The School of Discipline


Correction and punishment make children wise, but those left alone will disgrace their mother. Correct your children, and you will be proud; they will give you satisfaction. 

~Proverbs 29:15,17, NLT


Discipline is the basic tool set for solving life’s problems.

~M. S. Peck

Solomon says a lot about discipline in Proverbs:

  • Proverbs 3:10-11– My child, do not reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t get angry when he corrects you. The Lord corrects those he loves, just as parents correct the child they delight in. 
  • Proverbs 10:17–Whoever accepts correction is on the way to life, but whoever ignores correction will lead others away from life. 
  • Proverbs 12:1–Anyone who loves learning accepts correction, but a person who hates being corrected is stupid. 
  • Proverbs 13:18–A person who refuses correction will end up poor and disgraced, but the one who accepts correction will be honored. 
  • Proverbs 13:24–If you do not punish your children, you don’t love them, but if you love your children, you will correct them.
  • Proverbs 15:5– Fools reject their parents’ correction, but anyone who accepts correction is wise. 
  • Proverbs 19:18–Correct your children while there is still hope; do not let them destroy themselves. 
  • Proverbs 20:30– Hard punishment will get rid of evil, and whippings can change an evil heart.
  • Proverbs 22:6–Train children how to live right, and when they are old, they will not change.
  • Proverbs 23:13-14– Don’t fail to punish children. If you spank them, they won’t die. If you spank them, you will save them from death.

There are more but you get the drift. Any parent who truly loves their child and understands human nature will discipline their children. Children are born with a self-centered rebellious tendency. I do admit that some seem more bent than others but all children are selfish by nature. From time to time, we bump into naive parents who foolishly believe their child or children are the rare exception. I had a woman tell me some years ago [she had three teenage daughters] that her children never argued or demanded rights. I said, “You have one bath room and three teenage girls, don’t tell me that never argue about who gets the bathroom next.” She said, “Never.” I shook my head in disbelief but I was nice, I did not call her a liar although I knew she wasn’t being honest. There are exceptions if your children or normal. When we lived in Cherokee, a young woman ran a Salon and she had a small child. The child would sit in the floor of the Salon and play with one toy all day long. Everyone bragged on the behavior of the child until she reached the age of two and had never attempted to say a word. The parents got concerned, had her tested and she was severely retarded. The painful story taught June and I a lesson: be thankful for children who need correction.

I am not a psychiatrist or a child psychologist but I know that “Kids, will be kids.” We never taught any of our children that they were exceptions or that they were better than other children. I can take you to some homes where this rule was not followed and show you some social misfits who are still living with their parents. Your kids are just kids. Your grandchildren are just children. I know you think they are smarter, better looking and better behaved but they are not. All children need discipline just like they need food and shelter. Again, those who insist that “Their Child” is an exception and needs no discipline will eventually pay for their prideful ignorance. All children need correction and training and you are doing them a horrible disservice by treating them as the exception.

If you allow a child to back talk you and treat you with disrespect, they will do it when they are grown. I was not a great father or husband, I made about every mistake that you can make but I never allowed by children to raise their voice or to speak disrespectfully to their mother or myself. I do regret whipping them when I was angry but I was following the example of my mentor who beat the devil out of me or hell if you prefer. I have little doubt, that had my mother not beaten me, I would have ended up in prison. Perhaps I was a little quick to use the belt but I was bound and determined to teach our children respect. Our current generation of parents are making some serious mistakes: You do not give a child everything they want. Someday they will graduate high school and go to college or get a job. Trust me, their boss at work is not going to give them everything they want nor will the professors at college. While they are young, teach them to deal with the unpleasant realities of life like attending school, doing homework, going to Sunday School and VBS. Come on folks, if you give a kid a choice between the Hartselle pool and VBS, you know what they are going to pick. When I was in high school, I hated football practice [except for scrimmage] but I loved game day: you can’t have thrill of the game without the agony of practice. No pain, no gain, it is a fact of life and you need to teach children this truth while they are young.

What did Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Jerry Rice have in common? They disciplined themselves. They worked out in the off season. Bird shot 1,000 free throws a day which is why he could hit them in the dark. Just recently, in the NCAA basketball tournament, we saw highly skilled athletes miss free throw after free throw. The DHS varsity girls had a better percentage at the foul line than the freshman boys team. How can this happen? A lack of discipline. Do you think that percentage would have been higher if those kids had stayed in the gym an extra hour every day shooting foul shots? Sports is a teacher and a stress reliever [for the athletes] but mainly it is a practice in discipline that will help the kids later in life. The odds are: your child will not play professional sports…Of all starting seniors in High School basketball, only 3 in 10,000 will make it to the NBA…but they can learn the practice of discipline. Our kids need a work ethic and we all know there is no work for kids at home anymore. We have to come up with something that teaches them discipline and sports seems to be a popular way to teach this life lesson.

June and I were pulling for Jordan Spieth who came up just a tad short and came within inches of setting a new Master’s record for the final round. It did make for an exciting finish.

We had a good SMALL GROUP session last night. I love small groups. I also love the new sanctuary. June and I passed a church building a couple of weeks back that I preached at while I was in college. In 46 years, it has not changed one bit. How sad it is for a church not to change. 

I hate being conflicted in my mind about where to go and what to do. I am prayerfully considering what to do today. I plan to attend the Pastor’s Conference, visit UAB and attend the Revival at Grace Point. I need energy but most of all, I need guidance. Please pray for my cousin Karen, she is not doing well. They moved her to Birmingham early yesterday morning but she is not doing well at all.

A little anecdote to the blog. A young preacher just out of seminary had a sermon: “Ten Things To Do When Raising Children”…then he married and had children…he changed his message to “Ten Suggestions For Raising Children”…then he had teenagers and he tweaked the message again….”Ten Things Not To Do When Raising Children”…Then his adult children moved back home and he tweaked it again…”Ten Reasons Not To Have Children.” {Come on Jason, laugh, you know it’s funny}

This months IMPRIMIS is on China; their economic boom and their capture of high tech industry. We now have to import chips from China to make our jets. China exports more telecommunications products than anyone in the world including the USA. Our high tech exports are going down while their is rising. It is a very interesting article. You can read it online by going to


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