From Episcopal Relief and Development Lent Meditations
Discipline your children while there is hope; do not set your heart on their destruction. -Proverbs 19:18
For years, I hated the words discipline and discipleship in regard to faith. I thought they sounded controlling, a way of churning out cookie-cutter people. I felt this way until my artist brother told me that a discipline is simply an intentional practice and discipleship is the journey of that practice. This perspective changed both my view of God and how I parent.
To be a disciple of Christ is to be constantly practicing the ways of Jesus- not out of fear of condemnation but in order to be in (and filled with) the presence of whole love. Like an artist who must always be practicing her craft in order to live out a calling, we must regularly engage in spiritual practices to develop a greater ability to live lives of love and wholeness.
The same is true for our children. To discipline my kids is not to try and knock the sin out of them. Instead, disciplining them teaches practices that will root them in abundance, not scarcity; in generosity, not selfishness; in love, not hate; in welcoming, not exclusion. These practices will create an abiding place for the spirit of God to reside, resulting in such wholeness within them that sin has no room to flourish.
-Jerusalem Jackson Greer