Discipline that Develops the Heart

10 Biblical Principles for Winning Your Child’s Heart

How do you discipline your children? Here are ten Biblical principles for handling discipline biblically and in a way that truly develops the heart of your child.

Discipline that develops the heart:

1. Is Controlled and Premeditated

It doesn’t fly off the handle or out of control.

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32

“Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

2. Is Biblically Principled and Corrective

It rests upon a Higher Authority—God and His Word, and isn’t easily manipulated.

“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” Proverbs 19:18

3. Is Instructive and Nurturing

It moves beyond reaction and actually instructs and trains.

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” Proverbs 4:1-4

4. Is Focused on Beliefs, then Behavior

It seeks to understand the beliefs that drive behavior, not merely change behavior.

“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:26

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.” Proverbs 4:1-2

5. Is Focused on Restoring Relationships

It always seeks a stronger relationship, not a wounded one.

“Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

6. Is Listening and Encouraging

It contemplates, considers, and listens to the feelings and expressions of the heart.

“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” Psalm 103:13

“Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

“As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11

7. Is Prayerful and Christ Centered

It brings Christ to the forefront and maintains a humble spirit.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

8. Is Selfless and Contextual

It is for the profit of the child and helps the child see the larger context of blessing.

“For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Hebrews 12:10

9. Is Forward Looking

It blesses the heart with hope and an “I believe in you” spirit.

“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.” Proverbs 4:10

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” 1 Peter 2:2

10. Is Obedient to a Higher Authority

It flows from a heart that is obviously obedient to the Heavenly Father.

” My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:” Proverbs 24:21

“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:26

Continue the discussion: How have you seen God bless these principles in your own life or family?

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