The Discipline of the LORD

Below is my transcription of a handout given to my wife’s class on Biblical Parenting. I found it very concise and helpful when considering how to discipline. The most important point is what we discussed yesterday: discipline should point to the Cross.

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The Rod of Discipline

The function of the rod is to impart wisdom (Prov 29.15)
“Provides an immediate tactile demonstration of the foolishness of rebellion.”
“The spanking renders the child compliant and ready to receive life-giving words.”

WHAT IS THE ROD?
1. A Parental Exercise
2. A Responsibility
3. An Act of Faith
4. A Physical Punishment
5. An Act of Faithfulness
6. A Rescue Mission

THE ROD IS NOT:
1. Not the Right to Unbridled Temper
2. Not Associated with Anger
3. Not the Right to Hit Our Children Whenever We Wish
4. Not Venting Frustration

WHEN THE ROD PROBABLY WILL NOT WORK:
• Inconsistent Use of the Rod
• Failure to Be Effective Failure to Persist
• Chastising in Anger

FRUIT OF THE ROD:
• Teaches Outcomes to Behavior
• Trains Child to Be Under Authority
• Yields Harvest of Peace and Righteousness (Heb 12.11)
• Shows God’s Authority Over Mom and Dad
• Demonstrates Parents’ Love and Commitment
• Returns Child to a Place of Blessing

HOW TO SPANK:
These tips can help provide discipline that preserves the child’s dignity:

• Take your child to a private place
• Tell him specifically what he has done wrong or failed to do (“You disobeyed Mommy by…”)
• Secure an acknowledgment from child of what he has done.
• Remind him of the function of the spanking – to restore relationship to parent (or the offended party)
• Tell the child how many swats he will receive
• Make sure it is felt and on your lap – this keeps spanking in the context of your physical relationship
• Don’t remove clothes
• Forgiveness and restoration should take place at the end

OTHER METHODS OF CORRECTION:
Loss of freedoms (loss of privilege, extra work given)
Verbal reproof

A FEW GUIDELINES:

• Moral reasons why
• Distinguish Between Foolishness or Childishness (Prov 22.15; Example: clumsily knocking over a glass of milk is different than kicking a brother under the table)
        Consider these:
                – Frequency of the offense
                – Age of the child
                – Context of the moment
                – Overall characterization of behavior of child (know your child)
• Remain calm
• Demonstrate love in correction
• Consistency – it is what you are characterized by not just one mistake
• Immediate obedience is obedience (doing what you’re told without excuses)

Correction and discipline must find their mark in the God-given conscience (reasoning capacity) of the child (Rom 2.12-16) to make a true change.
        – Correction deals with the root problem not just the surface issues
        – Correct with a central focus of redemption (not punishment)
        – Work toward them having responsibility for their heart issues        

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Filed under Family | Parenting, Theology

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