Three marks of effective discipline

Posted on July 6, 2016 · Posted in Discipline


If discipline is to be effective it must contain at least 3 three qualities. Otherwise the discipline will not result in growth but frustration. It is vital that you, as a parent, see discipline as something that is positive and not punitive. Discipline is not about retribution or getting even. Discipline has the goal of producing peace. Without that goal, discipline becomes a manipulate tool that will drive your children far from you.

Hebrews 12:11 provides this positive view of discipline:

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant,
but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have
been trained by it.”

There are three important parts to this verse.

First, discipline is painful rather than pleasant. Discipline is meant to highlight the unpleasantness of sin. Discipline, must not be confused with retribution. A child ought to be motivated to avoid this discipline. However, it is important that parents respond with pleasant, even words in the course of discipline. This is because it is pleasant words, and not anger, that promotes instruction (Proverbs 16:20-24).

Second, the fruit of discipline is not always seen immediately. As the second part of this verse indicates, it is later on that the fruit of righteousness is yielded. This is where faith comes into play. As with any faith-based action, the assurance comes from things that are not seen (Hebrews 11:1). So, there may not be immediate confirmation that the discipline “worked.” Parents should not discipline simply to manipulate kids into better behavior. Christian parents are to discipline in faith, out of love for God, as God has directed so that God is honored.

Third, the peaceful fruit of righteousness comes to those who have been trained by it. The word for training here is the word used for gymnastics training. Thus, the training is detailed and rigorous. This concept removes the element of retribution from discipline. Biblical discipline is not aimed at getting even, but at pointing children to Christ and their need of him.

Biblical discipline:
Painful rather than pleasant.
The fruit of discipline is not always seen immediately.
Peace comes to those who embrace discipline.

God is in control, not the child and not the parent. The underlying component in discipline is faith. You discipline because your confidence lies in things that are unseen. Only God can bring about the needed changes in your children. You can be content and trust God that he will honor your faith in him in his good time.

Marry Wisely, Marry Well

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.