When my kids became teenagers we realized that as they were experiencing new freedoms, we had to set clear perimeters for what we would allow. One of the rules that we implemented was that our kids would not be permitted to ride in a car with other teen drivers. Well, one night after a special meeting (I think it was during Youth Conference) I spotted one of my sons in the car with a load of teens! I was in a dilemma because I did not want to embarrass my son, but I also didn't want to let him do something we had already ruled against. My son did not know for sure that I saw him, but I saw him not only in the car, but ducking down hoping I wouldn't see him. So, what did I do? Well, as much as I didn't want to embarrass him, I also knew I would never be able to live with myself if they got in a car accident - so I walked towards the car - waved my hand for them to stop - poked my head in the window and politely asked my son to get out of the car...ouch!
When my son got out of the car, I talked to him about his disobedience, apologized for embarrassing him, and let him know that he could have avoided the shame if he had just obeyed. We didn't further punish him, because being "red-faced" in front of his friends as a teenager seemed lesson enough. He also then was not able to go wherever it was that his friends were going, he came home for the evening.
Did my son get angry and become rebellious because of the stand that we took? Well, he may have been angry at the time, but today he is a preacher of the Gospel; he is a godly man, happily married, and raising three beautiful children to the glory of God! He learned a valuable lesson that we can all apply to our lives today.
1. Obedience in the first place will prevent embarrassment later on. "...shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction..." Proverbs 13:18
2. Kids need to see that Mom and Dad are a team, they are one therefore they should not be divided; if Dad gives instructions to the kids, it is up to Mom to make sure they are followed (even in his absence). "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." Proverbs 1:8
3. Keep your promises. If you can't keep it, don't speak it; and if you're gonna break it, don't make it! "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." James 5:12
Your children should grow up knowing that you do what you say you're going to do whether it is a promise for a special treat, or a promise that they will be disciplined (never give your children threats - give them promises)...don't give cause for your children to doubt what you say - you are the one they are looking to for security. I am secure knowing that the Word of my Heavenly Father will not change. "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." Psalm 119:89
Have a wonderful day!