A Biblical Perspective on Spanking, 5: The Model for Discipline

Father and sonRead Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

In the previous four articles considering discipline, I focused especially on principles of discipline gleaned from the book of Proverbs. This final installment considers the Biblical ideal, modeled by our Heavenly Father, and discussed in Hebrews 12:4-11.

After encouraging believers to walk in faith, with eyes focused on Jesus, the author of Hebrews reminds believers of the importance of the Lord’s discipline on those whom He loves. The writer alludes to Job 5:17 and Proverbs 3:12: “My son do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:5b-6). These verses introduce us to several important principles of our Father’s discipline: (1) it is certain, (2) it is exclusively (in this context) for His children, and is a defining component of that Father/child relationship, and (3) His children are to respond neither by growing faint nor by taking His discipline lightly. The Greek μὴ ὀλιγώρει (me oligorei) can be translated do not despise or do not think little of. Likewise, believers are μηδὲ ἐκλύου (mede ekluou) not to grow weary at His rebukes, arguments, or corrections. The writer reminds, “it is for discipline you endure” (12:7a), or perhaps better translated, “endure unto or for discipline.”

These three principles are confirmed and augmented in the following verses. In vv. 7-8, the writer reiterates that God disciplines believers as His children, and that if the readers aren’t being disciplined, then they are not His children. This certainly confirms the certainty of discipline and the integral aspect of discipline to the father/child relationship. However, the statement goes beyond those simple confirmations, for it reminds that discipline is not punishment—it is not God’s wrath manifest (as κόλασιν denotes in Mt. 25:46). Instead it is, as the word (παιδεία) denotes, the leading of a child toward maturity. Read more about A Biblical Perspective on Spanking, 5: The Model for Discipline

Book Review and Giveaway Reminder - The Gospel Story Bible

Image of The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments
by Marty Machowski
New Growth Press 2011
Hardcover 328

We wanted to remind everyone about the book giveaway this month. Three winners will receive 4 books each. To enter, all you need to do is start a thread in the forum and get anyone else here at SI to comment on it. Details on the contest are here.

One of the books to be won is The Gospel Story Bible, and so I thought we could take this opportunity to learn more about this excellent resource.

Book review

As the father of six children, I have had ample occasions to read children’s Bible storybooks. The majority of such storybooks are quite simple and to the point. They don’t usually interact with the story at a child’s level other than to make the tale more imaginative and seem more story-like. Few of these books really serve believing parents well. Read more about Book Review and Giveaway Reminder - The Gospel Story Bible

Worshiping at the Altar of Family

“A family may support him off to the side, but he’s longing for the accolades, the respect, the riches. But I found myself, while he described the feelings of idolatry–the sense that this is my whole life, this is what I live for, this is what I dream of, this is what completes me and gives me significance–thinking that, for me, this is family. This stuff of many women’s fantasies includes an adoring, faithful spouse; attractive, obedient kids; people who depend on you, love you, give you a reason to get out of bed, regularly stand up and sing your praises. And it is idolatry, just like money, power, and fame.”

Read more about Worshiping at the Altar of Family