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Discipline that Develops the Heart

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Ten 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.

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

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

2. Is Biblically Principled and Corrective—It rests upon a Higher Authority—God and His Word, and isn’t easily manipulated.

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

3. Is Instructive and Nurturing—It moves beyond reaction and actually instructs and trains.

Proverbs 4:1-4, “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.  2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.  3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.  4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”

4. Is Focused on Beliefs then Behavior—It seeks to understand the beliefs that drive behavior, not merely change behavior.

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

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

5. Is Focused on Restoring Relationships—It always seeks a stronger relationship, not a wounded one.

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

6. Is Listening and Encouraging—It contemplates, considers, and listens to the feelings and expressions of the heart.

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

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

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

7. Is Prayerful and Christ Centered—It brings Christ to the forefront and maintains a humble spirit.

James 5:16, “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.”

8. Is Selfless and Contextual—It is for the profit of the child and helps the child see the larger context of blessing.

Hebrews 12:10, “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.”

9. Is Forward Looking—It blesses the heart with hope and an “I believe in you” spirit.

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

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

10. Is Obedient to a Higher Authority—It flows from a heart that is obviously obedient to the Heavenly Father.

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

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

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

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