Discipline

47 posts

What Is Obedience?

Obedience is a great privilege, honor and joy. Obedience is not something to use to gain a reward. Obedience is the reward!  No one can make himself more acceptable to God by obedience. This means that your children must not think that you will be more accepting of them if they obey you. I know this seems awkward. So much of your life is about training and teaching God’s truth. But the truth is that one’s own obedience does not make him acceptable to God. The last thing that I want is to stand before God at the end of the day and ask God to accept me based on how well I obeyed! My only hope for acceptance is […]

The Gospel and Discipline

Parents don’t often think of the gospel and discipline in the same sentence. Typically, we tend to think that discipline is what you do now and the gospel is what you hope your children will embrace in the future. But Paul has a different understanding of the place of the gospel. For him, the gospel is the foundation, the hope of all of life for Christians (see Colossians 1:21-23). This means that your parental discipline must rooted and built upon the gospel. Just as you know that you can’t make yourself “good” enough for God to accept you, your children must know that they cannot make themselves “good” enough to earn your acceptance and approval. This is huge! You are […]

Discipline Or Punishment: Do Your Children Know the Difference?

There is a huge difference between punishment and discipline. Since children are born wanting to go their own way, every parent engages in some form of correction. That correction will either take the form of punishment or discipline. Punishment is about retribution, payment for wrong doing. Punishment produces insecurity and fear. Biblical discipline on the other hand produces security and peace. The reason for the difference is that biblical discipline is motivated and controlled by love, the love of Christ. Only the love of Christ can remove punishment. As I John 4:18 says, the perfect love of Christ drives out fear, and replaces it with the blessing of the gospel. Thus, if your correction is not directly connected to the […]

Scolding: How Not To Love Your Children

Your day is busy, Things are running behind schedule. Amber, your six year old is not responding to your directions. She either responds slowly or not at all. But instead of addressing her disobedience immediately, you have fallen into a pattern of repeating your directions and scolding her for not obeying quickly. You find yourself wishing Amber would just obey so you wouldn’t have to become angry and fuss at her. Then all of a sudden, the light bulb comes on! Amber isn’t the problem, you are. You realize that by scolding and continuously repeating yourself, Amber has learned not to take your direction seriously, at least not for the first five times you ask her to obey. You realize […]

Three Truths About Discipline

There are three important considerations regarding biblical discipline. First, discipline is meant to highlight the unpleasantness of sin. Discipline, must not be confused with retribution. A child ought to be motivated to avoid discipline. 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. This is where faith comes into play. 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, […]

Mercy or Commendation

We humans tend to be quick with our reactions. If we approve of something we are quick to say so. If we don’t – well, we find ways to make that obvious as well. There are exceptions of course, but usually approval or disapproval is immediately apparent. Sadly, we may think that God also is quick to show approval and disapproval. But such thoughts will lead you to misunderstand the character of God and how he responds to your sins and the sins of others. Psalm 103 has some helpful guidelines regarding God’s response to sin. Look at verses 8-10: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he […]

Worry, Anxiety, Obedience and Your Children

Obedience to God is something that is meant to bring comfort and peace to life. The Holy Spirit illuminates his word so that obedience can be the ultimate stress reliever. Jesus urges you to know the relief and refreshment from taking his yoke upon you instead of trying to figure out life for yourself. John says the commands of God are not burdensome. I can hear someone thinking or saying, “Time out! These are not exactly my first thoughts about obedience. What are you talking about?” Well, such an objection is totally understandable. Sadly for most parents and children obedience is associated with wording similar to “obey or else!” — not much comfort there. But this is not what the […]

Repost: The Mercy of Biblical Discipline

Biblical discipline has to do with love and delight, not primarily accountability and control. Biblical discipline is not about fairness, it is about mercy. Biblical discipline is not about treating children as their sins deserve. Would you really ask God to treat you as your sins deserve? If you don’t want God to treat you with fairness, then don’t make fairness the standard of your parenting. How much of the wonder and mercy of biblical discipline do you communicate to your children? Stay with me here! I am not advocating laissez-faire parenting or child-centered discipline. The truth is you only have hope because God does not treat you as your sins deserve. This is the gospel message of the cross. […]

Children: Gift Or Trial?

You introduce your children to a new friend. With a big smile you say, “Here is my collection of living, breathing trials. I can’t wait for you to meet them.” Your friend says, “Did you just call your children trials?!?” You reply, “Yes, yes I did. Honesty is the best policy and honestly, trials are exactly what they are, all three of them. Care for lunch?” I know, sort of a bizarre conversation, isn’t it. Or is it? When things are challenging with your children, it is easier to think of them as trials rather than gifts from God. The reality is that both descriptors, trials and gifts, are accurate biblical terms to describe your children. In places like Deuteronomy […]

Three Marks Of Effective 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. Discipline is painful rather […]