I don’t always get this and I imagine you may struggle with it as well. It is so easy to look at some negative behaviors and think that it is just a phase or that they will grow out of it or that it was just once, but those things soon become habits that are soon so deeply ingrained that they are extremely difficult to root out. One man took his son out to some trees. The first tree was just a few inches high and he told his son to pull it out by the roots. The young man was easily able to do it. The next tree was about 6 feet high and 2-3 inches around. The young man tried to pull it up and struggled for several minutes before finally getting it out with large chunks of soil caught in the roots and leaving a fair sized hole in the ground. The third tree was a full grown oak tree large enough that the young man could not even reach around it. He told his father that he could not pull the tree up without help and tools. The father explained that these trees represented the bad habits and sins in a person’s life. If those things are rooted our as soon as possible they can be removed fairly easily and with minimal damage to the lives around, but the longer they grow the more difficult it is to get rid of them and the more damage is caused to yourself and those close to you.
As parents we are responsible to examine our children’s lives for saplings of sin and help them root those things up before they get established and deeply rooted. Discipline including punishment is the way we help them do it and help teach them to have self-discipline so that as adults they will continue to get those things out of their lives when they recognize them. So, face the pain now to avoid the pain in the future. No pain, No gain.