Biblical Principles Of Parenting & Discipline
BC 8/91 12/97
Ps 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward from him.
I. Benefits of Training
A. Parental delight and peace Pr 10: 1 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. Pr 23:24 The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. 25 May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice! Pr 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.
B. Blessing of God Gen 18:19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." Job 5:17 "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Pr 6:23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life. also see Heb 12: 11
II. Consequences of Not Teaching/Training
A. Parental grief Pr 17:21 To have a fool for a son brings grief-, there is no joy for the father of a fool. 25 A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him. Pr 29:15 ... a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
B. Personal grief Pr 5:12 You will say, 'How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! 23 He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly
C. Things linked with disobedience Rom 1:30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; disobey their parents; 2Tim 3:2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy
III. Parents are charged by God with the task of training their children
(thus it's a moral issue)
A. Fathers have the primary responsibility. Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 4 Fathers, o not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. 1Thess 2: 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
B. Mothers also have a responsibility. Pr 1:8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. Pr 31:1 The sayings of King Lemuel--an oracle his mother taught him: 1Thess 2:7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 1Tim 5: 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children...
C. The most helpful thing parents can do for their children is to have an exemplary walk with God. Dt 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Dt 5:29 Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep my; commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
D. Parents must tend to their own growth first and fulfill their responsibilities to God. Lk 2:27 ... the parents brought in the child Jesus do for him what the Law required... 41 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Zec 13:3 And if anyone still prophesies, his father and mother, to whom he was born, will say to him, 'You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord's name.' When he prophesies, his own parents will stab him. Dt 21:18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.' 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death... Lk 18:29 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God...
IV. How to Biblically Discipline (teach/train) Your Child
A. Train informally and formally. Dt 6:7 & 11:19 Impress (these laws) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Dt 32:46 he said to them, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. Ps 34: 1 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
B. Follow our Father's model in disciplining us. (See especially Heb 12:5-11) Mt 7: 11 ... how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Ps 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; Pr 3: 11 My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Ps 94:12 Blessed is the man you discipline, 0 Lord, the man
C. Use the rod & reproof. Pr 29:15 The rod & reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother shame. Pr 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. Pr 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him Pr 23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not rod, and shalt deliver his soul from Sheol.
D. Objectives of Discipline: 1) Fulfill the parental command to discipline/train and obligation to love Pr 23; 2) Drive out folly; 3) Deliver his soul from Sheol; 4) Develop wisdom and fear of the Lord; 5) Instill respect for authority; 6) Teach responsibility through consequences; 7) Develop security in the child providing reliable order to his world; 8) Aim for a godly child, not a perfect child (knows and habitually does what God wants).
E. Why resistance to discipline: 1) Secular vs Scripture; 2) Bad childhood experiences; 3) Parent still in rebellion; 4) Parent has greater concern for pleasing child rather than God; 5) Selfish love (lust) parent wants to be liked; 6) Fail to realize that yelling (etc.) can be more damaging and permanent; 7) Fear of making a mistake; 8) Laziness Heb 2:2 every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense.
F. Why discipline doesn't appear to work: 1) Inconsistent application; 2) Parents disagree, child senses it (if Mom=no, Dad=no); 3) Strong-willed child; 4) Insufficient pain make it desirable to avoid the consequence; 5) Delay > 10 minutes (Dobson); 6) Parent has undermined respect.
G. Parents Undermine respect/authority when they: 1) Act out of unjust anger and emotional/Spirit control; 2) Let child win/control/get away; 3) Fail to consistently follow through on promises; 4) Unjustly punish; 5) Fail to respect the child as an individual; 6) Fail to love the child (child feels you’re doing what’s in their best interest...delight in them); 7) Provoke and embitter.
H. For discipline to accomplish God's objectives: 1) Father must take responsibility and initiative; 2) Must be done in EVERY case of rebellion/defiance Heb 2:2; 3) Must not be done in anger but under the control of HS in obedience to God; 4) Must be clear agreement on rules and consequences (just = 1:1 Err on side of leniency); 5) Must be done for benefit of child; 6) Must have consistent adherence and follow-through.
I. Other discipline issues: 1) Child must respect divine authority (earned consequence); 2) Take into account EXTRAORDINARY circumstances; 3) Crying vs screaming in defiance or rage; 4) Allow time for Understanding and Repentance; 5) Comfort vs confuse; 6) Accidents while disobeying = discipline; 7) Making mistakes (admit it); 8) Bad behavior, not bad child; 9) One battle at a time to win the war, don’t overwhelm.
IV. The Content of the Teaching/Training: (See also: What to Stress for Success 12/97)
Obedience Eph 6:1 ... obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Co 3:20 Pr 6:20 keep your father's commands
Wisdom Pr 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 27:11 Be wise...
Walk with God Pr 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go... 23:19 ... be wise, and keep your heart on the right path.
Motivation to learn Pr 24:14 ... the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul: then there shall be a reward ... expectations
Teachability Pr 3: 1 1 My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 7:24; 8:32; 13: 1; 23:26
Avoid corrupting friends Pr 1: 10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. 15 my son, do not go along...
Memorize Scripture Pr 2:1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, Pr 3: 1; 7: 1
Warn of consequences Pr 19:27 Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
Respect/Fear authority Pr 24:21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious,
Purity Pr 5:20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?
Financial freedom Pr 6:1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for
Pay back parents 1Tim 5:4 ... put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents...
To honor mother Pr 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
Obey respectfully 1Tim 3:4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
Trust and obey Titus 1:6 ... a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."