Ep. 459 Twelve Things to Know About Parental Discipline

Ep. 459 Twelve Things to Know about Parental Discipline

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Shows Main Idea – How are we to think about parental discipline? Should we spank our children? What if we had a bad experience with our parents; how are we to respond to our children? What does the Bible say about correction, obedience, and the purposes of child discipline? This episode answers all those questions plus many more, giving you a solid foundation and direction on this vital topic.

Show Notes

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Episode Question

I am hoping you can help me understand something. I am a mom of young children. Over the past couple of years, I have felt a firm conviction to stop using spanking as a tool for discipline. My parents spanked me, and I know how useless it was in disciplining me, so when I became a parent and used that tool, I struggled to do it.

But in the Christian culture, it is just assumed that the Bible commands us to spank, so most believers do it. When my husband and I did more research, we decided to stop using spanking in our home. While that has been life-changing for our family, I still struggle with why Christians say the Bible commands Christians to do it.

When I look to the Word for guidance in this area, I don’t see any example of a spanking practice. I see the opposite approach with the prodigal son. I also see how Jesus loves and protects children. I don’t know a place where He commands us to spank them when they misbehave. I sit in many mom circles, and when this topic comes up, moms don’t know why they spank. They just do it.

This topic has brought me so much confusion, and I am willing to change my view if the Lord leads me that way. I need help understanding why I should spank if the Scriptures command it. Or am I right in believing that the verses in Proverbs are being taken out of context by the believers who practice spanking? Thank you for your time; I hope you can help! – Anonymous

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Helpful Scriptures

You can hover over each verse to read a popup box that shows the verses.

  • Proverbs 13:24
  • Hebrews 12:11
  • Proverbs 23:13-14
  • Proverbs 29:15
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • Psalm 103:13
  • Proverbs 22:15
  • Ephesians 6:1-4
  • Colossians 3:21
  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Proverbs 29:17
  • Colossians 3:20
  • Proverbs 19:18
  • Hebrews 12:5-11
  • 2 Timothy 3:16
  • 1 Timothy 3:4
  • Proverbs 13:1
  • Leviticus 20:9
  • Matthew 18:6
  • Ecclesiastes 8:11
  • Proverbs 19:26-27
  • Proverbs 15:1-33
  • Proverbs 21:11
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Unexplained Ignorance

The most astonishing thing about this question is the comment about moms who do not know why they do it; they just do it. You must understand why you do it.

Husbands must be involved in the process. If these moms do not know why, it reflects their husband’s lack of leadership. Husbands should also be leading in disciplining the child, as it reflects a better picture of God the Father while allowing the wife to fulfill her complementary role as a wife.

Direct Video Messages

Parental Discipline

  1. The goal of parental discipline is redemptive and restorative. You want to orient your child’s heart toward God.
  2. No parent should discipline out of anger. Sinful anger is not humble, restorative, or communal.
  3. No discipline should be abusive.
  4. Each child is unique, so no one size fits all way. See 1 Thessalonians 5:14.
  5. You must follow biblical decision-making expectations to build all your convictions: You must be “in faith.” See Romans 14:23.
  6. Don’t make your experience normative, especially don’t let your experience overrule God’s Word. If you’re unsure, seek advice.
  7. Don’t make historical passages or parables normative, i.e., the prodigal son.
  8. The Bible does not lay out a spanking mandate or protocols, saying it is the way while detailing how to do it. Carefulness, humility, and community input is needed here.
  9. Create a no tolerance for sin early in your child’s life. It’s easier to teach obedience earlier than later after the child is older and less teachable. Overlook what you can.
  10. Your primary early goals are not obedience but heart motivations, i.e., humility, respect, honor, kindness, deferring, love, gratitude, and a servant’s heart.
  11. Your encouragement of your child should be exponentially more than your discipline. Parent-to-child question: “What do you experience more from me: my encouragement or discouragement?”
  12. Discipline is a picture of the gospel: It teaches children the weight of sin and an appreciation for Christ taking our punishment. It would be best if you communicated the consequences to your children. They must know God is saving them from something. You must draw clear lines between good and evil. When they do evil, they must understand what they did wrong. When they do the right thing, they must know that they got it right.

Call to Action

  1. How much does your experience inform your parenting practice versus the Bible as your primary influence?
  2. How much does the snowflake self-esteem culture influence your decision-making?
  3. There must be punishment for every sin. Why is it important to let your child know that when they sin, the Father punished the Son, and you’re teaching them a clearer view of the gospel by punishing them for their sin?
  4. Will you work through the scriptures listed above to develop your worldview and practice about parental discipline?
  5. Will you talk to your spouse about your view of parental discipline?
  6. Will you speak with your spiritual leader, someone you look to for guidance?

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