I want what's best for my children but I can't always answer the question, "What's best?"
I certainly cannot let my children's reactions guide my actions. In disciplining our children, we prepare them for discipleship - obedience in the LORD. It is our obligation to raise them to respect us. It is necessary for parents to take a firm stand in positions that are not always popular. My greatest challenge as a parent has often been my children's friend's parents - especially those parents who want to be a friend. Typically, discipline is lacking. Only time will tell if they are, in fact, poorly preparing their children (and possibly mine) for adulthood.
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 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 12:7-11)
God, Help us to be parents who embrace your will. Let us love our children enough to discipline them and expect their respect and obedience. Help us prepare them to submit to you, our Father. Bless us in these trying times.