Four12 article image for 'Raising Children to Obey God' about how godly discipline shows love to children.

Raising Children to Obey God

A world without discipline is a world without consequences, which in turn becomes a world without order, which in turn becomes a world of anarchy and destruction. If you are of the opinion that godly discipline and consequences are sorely needed, then the question we must pose is where and when discipline should begin. Should it start in the workplace or at school? Or should it start in the home?

Discipline from a God-fearing and God-loving parent will produce a child that is more obedient to God.

Godly Discipline Shows Love

We have had several conversations with adults who have told us how unloved they felt by their parents because their parents left them to their own devices whilst in their teenage years.

They felt that their parents did not love them enough to discipline them, even though the discipline would only have entailed a good talking to mixed with a thorough reality shake. They felt that if their parents would only have done that, they would not have made many of the wrong choices which they later went on to make. Scripture tends to agree with this assessment:

‘And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.  As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?’ (Hebrews 12:5-9, NLT)

It is clear from Scripture that a significant aspect of love is discipline

The Virtues of Discipline

As a loving parent, when you discipline your child for misbehaviour, they may not appreciate the discipline at the time, even though you affirm them that you are carrying out the discipline because you love them and that it is for their own good. Your child has basically got one of two options: either they reject your discipline or accept it. If they accept your discipline and adapt their behaviour, they have unknowingly learned and discovered many invaluable lessons.

  • They have learned how to stop the misbehaviour; how to stop themselves whilst on a path of ruin.
  • They have learned how to take stock of themselves and others and the situations that they find themselves in.
  • They are learning to process trauma and shock and how to self-start again after a confrontation.
  • They have learned how to pick themselves up off the ground, to self-soothe and to buck up.
  • They have learned to not let the setbacks of life rob them of future opportunities, outcomes and breakthroughs.

An Invaluable Lesson

A friend of mine has an 18-year-old son. The son misbehaved grossly in direct disobedience to a verbal commitment he had made to be obedient regarding a specific matter. The consequences of this misbehaviour were that the young man forfeited his cell phone for a month and his allowance money for three months and would not get the car he was going to get for university. Bear in mind that the disobedience was severe and warranted this discipline. The father also realised that his son was emotionally unstable and very influenced by his misbehaving peers who were also going to university.

The father then set up a written contract with his son, that in the event that he failed any subject, he would have to refund his father the fee for that specific subject. In the event that the son went longer than the allotted three-year degree period, he would have to refund all tuition and living expenses paid up to then and would have to take out a loan for the additional year needed to complete his degree.

The Victory

This might seem harsh to some of you, but the young man learned invaluable lessons, including respect for authority and consequences for one’s actions. The son ended up finishing his degree in three years with two distinctions. In his last year, he had to complete and juggle 10 subjects as a result of his lack of discipline in his first year. The father then waived the extra payments his son had to make for the subjects he failed in his first year. The young man now has a healthy, loving and endearing relationship with both his parents and has learned many of the lessons mentioned above.

Best Learned at Home

These values and lessons need to be learned at home and can even start being learned from as young as pre-toddler age. It is clear from Scripture that a significant aspect of love is discipline and that a parent’s discipline should represent God’s discipline. Discipline from a God-fearing and God-loving parent will produce a child that is more obedient to God.

Mac and Naudine serve on eldership in Joshua Generation Church (JoshGen), South Africa, and were missionaries for eight years before becoming pastors. They have since been involved in various family ministries to restore wholeness and currently head up the marriage enrichment and divorce recovery programmes in JoshGen.

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Perseverance
Loving Others
Profession
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Refining Fire
Marriage
Discipleship
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Ministry
Sin
Worship
Confusion
Trials
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Offence
Humility
Idols
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Obedient
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Revelation
Conviction
Complacency
Recalibration
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resilience
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uncompromising
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Partner
Overcoming
Humbleness
Immorality
Prophets
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Planting A Church
Christian Leaders
Debt
The Word
Discipline
Condemnation
Bear Fruit
Complacent
Recalibrating
Teaching Kids
Partners Relief Fund
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Netherlands
Marriage Training
Church
Apostolic Field
Administration
Racism
Church Partnering
Christian Values
Cosmological Argument
Christian Authors
Review
Husband
Apologetics
Elders
Heaven and Hell
Obedience
Spiritual Gifts
Caring for Others
Depression
Online Church
Spouse
Conflict
Meekness
Lust
Prophecy
The Gospel
Purgatory
Control
Finances
The Word of God
Modesty
Judgement
Bearing Fruit
Comfort
Divorce
Teaching Children
Four12 Partners Relief Fund
Pastors Training
The Poor
Letting Go
Values
Partnering
Heart of God
Justice
Church Partnership
Great Commission
Existence of God
Christian Literature
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Romance
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Parenting
Poor
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Ordinance
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Teenage Years
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Ireland
Redemption
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False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
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Faithfulness
Holy Spirit Baptism
Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
Blueprint
Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs
Christening
Starting A Church
Parents
Poverty
Study the Word
Stewarding
Punishment
Being Hospitable
Sharing The Gospel
Restoration
Training Kids
Malawi
Leading Youth
Surrender
Testimonies
Christ
Delegating
Servant
Social Gospel
Character of God
Worth
Gift of Tongues
Godly Elders
Big Churches
Salvations
Sacrificial Love
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
Holy Living
Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
Signs and Wonders
Baptise
Infant Baptism
Power
Possessions
Study the Bible
Steward
Hatred
Hospitable
Spreading The Gospel
Relationships
Training Children
Health
Youth Training
Counting the Cost
Healing Equip
books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
Contentment
God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
Enlightenment
Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Breaking Bread
Festivals
Idolatry
Prayer and Fasting
Theology
Foundations
Heaven
Fellowship of Believers
Leading Church
Diversity
Church Accountability
Rebellion
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
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Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
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Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Children
Forgiveness
Income
Prophetic
Tithes
Helper
Illness
Principles
Living for Christ
Government
Discipling
Sancti
Words of Knowledge
Babies
Prayer
Sexual Purity
Christmas
Jealousy
Meditation
Promises
Loss
The Cross
Persecution
Unfaithfulness
Sacrifice
Brazil
Prophetic Training
Healing Conference
Identity
Small Group
Biblical Pattern
Systematic Theology
False Gospel
Testimony Apostolic
Jews
Reasoning
Watering Down
Reaching Out
Christian Character
Generosity
Jesus
Purity
Trust
Helps
Mortality
Christian Family Values
Lukewarm
Home Group Leaders
Exhort
Sanctification
Dominionism
Beliefs
Praying
Celibacy
Fathers
Comparison
Training
Bible Study
Tests
Cross
Fear of Man
Find Forgiveness
Sacrificial Service
Brazil Churches
Prophetic Equip
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Authentic
Religions
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Honesty
Testing
Crucifixion
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Guilt
Sacrificial Giving
Church Merger
Equipping
Saints
Leadership Team
Priesthood
Jehovah's Witnesses
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Living for Jesus
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Division
Accusation
Flesh
Sexual Sin
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Customs
Provider
Living for God
Mothers
Female Leaders
Calling
Christian Fellowship
Backsliding
Easter
Witnessing
Infidelity
Biblical Culture
Merging Churches
Prophetic Equipping
Gift of Prophecy
Apostle
Priesthood of All Believers
Finance
Servanthood
Biblical Church
Praise
Atheism
Church History
Living the Gospel
Paradoxes in the Bible
Honouring People
Church Planting
Community Leaders
God the Father
Leaders
Salvation
Women
Afterlife
Protection
Dating
Decisions
Eldership
Fleshly Desires
Shame
Truth
Traditions
Works
Morality
Wisdom
Women Leaders
Ordaining Elders
Christian Community
Backslidden
Resurrection
Testimony
Masturbation
Communal Culture
Partnering Churches
Prophesy
New Churches
Five Fold Gift
Trinity
Tithe
Relationship
Employment
Thanksgiving
Atheists
Old Testament Prophet
Ambassadors
Truth in Tension
contradictions
Treasure Hunting
treasure
Deacons
Culture
Good News
Maturity
Self-Control
Word of Knowledge
Bitterness
Self-Pity
Courting
Forgiving
Anger
Freedom
Submission
Gifts of the Spirit
Get Baptised
Works and Faith
Morals
Gift of Wisdom
Females in Leadership
Ordaining
Defence
Commitment
Hearing God
Consequences
Receive Forgiveness
Leadership Training
Living Hope
Zimbabwe
Start a Church
Prophet
New Believers
Being Generous
Study Scripture
Jobs
Entitlement
Misotheists
New Testament Prophet
Work Values
Family
Devotion
Goodness
Men
Serving
Word of Wisdom
Brokenness
Sickness
Courtship
Friendship
Church Plant
Hope
Trusting
Gifts
Baptized
Fasting
Overcomer
Words of Wisdom
Leadership
Encounter
Repenting
Challenges
Listening
Caring for Children
Four12 Partners
Training Leaders
St Johns
Relief Fund
Building Church
Evangelist
Dreams
Communion
Being Accountable
Occupation
Rejection
Misotheism
The Case for Christ
Kingdom Priorities
Biblical Contradictions
Love
Discernment
Gospel
Mercy
Shepherding
Work
Caring
Suicide
Desires
Lies
Fathering
Vulnerability
Accountable
The Apostolic
Kids
Intercession
Singleness
Fear
lead
Life
Repent
Anxiety
Obey
Child Care
Four12 Partner
Volunteer
Taiwan Church
Israel
Healthy Church
Teacher
Multi-site Church
Perseverance
Loving Others
Profession
Social Media
Hopelessness
Lee Strobel
Kingdom Living
Refining Fire
Marriage
Discipleship
Grace
Ministry
Sin
Worship
Confusion
Trials
Husbands
Offence
Humility
Idols
Pride
Evangelising
Obedient
Christian Leadership
Singles
Healing
Direction
Revelation
Conviction
Complacency
Recalibration
Guidance
Transformation
Volunteering
Taiwan Churches
Providence
New Testament Church
Pastor
Church Structure
Feminism
Apostolic Partnership
Vocations
Distractions
Christian Books
Christian Movies
Covenantal Love
Storms of Life
resilience
steadfastness
uncompromising
Accountability
Doctrine
Healing and Miracles
Money
Social Justice
Youth
Death
Tribulations
Partner
Overcoming
Humbleness
Immorality
Prophets
Fornication
Planting A Church
Christian Leaders
Debt
The Word
Discipline
Condemnation
Bear Fruit
Complacent
Recalibrating
Teaching Kids
Partners Relief Fund
Apostolic Partnering
Netherlands
Marriage Training
Church
Apostolic Field
Administration
Racism
Church Partnering
Christian Values
Cosmological Argument
Christian Authors
Review
Husband
Apologetics
Elders
Heaven and Hell
Obedience
Spiritual Gifts
Caring for Others
Depression
Online Church
Spouse
Conflict
Meekness
Lust
Prophecy
The Gospel
Purgatory
Control
Finances
The Word of God
Modesty
Judgement
Bearing Fruit
Comfort
Divorce
Teaching Children
Four12 Partners Relief Fund
Pastors Training
The Poor
Letting Go
Values
Partnering
Heart of God
Justice
Church Partnership
Great Commission
Existence of God
Christian Literature
Old Testament
Romance
Apostles
Evangelism
Holiness
Partnership
Stewardship
Caring for People
Doubt
Church Involvement
Wife
Reconciliation
Overseers
Lying
Deception
Hell
Raising Children
Godliness
Miracles
Word of God
Ordained
Equality
Breakthrough
Defending My Faith
Covenant
Teenagers
Four12 Churches
Training Pastors
Needy
Rastafarian
Translations of the Bible
Preaching
Authentic Community
Relationship with God
Faith and Works
New Christian
Creation
Reading
Worldviews
God's Love
Apostolic
Faith
Holy Spirit
Pastoring
Suffering
Brotherly Love
Eternity
Community
Wives
Bishops
Shepherd
New Believer
Greed
Immaturity
Raising Kids
Parenting
Poor
Bible
Ordinance
Unforgiveness
Refreshing
Defending The Gospel
Matrimony
Teenage Years
Four12 Church
Youth Leaders
Ireland
Redemption
Godly Leadership
Disciple
Church Discipline
Church Health
False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
Godly Love
Body of Christ
Authority
Faithfulness
Holy Spirit Baptism
Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
Blueprint
Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs
Christening
Starting A Church
Parents
Poverty
Study the Word
Stewarding
Punishment
Being Hospitable
Sharing The Gospel
Restoration
Training Kids
Malawi
Leading Youth
Surrender
Testimonies
Christ
Delegating
Servant
Social Gospel
Character of God
Worth
Gift of Tongues
Godly Elders
Big Churches
Salvations
Sacrificial Love
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
Holy Living
Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
Signs and Wonders
Baptise
Infant Baptism
Power
Possessions
Study the Bible
Steward
Hatred
Hospitable
Spreading The Gospel
Relationships
Training Children
Health
Youth Training
Counting the Cost
Healing Equip
books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
Contentment
God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
Enlightenment
Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Breaking Bread
Festivals
Idolatry
Prayer and Fasting
Theology
Foundations
Heaven
Fellowship of Believers
Leading Church
Diversity
Church Accountability
Rebellion
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
Tithing
Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
Eldership Training
Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Children
Forgiveness
Income
Prophetic
Tithes
Helper
Illness
Principles
Living for Christ
Government
Discipling
Sancti
Words of Knowledge
Babies
Prayer
Sexual Purity
Christmas
Jealousy
Meditation
Promises
Loss
The Cross
Persecution
Unfaithfulness
Sacrifice
Brazil
Prophetic Training
Healing Conference
Identity
Small Group
Biblical Pattern
Systematic Theology
False Gospel
Testimony Apostolic
Jews
Reasoning
Watering Down
Reaching Out
Christian Character
Generosity
Jesus
Purity
Trust
Helps
Mortality
Christian Family Values
Lukewarm
Home Group Leaders
Exhort
Sanctification
Dominionism
Beliefs
Praying
Celibacy
Fathers
Comparison
Training
Bible Study
Tests
Cross
Fear of Man
Find Forgiveness
Sacrificial Service
Brazil Churches
Prophetic Equip
Voice of God
Team
Home Group
Change
Servant Leadership
Apostolic Leaders
Authentic
Religions
Intellectual Pride
Ambition
Fruitfulness
God's Favour

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