The Heart of a Child: Know Godly Discipline

Praying for children has been heavy on my heart during this current season of school and church buildings being closed with the need for social distancing, self isolation, and stay at home orders.  I pray often that families will be able to shield children to some extent from the negative emotions that cling to this COVID-19 pandemic.  This is day thirteen of the devotions from my “The Heart of a Child” book to help each of us pray for a child of any age, including our age.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you understand, and live, some important traits of living and praying with the heart of a child.

Here is day thirteen with an important reminder to submit to godly discipline.

Know Godly Discipline

“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
Proverbs 29:15 (NIV)

What are your thoughts on discipline?  Why?  Do you think more often of punishment or correction when you hear the word discipline?  Why?  Is there a way that all three of those practices work together?  How?  How does godly discipline relate to spiritual training?  Is there a difference in how you view discipline based on if you are giving or receiving it?  Should there be?  Why?  Are there areas of your life where a lack of discipline has made you less effective than you could be?  What are you doing about it?

Discipline is a practice we rarely like when it is applied to us, yet we can be quick to see how others would benefit from it.  It is our own acceptance of discipline that does the most to help others learn the value of it in their life.  While we like to separate out the pieces to avoid what we find to be unpleasant, godly discipline involves both punishment and correction.  When done well, punishment makes us aware of the consequences of our actions, correction teaches us the new course of action we should take, and discipline carries us through the process of putting those new actions into practice.

As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to help them know and accept the correction of godly discipline.  Pray for a heart that is willing to learn the fruits of discipline.  Pray that your involvement in disciplining others would be done in humility and love.  Pray that you would know, and help others to know, the truth of God disciplining those He loves.  Pray for an understanding of proper punishment and correction so that godly discipline can happen.

In prayer,