The last thing I believed about myself was that I was indisciplined. I was a well-mannered boy all through my school years. I never got into any trouble other than those communal punishments, when the class did not feel like smoking out the culprit and instead got punished as the herd. Discipline has always been one of my strong points. I have always abided by the book, never being a rabble-rouser. Growing up, I did not believe our parents spoiled us. They were always clear about discipline. There’s only one particular event that comes to mind when I think about being spoilt. My mother disciplined me for one reason or the other and I got really mad at her. I left our home which just beyond Githurai 44 on Kamiti road and trekked the two hours to the GSU headquarters at Allsops. I think I wanted to report her to the authorities and I figured I needed someone more powerful than the police!!!! 😂😂😂😂 . The guns and seriously looking faces at the gate brought me back to reality and I had to take the walk of shame back home with aching & sore feet.
So, when God casually brought up that my indiscipline was the culprit in our failing marriage, I was all up in defenses. To me, discipline was abiding by the law, and I had done this for the 30 something years I walked this globe. The thing I was yet to figure was that; my indiscipline equaled a lack of self-control. A man/woman who is disciplined is the one who can control themselves. Makes sense? Listen to what Paul says
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.1st Corinthians 9:27
So discipline is basically self-control and that is simply telling your body NO! A man who is indisciplined is one who lets the body have whatever it is that they want. E.g. if I crave Sanford fries, I have to get them no matter what. My body’s the BOSS, it’s the one that is in charge. This was very, very new to me. I had never seen discipline in this light. And since I could not tell my body NO, I was ruining our marriage. Allow me to break it down.
Disciplining our Children
One of the things that Gathoni & I struggled with as new parents, was how to discipline our toddlers. For our 1st born daughter, Imani, the moment she hit 1.5 years all hell broke loose. Whatever she wanted she demanded it, and if we said no, she threw the wildest tantrum the world has ever seen. One time it reached a peak and we realized that we have to do something about it. She had a craving for some yellow Juicy Fruit chewing gum that all supermarkets stocked next to the counters. One time, we just had enough money for something we were buying and when we got to the counter, Imani grabbed two of them. Unfortunately, behind us and all around us were scores of people all trying to check out. So, here we were with Gathoni trying to negotiate with a toddler in low tones, that we did not have enough money to buy. Imani screamed at the top of her voice and started rolling on the floor. Everyone was staring at us and telling us just to let her have the gum. It was so so embarrassing. Imani finally grabbed the gum and bolted towards the door. I had to go and grab them from her and return them to the counter, with everyone thinking that we must be the most heartless parents in the world, to deny such a sweet child something worth only 5 bob.
God began then teaching us to teach our children about how to receive a NO. It was important for them to learn that sometimes daddy and mommy will say NO and they should be ok with that. Also, the concept of delayed gratification was a very tough one to teach. When in the supermarket and Imani or Tendai wanted a toy then we would tell them, let’s not have it today, can we save up and buy it in two weeks? Basically, this was the training that we hoped would produce in them discipline. A lot of children do not know how to take a No or Not Now and this is definitely a ticking time bomb. We are facing the same battle with our youngest one Taji, who is going through the terrible twos right now. Look at the beautiful principle contained in this verse
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12:11
Telling My Body No
My indiscipline was just like the one Imani had when she was a toddler. What I wanted, I had to get! The only difference is that there was no adult to tell me No or Wait. I was in control of my life, so if I craved it, I instantly got it. For example, if a beautiful girl walked by me, my body craved a second look, and I gave in. When I wanted to go grab a midnight snack from the kitchen, I simply went and got it. If I wanted to ignore Gathoni cause of something that she had done to make me angry, I simply went ahead and did it. My body got everything it craved, I could not tell it no. It is the same analogy that for some men, they believe that if they get an erection then they MUST have sex or masturbate. That is when God led me to this verse in Proverbs that I had never looked at keenly before.
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.Proverbs 25:28
A City Without Any Walls
I was basically a city with no walls. We who live in Kenya understand perimeter walls very well. The walls around our homes keep away strangers, thieves, stray animals, and all kinds of evils that we do not want to be near us. Just imagine if your wall one day falls down, am sure you would get no sleep as you would be a sitting duck for every criminal in the book. God showed me that I was a city with no walls because I lacked self-control. I was a sitting duck for every kind of evil desire. My lack of self-control had left our marriage exposed and vulnerable to all the filth and evil that existed in society. Because I had no wall, I let in pornography, masturbation, obesity, gluttony, poverty, greed, anger all kinds of evil got a clear entryway into my life and our marriage.
I was so shocked. Just because I could not tell my body no, then I exposed our marriage to every evil known to man. Just like a child who lacks discipline, one day the world will get to see and it will bring great shame to the parents.
The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.Proverbs 29:15
Interestingly, I learned that discipline is practiced in private and the fruits are visible publicly. That is why disciplining a child does not happen at the supermarket till it happens in the privacy of the home. What happens at the till is dependent on what happens in the home. This is what God showed us.
What You Consume In Private
For as long as you live, do not forget this quote
What you consume in private, will expose you in public
Discipline is lost and won, in privacy. What people see in public is a fruit of what you practiced in private. For example, if you are a culprit of midnight snacking soon you will have a very public protruding belly. If you have sex in private, soon you will have a very public bump. My tragedy was that I was not careful about what I consumed in private. And this was what was ruining my marriage. The girls I was viewing on my phone from the washroom, my wandering eyes when I thought no one was watching et al.
Because I was indisciplined in private, then my marriage was failing publicly. Think about it this way, athletes shine when they are on the race track, but no one sees the agonizing days and months that they spent in training, disciplining their body. That is the unglamorous part, the one that is not newsworthy. That is why Paul says that he beats his body/ trains his body so that his body will not be his master and that he will be able to tell his body no. This is the training of discipline. Learning to tell your body NO.
Let Nothing Master You
Incidentally, people love using the scripture of Jesus turning water into wine to excuse their drunken behavior. The bible does not prohibit one to enjoy themselves, what the bible speaks always is moderation. Are you able to stop when you want to? That is the difference between fun & addiction. If you are not able to stop yourself (Discipline) when you want to, then you are already mastered by it. Listen to what Paul says
All things are permitted for me, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.1 Cor 6:12
This is it friends. This is what my issue was. All these things, even though I was permitted to do them, I had let them master me. They controlled me. I could NOT stop myself. I was a slave to my sexual cravings, my desire for junk food, my need for approval, my need to appear perfect, my anger, my pride and the list went on and on. Because I lacked discipline I had opened up myself and our marriage to all this evil.
Tomorrow (If God wills) we will talk about our long winding & difficult road to self – discipline
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY
I am a disciple of Christ, passionate about serving God’s purpose to my generation. I am a husband to Gathoni Kiruthi and together God has blessed us with 3 amazing children