the basic tenants of the faith is not the responsibility of their church, Sunday school, youth group, or even their Christian school’s. God holds the parents responsible for raising their children. Both the Old and New Testament scriptures clearly reveal the Lord’s heart for parents to train up their children to know the Lord — both His Word and His ways!

So, let us take seriously the charge the Lord has given us and labor diligently, for truly the instruction they receive today can ground them not just for tomorrow, but for all that lies ahead of them. How about you? Are you willing to do what it takes to ground your children for life?
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

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