All of us, whether we are a parent or not, are tasked with helping the next generation become equipped for the future God has for them. The challenge is that no kid comes pre-equipped. Our role as adults is to help kids navigate the world, discover God’s love for them, and grow into their strengths and gifts. Part of this role includes discipline. Depending on how we were raised, we all think differently on what discipline should look like. But what does God say about it? Continue the conversation started this weekend.
- Describe a time where you got in big trouble growing up. What did you do and what happened as a result?
- At the beginning of his message, Jeff shared three common feelings when it comes to talking about raising kids: fear, guilt, and apathy. Do you find yourself feeling one or more of these feelings when you think of your kids or the next generation?
Read Ephesians 6:4.
Why do you think Paul singles out fathers in this passage? What unique role do you think they play?
Paul writes about not exasperating or provoking anger in them. Does this mean you should never do anything that makes them angry? How would you know when you’ve crossed the line?
Can you think of an adult who said or did things that was probably well-intentioned but wound up actually crushing your soul as a child? If you’re comfortable sharing, talk about how what they said or did wound up discouraging you.
Can you think of an adult who didn’t go easy on you as a child but who also helped you grow, mature, and flourish in a significant way? What was it about the structure or discipline they provided that wound up being helpful?
What have you learned about providing good discipline either for your kids or other kids in your life? What separates good discipline from unfair or possibly abusive discipline?
Now, read Deuteronomy 6:6-9.
- How does this passage help us know how to pass along faith to the next generation? How can we teach our kids to love and obey God?
- Jeff said that he has found teaching kids about God is not an overly formal process but a largely informal one where key moments happen in everyday life. Have you found this to be true? Can you think of an example?
- Do you feel alone as a parent? Or do you feel like you have reinforcements where your kids have other adults, coaches, teachers, mentors, or small-group leaders who can help them navigate faith and life?
- Do you think your discipline is too harsh, too loose, unfair, or unclear? What is one way you are challenged to grow in how you relate to your kids or the next generation?
- Is there any aspect of parenthood that you are feeling anxious about? Share with the group why you are feeling this way.
Our culture and everyday life has a way of making all of us feel on edge, anxious, fearful, and guilty. Take a moment to pray that God’s peace and grace would reign over you in whatever role you fill, whether as a parent, mentor, teacher, friend, employee, employer, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or something else.