30 Sep

This is a study on child discipline. This excerpt is from the Nelson Bible Commentary. It is instructive on disciplining children (NOT INFANTS).  It is also wise to note that discipline should never ever be done in anger, rage, or pride.  Discipline is for the purpose of teaching, instruction, guidance, and for punishment when appropriate and for the right reasons.

A popular belief today is that people are basically good. An extension of this belief is that children come into the world as morally pure and pristine creatures who are then “socialized” into harmful, hurtful patterns by parents and society.

The book of Proverbs, along with the rest of the Bible, presents a very different picture of children and childrearing. Although children are seen as a blessing, they tend towards evil if left to their own nature (Proverbs 22:15)

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Proverbs 22:15

For that reason, parents are urged to discipline their youngsters. Neglecting to do so amounts to condemning a child to death. (Proverbs 19:18).

Discipline your son while there is hope,

And do not desire his death.

Proverbs 19:18

Opinions vary as to the best way to discipline children. But disagreements about means must never lose sight of what Proverbs says are the ends involved—to bring a child into adulthood with strong character and the ability to make wise choices (Proverbs 29:15).

The rod and reproof give wisdom,

But a child who gets his own way

Brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 29:15

Whatever the term “rod” means to you as a parent, proverbs encourages you to use discipline in raising your children (Proverbs 23:13).

Do not hold back discipline from the child,

Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

Proverbs 23:13

Several principles of discipline are found in Proverbs:

A child needs far more than discipline, In fact, discipline is only one part of a broader home environment required to set a child on the path towards wisdom, self-appreciation, understanding, and humility. (Proverbs 2:1-22; 4:3-9; 15:31-33).

When I was a son to my father,

Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,

Then he taught me and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words;

Keep my commandments and live,

Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!

Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;

Love her, and she will watch over you.

“The beginning of wisdom is; Acquire wisdom;

And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

“Prize her, and she will exalt you;

She will honor you if you embrace her.

“She will place on your head a garland of grace;

She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

Proverbs 4:3-9

He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof

Will dwell among the wise.

He who neglects discipline despises himself,

But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,

And before honor comes humility.

Proverbs 15:31-33

Punishment for wrongdoing is not only corrective but preventive in that it can steer a young person away from more powerful forms of evil and ultimate destruction (Proverbs 5:12-14; 23:14).

And you say, “How I have hated instruction!

And my heart spurned reproof!

I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,

Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!

I was almost in utter ruin

In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

Proverbs 5:12-14

Correction demonstrates love, whereas lack of it is a form of hate (Proverbs 13:24).

He who withholds his rod hates his son,

But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Proverbs 13:24

Discipline is intended to purge children of the inherent “Foolishness” that the Bible says they have (Proverbs 22:15).

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Proverbs 22:15


* From Nelson’s Bible Commentary, Page 766.

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