Additionally, Dale Hudson (yes, it's the second link to his blog this week) reminds us that It's About the Heart . . . Not Just the Head. Watch the video below to here his message:
Elyse Fitzpatrick also gives insight into The Danger of Moralistic Parenting. We (as a Christian culture) have taught our kids that good behavior is what pleases God. We are "teaching good manners instead of salvation."
Of course, there is nothing innately wrong about teaching moral behavior, but to stop there (or even to make that too high of a focus) is one way that parents, churches, and other leaders can fall short of God's purpose. Either the child will become arrogant ("I keep the rules much better than others do.") or they will make Christianity about good behavior (and say either, "I'm tired of keeping those rules" or "I tried keeping them and failed, so I'm giving up on Christianity").
When you discipline your child (formatively and correctively), be sure to point him to the sufficiency of the gospel, and not his own ability or desire to change his behavior. Don't merely reach his head with knowledge; reach his heart with the gospel of Jesus Christ.