Here are my notes from a 2011 church meeting where we discussed the topic of what Scripture says about parental discipline.
Leader: Philip Weatherford
Our discussion topic will be raising children and discipline. Please study what the Bible has to say about this and bring your thoughts.
The family devotional I wrote for May 18, linked here, discusses this subject and lists passages from Proverbs dealing with discipline.
- My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. (Prov. 3:11-12)
- He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, But he who refuses correction goes astray. (Prov. 10:17)
- Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. (Prov. 12:1)
- Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored. (Prov. 13:18)
- He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. (Prov. 13:24)
- A fool despises his father’s instruction, But he who receives correction is prudent. (Prov. 15:5)
- Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die. (Prov. 15:10)
- A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, Nor will he go to the wise. (Prov. 15:12)
- He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. (Prov. 15:32)
- Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction. (Prov. 19:18)
- Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart. (Prov. 20:30)
- Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender. (Prov. 22:6-7)
- Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell. (Prov. 23:13-14)
- The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Prov. 29:15)
- Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. (Prov. 29:17)
- A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. (Prov. 29:19)
- He who pampers his servant from childhood Will have him as a son in the end. (Prov. 29:21)
The physical parent-child relationship is symbolic of GOD’s relationship with man, and with the nations of men.
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ” My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
(Heb. 12:1-11, 25-29 NKJV)
And once again, Jesus says:
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
(Rev. 3:19-21 NKJV)
The motivation for discipline should always be love with a focus on helping, not hurting the child. Discipline should not be carried out in anger. For additional study, here is a link to a helpful BibleGateway.com search.