I have not used a rolled-up newspaper to discipline them. However, more than a few times I’ve tapped them lightly on the nose to reinforce a reprimand.
Working with these unruly pups reminds me of the picture some people have of God: an angry father standing over us with a rolled-up newspaper, ready to strike us on the nose if we step out of line.
Christians who have this wrong view of God’s discipline spend their lives wary of angering Him. Fear replaces joy. Obligation supplants love. Legalism supersedes grace. It’s not only a sad way to live, it’s the opposite of the abundant life Jesus won for us.
But the Bible describes discipline this way:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11 NIV).
When discipline is required, let’s receive it with gratitude for how it will grow us to be more like Christ. When we must extend discipline to the children in our lives, let’s do it with love. And may we always teach them that the punishment all our sin truly deserves was paid by Jesus Christ. He was stricken by God so we would not have to be.
The best example to our children is when we receive God’s discipline as from a loving heavenly Father who only wants our ultimate good. When we keep a right view of God as we receive discipline, we leave a legacy for the next generation that speaks volumes!