I have started a small series of exhortations to parents. You don’t have to be in the middle of cleaning up dried spaghetti noodles under the dining table to benefit, but it won’t hurt. Last time I urged parents who want their kids to believe in Christ to be believing in Christ. Parent from faith to faith.
And parent for fellowship. The goal is not a quiet house, the goal is not clean house, the goal is not a certain kind of conduct per se. The goal is love and joy and getting along together. The goal is household harmony practicing the same one-anothers we find among Christian brothers and sisters. We are teaching lessons, we are disciplining disobedience, we are driving around and washing dishes and we are aiming at the very thing God wants with us: kinship.
Peace with God means access to Him (Romans 5:1-2). Justification means we’re brought to the Father (1 Peter 3:18). When we walk in the light we have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:6-7).
Some of you have very little taste of this, from your own family growing up, and maybe still in your current situation. Getting to the goal of fellowship should take all you have. It will cost you, time and energy. You will be up later than you planned talking it out. You will be late to things, because not all sin happens at convenient times.
But you can’t sin your kids out of sin, you can’t ignore them out of sin, and you can’t discipline them toward fellowship if you aren’t in fellowship. Don’t parent with methods that drive a wedge, and certainly not with any tactic that allows you to isolate.
This is not saying to ignore lack of obedience, it’s saying what’s good about obedience.