Ron Lundy has worked closely with hundreds of children and their parents during his career as a teacher, principal, and Director of Elementary Education for Santa Rosa City School District. A respected Bible teacher in his local church, Ron and his wife, Kathy, are the parents of two grown children and grandparents of four children and teenagers.
Ron is the author of the Cladach title, HELP FOR PARENTS : A Biblical Guide to Child Discipline.
A Conversation with Ron Lundy
What prompted you to write a book about parenting?
- There are certainly more than enough books on parenting on the market. However, HELP FOR PARENTS is not just another book on parenting. It is for the serious Christian parent who wants to know what the Bible says about child rearing and wants discipline plans and specific guidance suggestions which are consistent with biblical teaching.
Did you consult with other experts while writing and researching? What was the most interesting thing you learned?
- Yes, I have read widely in the area of child discipline both in the secular world and from a Christian viewpoint. I have quoted some of those sources in the book. One source has some outstanding comments on spanking that are biblical-based! By far, the most interesting thing I learned was that even Christian books on parenting do not review the entire body of biblical teaching and/or start by building a plan based on the Word of God.
In your opinion, at what age should parents start disciplining children? When should they stop?
- I believe parents should begin the first steps to discipline as soon as a child begins to understand the meaning of ‘no.’ Discipline should continue (with age-appropriate rewards and consequences) as long as the child lives in the home as a dependent child. When the parental discipline ends, the serious praying begins (really continues). We must never stop being a prayerful parent, but when the child is no longer living in the home as a dependent our role as disciplinarian will be mostly over.
As a professional educator, what differences did you observe between children who were lovingly and consistently disciplined at home, and those who weren’t?
- A world of difference! When a child is lovingly, consistently (and let me add, age-appropriately) disciplined at home, that child will obey the teacher at school, get along with other children better, and generally have a higher level of achievement. Any good experienced kindergarten teacher can tell you, at the end of the first week of school, which children have good discipline at home and are ready to learn. They can also predict (with a high level of accuracy by the end of kindergarten) those children most likely to be in special education, to be school drop-outs, and those who are headed for trouble with the law in future years. These predictions are based primarily on readiness to obey, ability and willingness to get along with peers and to be respectful of adults. Early, good parenting pays big, lifelong benefits.
What is a common mistake you see among parents today in the way they discipline their children?
- Too many want to be in the role of friend or buddy to their child, rather than in their God-given role as a parent. They don’t know what God says in His Word about discipline. They have not learned the necessary balance, outlined in the Bible, of a loving, but firm approach to parenting. They often lack a plan for getting the desired behavior nor do they make appropriate use of both rewards and consequences. There is often a huge difference between husband and wife in parenting methods. For Christian parents, these differences can be largely resolved by a careful study of what the Bible says about discipline and reviewing several approaches to discipline to find the one that works for both of them.
Now that you are retired after a career as a teacher, principal, and director of elementary education, what do you like to do in your ‘spare’ time? What one thing would you like to learn to do?
- Actually, I enjoy what I’m doing now. I’m writing some, traveling some, playing some (walking, reading, golfing, fishing), enjoying time with our children and grandchildren, teaching a senior adult Bible study, and working with my wife, Kathy, in ministering to senior adults in our church. I’m more involved with personal study of the Bible and God’s plan for me for today and the rest of my life. It is a pleasure to bring God’s words of comfort to those who are in need. I have a heart to lead people to salvation. It has been my privilege to point several people, who were dying or grieving the loss of loved ones, to Christ.
- The thing, above all else, that I would like to learn to do is to love God more fully, listen and discern His will more completely, and lovingly obey His direction without question. Jeremiah 29:11 is for me: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” It’s not about me. He is doing it! To God be the glory.