Legacy to the Next Generation: Correction
By Rick Warren
— August 7, 2009
“Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don’t, you are helping them destroy themselves” (Proverbs 19:18 TEV). The gift of your correction:
A fourth factor in leaving a great legacy includes offering correction when your children make mistakes. This responsibility of parenting often causes major disagreements in marriage, because no two people see everything alike. In any moment, one spouse will likely be a tougher disciplinarian than the other.
Sometimes it depends on the circumstances, sometimes it depends on which child it is, sometimes it depends which spouse has been offended most. But you must not allow your disagreement to become ambivalence or your children will rule the roost, and that makes them feel insecure.
Kay and I have often disagreed about this. When we do, we’ve learned to step aside privately, work out our disagreement, and decide which one of us is best prepared emotionally to handle the situation. Then we present a united front to the kids.
Whenever we’ve failed to follow this simple rule, it has hurt everyone.
The two most important corrective words you must teach your children early in life are “come” and “no.” Kids who never learn to respect and respond to authority will struggle their entire lives. Nobody gets their way all the time. If you don’t set clear limits for your children now, they’ll never understand the concept later in life, and they will have great difficulty in relationships—in their own families, with co-workers, and even with God.
Solomon wrote, “Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don’t, you are helping them destroy themselves” (Proverbs 19:18 TEV). Nothing destroys a legacy like a lack of discipline.
Will you have any influence on the next generation? When you die, your legacy should be far more than just what you did on Earth. Your legacy should include what others do after you’re gone.