Christians and Children Discipline (Discipling)

With two articles (there are plenty more, these two refer to each other’s comments) about spanking, children discipline here, David E. Prince – and here, Jonathan Merritt – I might as well through some words into the mix.  The dictionary definition is as follows: “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”

The Bible has many references to discipline and certainly on parents-to-children discipline:  Proverbs 13:1, 24 & 19:18.  When children need discipline, parents should not shirk their responsibility, because the consequences are dangerous to the child (Proverbs 19:18, 22:6, 15; 23:13-14). Parents are also instructed to teach through the example of their own wise and Godly behavior (Proverbs 11:21; 12:7: 13:22; 20:7.  This is where I want to go with this – “through the example of THEIR own wise and Godly behavior.  In Proverbs 11:21, Godly behavior has positive consequences for the next generation.  In Proverbs 12:7, the family of the Godly stands firm for generations.  I want that for my family, a Godly generation, a legacy of Godliness! When we spank our children, do we leave a Godly legacy/generation?  Our children are witnessing our Christian Witness, they are always watching and in the event of a spanking, feel, what we are leaving with them.  For an extreme example, say you just spanked your child and without a moment to speak further, you die from a heart attack.  What does that leave your child’s lasting memory of you?  We are leaving lasting memories, good or bad, with our children, whether you like that or not, it is absolutely true.

A cross reference verse to Proverbs 12:7 is Matthew 7:24-27, where Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount highlights the emphasis in the whole sermon on doing what Jesus teaches by walking in righteousness. To hear and not obey is to choose the wide gate and the broad highway that lead to destruction.  So, are we “walking in righteousness” by spanking our children, that is for God to decide.  Are we hearing and not obeying his teachings and therefore choosing the wide gate and the broad highway “that leads to destruction”?  If our children are “little disciples” to us, how are we leading?  How are we witnessing?  These are questions for myself to answer.  When we think eternally, heavenly, that will change our external/physical behavior as well as the internal/heart motivations.  Are we disciplining or discipling?


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