And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
As I read and researched this passage in Hebrews today, it shed some light on discipline for me. It seems to me that the main purpose of discipline is to train. My children need to be trained in many areas (paying attention, self control, thankfulness, gentleness, and many more) These virtues need to become habits for my children.
Many times when I pray, I ask God to help me discipline my children out of love, just as he disciplines me. He knows exactly the type of discipline I need. I see three different types of discipline in this passage of scripture.
The first type of discipline I see is chastening. I looked the meaning of chastening up in KJV with Strong's. This training relates to the cultivation of mind and morals. This seems to be a gentle guidance. So when I live by example, read God's word to my children and help my children cultivate virtuous habits I am training my children.
The second type of discipline I see is rebuke. This seems to indicate bringing something to light by correcting with a word. When I talk to my child about a behaviour that needs to be corrected I am rebuking.
The last type of discipline I see here is scourging. Scourging is painful. So when my child deliberately defies something they have been asked to do or not do, a spanking would be in order. I hope by training their characters and talking about behaviours that need to be changed, spanking will be a rare occurrence.