Three helps for fathers...

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(Tim) Fathers, let us live by faith as we do the work of raising our sons and daughters. It's hard--very hard, particularly if you're going for the heart rather than external conformity. At times your dear wife will be an obstacle to your work. Let's be honest about that.

When I first put up this post, I considered it so boringly normal in its description of the father/mother/child disciplinary triad it didn't occur to me anyone might think the scenario was current in my home. But a dear friend wrote to warn me not to talk about my wife and son in public and I was grateful.

That said, this is not my current situation. Mary Lee is not leading a rebellion and our son Taylor is not sullen.

On the other hand, I'm always loathe to turn down the heat on instruction and exhortation by reassuring my congregation this or that wasn't meant to describe me or you or him or her. So let me reverse myself and say this post does apply to me, my wife, my son, you, your wife, and your daughter. In other words, no one is off the hook as we read this. Here are some of our sins and all of us need to take warning and encouragment from the Word of God. That said...

When your wife disaproves of your discipline of your son and your son, himself, follows her lead by being sullen, keep three things firmly in mind:

1. Our Heavenly Father disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:5,6); and

2. Our Heavenly Father tells us to ask Him for wisdom and promises to provide it generously and without finding fault (James 1:5); and

3. No father wants a statement like this to summarize his son's character:

(Adonijah's) father had never crossed him at any time by asking, “Why have you done so?” (1 Kings 1:6a)