top of page
  • Writer's picturePastor DJ Harry

5 Principles for Proper Discipline

I remember how confused I was as a father when it came time to discipline our first child.  It was both awkward and difficult to find the necessary balance between feelings of compassion and knowing that correction needed to take place.  Looking back I know there were things that we did wrong and areas in which we failed.  I’m thankful that in those early years we had mentors that modeled Christ-like discipline in their homes for us to follow.

My Kids (years ago)

What is discipline?

What is discipline?  Let me clarify that I am not talking about beating, physical abuse, or aggressive correction.  I believe those to be un-Biblical, sinful, and counter productive.  I have seen very few children who were

physically abused that did not carry those scars deep into their adulthood. Parents, discipline is no excuse to abuse your children!  In fact, I  grieve that I would even have to write those words…but the reality is that there are some who would hide behind the name of “Biblical Discipline” as a shield for their aggressive and abusive behavior.   If you were the victim of abuse, I am sorry that you carry that pain.  If you are a parent that is using discipline to justify your acts of anger, STOP!!

I am, however, talking about the loving and focused correction that takes a child and places them back under their Biblical authority.  This loving correction may take many forms but must always conform to the model of correction that we see in Scripture.  In a future blog post I will cover some facets of Biblical discipline.  Today let’s look at why this type of discipline is necessary to maintain a Godly home.

1. Chastisement is a teaching tool

What does discipline teach? It teaches the all-important lesson that there is a consequence for sin.  In my former ministry experience I served as a youth

pastor for 10 years. In those years of working and guiding children, I rarely brought a child to Christ that was undisciplined. Speaking primarily of their behavior, children that recognized no consequences for their actions in the classroom or at home were very unlikely to understand the eternal consequences that separate us from God.  Proverbs 23:14  states that by disciplining the child you will “deliver his soul from hell.”  Remember, this isn’t a direct promise as such, but word of wisdom which teaches the simple concept that proper discipline is a helpful tool to bring a child to salvation.  Until a child understands that there are consequences for their actions, they will struggle understanding the simple truth that they need a Savior!

2. Should be done early

Proverbs 13:24 states that “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”  The Hebrew word translated ‘betimes’ here in Proverbs means ‘in the dawn’, or ‘at the beginning.’  I am not suggesting an age that corporal punishment should begin.  I am, however, suggesting that Scripture says that the process of correction needs to start early in life.  Can I be honest with you?  The rude, disruptive, or disobedient behavior that you consider ‘cute’ with a two year old is no longer cute when he or she is eight.  If you don’t want them acting that way later in life you must begin the training process early in life!!

3. Drives away foolishness

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 29:15 that “a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”  A sin nature drives the heart of a child; it is the same sin nature that directs and pushes us to sin.  Lacking the life experience and Spirit’s discernment to protect from those desires, a child will naturally go the way of selfishness, disobedience, and rebellion without the loving correction of parents.  Proverbs goes on to tell us that “foolishness is bound in the heart of a child.”  It takes loving correction to steer their hearts toward righteousness.

4.  Is an expression of love

How do we know that?  Because in Hebrews 12 we are given a glimpse into

the loving chastisement of our heavenly Father.  That view of spiritual chastisement is explained through the lens of earthly chastisement.  The writer of Hebrews proclaims that the ones that the Lord loves he corrects.  This loving correction is put into earthly perspective a few verses later when he compares it to the correction of our earthly fathers.  In the same way that God above chastens those who are His, a loving father will also chastise his children out of love and concern.  It is an expression of love.

5. Should never be done in anger

If there is only one thing you comprehend as you read this, let this point be heard.  God does not chasten us in anger.  Parents, you should never, ever chasten your children with anger in your heart.  Practically, that means you might need have a few minutes of ‘reflection’ before you deal with issues.  In our home, I would often send my children to their room and have them wait for me.  They thought it was to make them think about their actions but in reality it was to give me 5-10 minutes to calm my emotions so that my discipline was not an expression of anger.  Parents, disciplining with an angry spirit will only serve to create confusion and anger in the heart of your child.

At this point you might feel discouraged because you think you have done it all wrong.  Well, there is no better time than right now to decide to discipline properly.  Take these five tips and let them be a springboard into a family study on proper Biblical discipline.  Get your kids involved!!  Let them see from God’s Word what proper discipline should look like.  It will help them understand that a disciplined life is always a better life!!

DJHarry Isaiah 64:8 We are the clay!!

Please ‘like’ this if it was a blessing!

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page