The Best Way to Punish Your Kids

Praying Man :: Vittore Carpaccio

In his autobiography, John Paton, Scottish missionary to the New Hebrides, reflects on how his father so effectively responded his children's disobedience:

If anything really serious required to be punished, he retired first to his "closet" for prayer, and we boys got to understand that he was laying the whole matter before God; and that was the severest part of the punishment for me to bear! I could have defied any amount of mere penalty, but this spoke to my conscience as a message from God.

We loved him all the more, when we saw how much it cost him to punish us; and, in truth, he had never very much of that kind of work to do upon any one of all the eleven—we were ruled by love far more than by fear. (John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides, p.17, paragraphing added)

Tyler Kenney (@tylerkenney) is a former content strategist at Desiring God. He and his wife, Kristen, live in the Twin Cities.