Michael Pearl: ...the child intuitively recognizes the need to maintain an unbroken record of independence. Have you ever noticed a child when you say to him, even a big kid like 14 years old, say, "Put that down and don't handle that." The kid goes... [holds out a water bottle but doesn't quite put it down on the table] "I said, put it down." [puts the water bottle down on the table, but leaves hand on it] "Take your hand off of it." [removes all but the index finger from the bottle]
Michael: What's the child doing? Just expressing their rebellion, their independence. And then you explode, "I said take your hand off of it!" You're still not satisfied. Why? Because they're just standing there close to it. Their body language says, "I may do what you say, but I don't like it." That's the rebel spirit. Do you know why that's there? Because you've shared authority, you've shared control and the kid is wrestling you for that authority role. See, child training stands on two legs. Two legs. The first leg is fellowship; the second leg is discipline. Some people are stronger on one of these than the other. When you fellowship with your child, and win their favor and approval, then your discipline will be effective.
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." A child raised with a balance of fellowship and discipline will walk in truth. Love their parents, love righteousness, and be self‑controlled as they get older. But then there are some parents that are real heavy on the fellowship part. That is, they just love their kids and they affirm their personality and they always enjoying their children, but they don't have any discipline. They don't constrain the child to obey rules. Try to allow the child self expression. Some people say, "I just let my children know that I love them. That's all I need to do."
I've had parents say, "But I'm not a legalist. If my children want to wear rings in their noses, that's their business. If they want to listen to to this kind of music or that, that's their business. I don't make them do anything. I'm not a legalist." If that's the attitude you got, you'll end up with a child who says, "Nobody tells me what to do. If it feels good, I do it." You'll end up with a child that you may have fellowship with, but he may be someone you don't want to fellowship with. It may be someone that you don't enjoy in your house. In fact, you're afraid to have them there because there's no rules to govern them.
Then there's people who stand heavy on the discipline. "You'll do what I tell you to do or you'll wish you had." The father stands heavy on the discipline, he's light on the fellowship. What does he end up with? "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath. Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Without the nurture, without the admonition, without the fellowship, you'll have wrathful sons. You'll have sons that will be wrathful with their mother. They'll be hard. They'll be the extreme right‑wing type element. Firmly discipline, but don't understand love.