5/7: On the Discipline of Children


My friends, Tammy and Cintia, and I were all at different stages in the parenting process when we entered a discussion about the discipline of children. My children were all grown and out of the house; Tammy was in the throes of dealing with an eight-year-old, strong-willed daughter; and Cintia was just starting out with a baby girl and a boy toddler.

As we moms had lunch one day, Cintia asked, “How old should your kids be when you start disciplining them, and do you spank, use time-outs, give stern looks, or what?” Tammy and I agreed that you start as soon as your kids exhibit a behavior or attitude that needs to be adjusted. We also agreed that the discipline must fit the behavior and the personality of the child. For example, as nursing babies, they each needed a little pluck on the cheek to signal that it wasn’t a good idea or in their best interest to bite down on the nipple that was supplying them with their necessary nourishment. Sometimes we noticed that we can just give “that look” to our kids and they know to cease and desist with whatever they are doing. But both Tammy and I realized that the power of “that look” exists because of some groundwork that has been laid beforehand. We both followed the Biblical discipline method of corporal punishment when defiance sparked the infractions. The following verses are our back-up on this point:

  • Proverbs 13:24      He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. (NIV)
  • Proverbs 22:15      Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. (NIV)
  • Proverbs 23:13-14      Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death. (NIV)
  • Proverbs 29:15      The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. (NIV)

We love our children and that’s why we discipline them, even if discipline involves spanking from time to time. One of the parents’ roles is to be the disciplinarian for the purpose of developing disciplined individuals when our kids become adults.

God does the same with us for the same reason. He desires for us to “grow up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15 KJV). Sometimes, the mere reminder that we have broken His heart is enough to bring about the necessary change; but then there are times when we’re strong-willed against Him and He needs to give us some real pain before we’ll obey. As with God and us, so it should be with us and our children: “Woe to him who strives with His maker” Isaiah 45:9a.


©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!


~ by sanewriter on May 6, 2013.

One Response to “5/7: On the Discipline of Children”

  1. What a tough act my parents followed. May they rest in peace knowing that their work was not in vain. Thank you sanewriter. I will be the first to contribute to having a billboard posted; anywhere, where this message would be displayed.

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