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Session 20

Is the work of discipline worth it?

Read: 2 Samuel 14:25-33

Shepherds in Kenya use the thorny branches of the acacia tree to make a tall, thick sheepfold, guarding their animals from predators. 

God placed a sheepfold around David in the form of boundaries, but David broke out — committing adultery and murder. God responds, “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you” (2 Samuel 12:11). 

By 2 Samuel 14:25-33, David’s son Absalom had killed his brother for raping his sister. Absalom ran away. When Absalom returned, David refused to see him. So, Absalom set Joab’s barley on fire to get David’s attention. 

The chaos in David’s family was another example of how failing to follow God’s instructions created calamity. When David failed to discipline his children, he was ignoring God’s command to love Him and love others. 

Three Things to Remember About Discipline

1. We discipline because we love.

“The LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:12). Setting boundaries and holding our children accountable keeps them safe and expresses our love. We may feel rotten, but letting our children do anything they want leads to heartache and the self-centered lifestyle we see in David’s family.

2. Disciplining our children starts with disciplining ourselves.

Leading disciplined lives models discipline for our children. Spend time seeking God’s will through prayer and the Bible. Not addressing a sin might be easier, but it’s selfish and shows a lack of self-discipline.

3. How we discipline our children can affect generations.

If our children don’t respect boundaries, it will be hard for them to set boundaries for their own children. Our families’ legacies start with the decisions we make today. 

Jesus is “the good shepherd” who protects, guides, and provides (John 10). Jesus disciplines us because He loves us. Looking to His example and building barriers in our children’s lives keeps them from danger and provides a loving place where they can learn to follow Jesus.

Reflect:

  • Are you modeling a disciplined life? What’s one step you can take today to model self-discipline?
  • In what area have you failed to discipline or shepherd your children? What is one thing you need to change?

1

It’s OK to allow ourselves to grieve

It’s OK to allow ourselves to grieve

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2

Respecting someone after they hurt you

Respecting someone after they hurt you

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3

When following God, always ask for directions

When following God, always ask for directions

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4

Does God call us to quit?

Does God call us to quit?

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5

Has your anger gone too far?

Has your anger gone too far?

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6

What “they” say doesn’t matter

What “they” say doesn’t matter

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7

Why waiting is worth it

Why waiting is worth it

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8

Why should I ask God what to do?

Why should I ask God what to do?

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9

Sing like no one is listening

Sing like no one is listening

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10

God always has a better plan

God always has a better plan

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11

Why would God choose me?

Why would God choose me?

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12

What is the secret to success?

What is the secret to success?

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13

Come out of the shadows

Come out of the shadows

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14

A life of harmony or hostility

A life of harmony or hostility

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15

What popcorn can teach you about sin

What popcorn can teach you about sin

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16

Did you hear what she did last night?!

Did you hear what she did last night?!

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17

Is God fair?

Is God fair?

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18

The difference between love and lust

The difference between love and lust

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19

Why would I reconcile with God?

Why would I reconcile with God?

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20

Is the work of discipline worth it?

Is the work of discipline worth it?

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21

How do you know who to trust?

How do you know who to trust?

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22

Choose your battles wisely

Choose your battles wisely

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23

How to handle the haters

How to handle the haters

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24

Pride: a fatal flaw

Pride: a fatal flaw

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25

Do you act before you think?

Do you act before you think?

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26

Getting over the grip of grief

Getting over the grip of grief

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27

Do for others what Jesus has done for you

Do for others what Jesus has done for you

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28

Your words can ease the tension

Your words can ease the tension

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29

Is God your last resort?

Is God your last resort?

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30

How do you feel about God?

How do you feel about God?

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31

How to praise God in all circumstances

How to praise God in all circumstances

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32

Waiting for a leader worth following?

Waiting for a leader worth following?

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33

What you need to lead others well

What you need to lead others well

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34

How to fight with God’s strength

How to fight with God’s strength

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35

God’s character revealed

God’s character revealed

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