A few months ago in Milwaukee, a surveillance video captured many teenagers swarming a BP gas station and stealing anything they could get their hands on. When one particular mother watched the news that evening, she was shocked to see her 13-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son on the surveillance tape. She now had a tough decision to make. After sleeping on it she talked with her kids the next morning and confronted the situation. She then got everyone into the car, drove down to the police station, and turned in her own kids.
I admire this mother because she did something that many parents struggle with: making tough choices. Whether we like it our not, parenting is about making tough decisions. Look what Scripture tells us as parents to do.
- "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
- "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4)
- The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother....Discipline your son, and he will give you peace, he will bring delight to your soul. (Proverbs 29:15, 17).
- Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death (Proverbs 22:13-14).
None of these Scriptures are easy to accomplish. Being a parent isn't for the weak at heart. It can be very taxing, discouraging, depressing, and downright torturous for the parent. But again, parenting is about making tough decisions and doing hard things that will ultimately direct the child towards heaven. Even if this means confronting a child, enforcing a rule or decision, disciplining, or driving a child to the police station. More than ever, today's parents must be willing to stand up and make the tough choices. Our children's souls depend on it.