Quite often, I have parents ask me for ideas on how to appropriately discipline their children. In Tedd Tripp's book Shepherding a Child's Heart, he talks about the fact that we need to not focus so much on the behavior, but the heart. With disciplinarian as one of my roles, this book has grabbed my attention and I am sure it will yours as well. Here is an excerpt from the book.
"Luke 6:45 says, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." This passage is instructive for the task of childrearing. It teachs that behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is always what is going on in the heart. Remember, the heart is the control center of life."
"Parents often get sidetracked with behavior. If your goal in discipline is changed behavior, it is easy to understand why this happens.The thing that alerts you to your child's need for correction is his behavior. Behavior irritates and thus calls attention to itself. Behavior becomes your focus. You think you have corrected when you have changed unacceptable behavior to behavior that you sanction and appreciate."
""What is the problem?" you ask. The problem is this: Your child's needs are far more profound than his aberrant behavior. Remember, his behavior does not just spring forth uncaused. His behavior - the things he says and does - reflects his heart. If you are to really help him, you must be concerned with the attitudes of heart that drive his behavior."
"A change in behavior that does not stem from a change in heart is not commendable; it is condemnable. Is it not the hypocrisy that Jesus condemned in the Pharisees? In Matthew 15, Jesus denounces the Pharisees who have honored him with their lips while their hearts were far from him. Jesus censures them as people who wash the outside of the cup while the inside is still unclean. Yet this is what we often do in childrearing. We demand changed behavior and never address the heart that drives the behavior."