Create a pattern of disciplining your children
It is important to state the need for fathers to train — teach — their children in the right path of life. Yes, setting a good example is absolutely necessary, but that does not get the whole job done as can be seen in Eli’s case. We must continuously and painstakingly teach our children (Deuteronomy 6:7). Eli might have assumed that by watching him alone, Hophni and Phinehas would turn out well. No! That is never enough, there must be deliberate training.
An integral part of teaching and training is disciplining. Loving your children without disciplining them actually means that you love yourself more than you love them. It means you are unwilling to pay the price or make the sacrifice to discipline them since it is not an easy task. Eli merely scolded his sons for their grossly immoral behaviour, but never took the pain to carry out any necessary disciplinary action that would have checkmated them to comply to God’s acceptable standards.
The Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about disciplining our children. Proverbs 22:15: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Proverbs 23:13: “Withhold not correction from the child for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” Proverbs 20:30: “The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.”
A child that is left alone without discipline will come to ruins. He/she will grow into a spoilt child and a terrible adult that will bring shame and destruction upon himself and his family, and even the society. God holds parents, especially fathers responsible for the proper training and disciplining of their children.
Look at the case of Samson in Judges 13-16. God handed a specific blueprint to his parents on how Samson was to be raised for him to fulfill his destiny on earth. I (Charles) believe that Samson’s parents did not do their homework very well. Otherwise, Samson would not have been so promiscuous even though he was very anointed. He lacked strength of character. He ended up in the laps of a harlot and could not fulfill his destiny the way God wanted it.
Eli’s example is a warning to all parents. Talking is just the beginning of training. Necessary disciplinary action should follow at appropriate times and also using appropriate methods. Parents also need to study the word of God and other good books that will guide them. Parenting is not a tea party. The skills have to be learnt and practiced. Love you!