When our kids mess up, our tendency is to take something away from them. However, punishment shouldn’t be the end goal of discipline. Restoration should be. Whether you are a parent or not, our hope is that this conversation will remind you of the kindness of God. That you will be reminded that He is always looking to maintain a relationship with you, and that we can model the same.

Start Talking

  • What kind of rules did your family have growing up? What rule did you find the silliest or most confusing?
  • When it comes to discipline, what is one thing you are glad your parents did? What’s something you wish they had done?
  • Growing up, would you say your home was characterized by mutual respect and honor? What about your current family?
  • What is your go-to response to weakness in your children?
  • What does it mean to “side with your child” ? Give an example of where you or your parents  prioritized siding with your child (or you) before disciplining them. Discuss why it’s easier and more natural to discipline first. How can we get better at siding with our children first?

Read This

  • Read 1 Corinthians 13 again. Make note that kindness is the second characteristic of love that Paul lists. Andy mentioned that “Kindness is choosing to lend someone your strength, rather than reminding them of their weakness”. Share a time when someone has extended kindness to you when you didn’t deserve it. What impact did this have on you? What did it do to your relationship?
  • Verse 4 of 1 Corinthians 13 shares that one aspect of love is honoring others. Give an example of how you honor those around you.
  • Read Hebrews12:11.What Stands Out To You?
    • According to the author, what is the goal of discipline?
    • What is your goal?
  • Talk about the difference between punishment and discipline, then read Romans 3:23. None of us are exempt from breaking a relationship with God. We have ALL sinned. What would it look like if God had simply punished us? Why does it matter that we model restoration to those we are in relationship with?

What Now?

  • If dishonoring, disrespecting, and disobeying break a relationship, then the goal of disciplining these actions should be to restore the relationship. In fact, it is important that our discipline has a goal, otherwise we are simply enforcing punishment. As discussed above, restoration with others imitates what Jesus has done for us.
    • Who do you need to restore relationship with ?
    • As you think about your kids, what steps can you take to discipline over punish?
    • Do you believe that Jesus wants to restore relationship with you?
  • Take a minute to think about what the practice of  relationship restoration means to you. What are some habits you want to implement in your home to practice relationship restoration? Ex. Saying your sorry in complete sentences.

Additional Resources

Memorize this: Hebrews 12:11. Ask God to help you prioritize relationships with those in your home!
Memorize Philippians 2:3. Ask God to help you see the connection in humility and patience.
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