Parental Discipline: Training Our Children For Their Good
Topic: Parenting Passage: Hebrews 12:4–12:11
Big Picture: there are 3 levels of discipline in the Book of Proverbs for parents:
- As parents, we should spend most of our time in level 1 (teach), less time in level 2 (warn), and as little as possible in level 3 (enforce). But the early years sometimes require a shorter distance from levels 1 to 3 (i.e., from teaching to enforcing), often getting to level 3 regularly.
- “The rod” passages in the book of Proverbs: 13:24; 22:15; 23:13–14; 29:15 (“the rod” includes physical discipline).
Seven propositions about discipline from Hebrews 12:4-11
- God disciplines his children (5-7,10)
- God disciplines all his children (6,8)
- God disciplines only his children (6-8)
- Discipline is training: God disciplines his children for their good (10-11)
- Discipline seems unpleasant and painful (11)
- God’s children should endure God’s discipline (5,7,9)
- God’s disciplining his children compares to human parents’ disciplining their children (5,7-10)
Application 1. Pray for your children.
Application 2. Evangelize your children.
Application 3. Use multiple levels of discipline.
Application 4. Love your children, and tell them and show them that you love them.
Application 5. Beware of two extremes: (a) not disciplining and (b) over-disciplining.
Application 6. Fathers, take the lead in discipline.
Application 7. Learn how to discipline each of your children most effectively.
Application 8. Distinguish between family rules and the Bible.
Application 9. Be humble about parental discipline; don’t be proud and judgmental.
Application 10. Persevere with a long-term view that trusts God’s word.
Four bad substitutes for discipline that fail to address your child’s heart.
- Excuse them
- Organize them
- Consult them
- Bribe them
* This sermon owes a plagiarizing debt to “Discipline in the Book of Proverbs: To Spank or Not to Spank?” by Paul D. Wegner; “Training Children for their Good,” by Andrew David Naselli; and a talk by Ed Moore at the “Parenting and Marriage Conference” held at West Toronto Baptist in 2018.