Today’s Scripture: Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. Proverbs¬†29:17

Sometimes when we are sitting around the family room at the end of the day, we watch a couple old home videos. Seeing my two grown daughters as little girls again is a treat for my wife and me, but more of an embarrassment to them, of course. In each video, we hear “Mommy, look what I can do” or “Daddy, watch me!” They wanted us to catch them jumping into the pool; to watch the funny skit they made up with their dolls; to applaud their first pony ride-both girls were always looking to feel important to us.

How do you make a child feel loved and valued? Sometimes, it is through enjoying the moment with fun and smiles, but sometimes, it is through spanking and rebuke. There will be moments when that blessed little angel of yours has turned up their little nose at what you have told them to do and their little eyes glitter with defiance. Parents, there needs to be a relationship, love, discipline and an example to follow. Every child is looking for you to value them, and often the way to do that is by upholding the boundaries-not just in their lives but in yours.

We need to model what it truly is to put the Lord before our plans, hopes, and ambitions. Children, teens, and young adults are all good at sniffing out fakes, so the best thing that you can do is to have a strong walk with God that you can share with them. Every day, tell your kids something good God has done in your life. Let them see you pray and serve the Lord with gladness. Get your family involved in serving together. We walk, balancing on a tightrope of disciplining them and loving them.

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, school teacher, or a babysitter, remember that whatever function you serve with children, you need to know how to walk on the tightrope. There are so many important lessons they need to see lived in your life. If you are not the parent, you may not be able to discipline as a parent would, but you can enforce what is right through your life and make a spiritual impact through the counsel you give. Who they will become in the future hangs in the balance of your ability to walk the tightrope.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.