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Parental Discipline: Training Our Children for Their Good

September 25, 2022 Speaker: John Bell Series: General

Passage: Hebrews 12:3–13, Proverbs 13:24–24, Proverbs 22:15–15, Proverbs 23:13–14

Big Picture: there are 3 levels of discipline in the Book of Proverbs for

1. Teach
2. Warn
3. Enforce

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
1. God disciplines his children (5-7,10)
2. God disciplines all his children (6,8)
3. God disciplines only his children (6-8)
4. Discipline is training: God disciplines his children for their good (10-11)
5. Discipline seems unpleasant and painful (11)
6. God’s children should endure God’s discipline (5,7,9)
7. 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
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
1. Excuse them
2. Organize them
3. Consult them
4. Bribe them

* This sermon owes a debt to “Training Children for their Good,” by Andrew David Naselli; “Discipline in the Book of Proverbs: To Spank or Not to Spank?” by Paul D. Wegner; Anne Benton’s, Parenting Against the Tide; and a talk by Ed Moore at the “Parenting and Marriage Conference” held at West Toronto Baptist, in 2018.

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