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Experts differ on the best way to discipline children, but most agree that if we don’t discipline them, they will grow up without self-control and bring shame to themselves, their families, and society. Experts agree that discipline should be fair, consistent, age-appropriate, compassionate, and parents should model the good behavior they expect. We read in 1 Samuel 2 and 3 about a father who failed to discipline his two sons. They showed their contempt for God by robbing worshipers and even committing adultery with women who came to worship. God warned their father, Eli, and when he failed to discipline them, God let these two sons die in a battle with their enemies. When Eli heard the news that his two sons were dead and the Ark of God was in the hands of their enemies, this 98-year-old fat priest fell off his stool, broke his neck, and he died. One of his son’s wives heard that her husband had died in battle; she suddenly went into labor and died in childbirth. Just before she expired, she named her new born son Ichabod—a name that means “Where is the glory?” The glory had left this family that failed to discipline. Of course, we do not know when and how a lack of discipline will manifest itself. Yet we know it happens. That’s why we as parents and caregivers should lovingly discipline those for whom we are responsible.

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