May 05, 2017 0 Comments

Nancy and I are now at the stage in life when we no longer have to worry about disciplining our children. Thank God for that! The youngest is now 30! Now we can just sit back and watch them deal with discipline and try to correct their kids (our 17 grandchildren!). I must say there is a certain amount of humor and satisfaction and "pay back" in all this--realizing that "what goes around comes around". I therefore dedicate this Bible study to our six children and to all who desire to know what the Bible says about the great parenting job of DISCIPLINE. It is my subtle way of being an interfering grandparent. Just kidding, of course!

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” (Prov. 13:24) “Chasten your son while there is hope, and let not your soul spare for his crying.” (Prov. 19:18)

Consistent, firm, loving discipline of children is one of those practical principles of family life found in the book of Proverbs. If Christian parents are serious about wanting to know what the Bible teaches regarding child rearing, they should turn to Proverbs for help. This Bible study will be a survey of the five passages in Proverbs that touch on this theme. God’s principles of parenting are timeless and true—they do not change at the whim of “societal evolution” and they do not bow at the altar of political correctness.

First, the Bible teaches corporal punishment—that is, spanking when necessary. “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines (chastens) him promptly.” (Prov.13:24) If you love your children you will use Biblical disciplinary methods to correct their behavior. This is taught not only in Proverbs but in the New Testament as well: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. What son is there whom a father does not chasten? Now, no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful, nevertheless afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness for those who are trained by it.” (Heb. 12:6, 7, 11)

Second, the Bible teaches you have to discipline before it is too late. “Chasten your son while there is hope, and let not your soul spare for his crying.” (Prov. 19:18) My father used to say, “This hurts me more than it does you”—which I never believed! But now I understand. Parents who do not train their children by applying the “board of education to the seat of knowledge” end up with incorrigibles. There comes a point when it’s too late to start disciplining--so do it while there’s hope.

Third, the Bible teaches that stern disciplinary measures will drive foolishness from their hearts. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Prov. 22:15) This verse underscores the reality of the sin nature in all children and the need for correcting their foolish behavior. You don’t discipline your child for being childish; you discipline him/her for being disobedient.

Fourth, the Bible teaches that discipline results in spiritual deliverance. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You will beat him with the rod and shall deliver his soul from hell.” (Prov. 23:13) Consistent, sometimes corporal, punishment saves a child’s life from hell--"hell on earth" in this life, and literal hell in the life to come.

Fifth, the Bible teaches discipline produces peace and rest in the home. “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he shall give delight to your soul.” (Prov. 29:15, 17) The peace that comes from godly correction far surpasses the pain of the immediate confrontation. The only way to assure that your son will be a “delight” instead of a “shame” is to dare to discipline.

I want to conclude by saying our kids are doing a great job raising their children and attempting to follow Biblical principles. We get to see the fruit of their labors. And our grand-kids are a joy to be around. We love them all.

Richard Seefried
Harrisonburg, VA
Richard Seefried has a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry, and is licensed & certified by the NCCA as a clinical pastoral counselor.