BEST APPROACH TO DISCIPLINE I: THE RIGHT MOTIVATION FOR DISCIPLINE

Intro:
This is the first segment of a five-part teaching series on how to discipline those under us to get the best results. By God’s grace, I’ve drawn from my insight gained from years of studying the Scriptures and my personal experiences in disciplining young people in my own home and at work in writing these teachings.

The series will look at the proper attitudes or intentions that should inform the disciplinary measures we take, the conditions or background we should create for those measures to be effective and the correct ways of administering discipline. I pray that the series will help you to have a better relationship with those under your authority and see your attempts to correct their attitudes and conduct yield positive fruits in Jesus’ name.

THE RIGHT MOTIVATION FOR DISCIPLINE

A teenage girl is hurrying to get home. Her friends tell her to relax ’cause it’s only 7:30 p.m. Her response:

“You don’t understand. My parents gave me strict instructions to come home before 8 p.m. If you girls want me to be able to hang out with you again, help me get a taxi that can take me home fast.”

The parents have given their daughter a measure of freedom but expect her to come home at a certain time, perhaps for her own safety. If she fails to comply, there will be consequences as she has explained.

Many of us have people under us and one of our responsibilities is to discipline them as the girl’s parents are attempting to do. And for purposes of emphasis, that means we are trying to inculcate in them certain rules of conduct and would punish them when necessary to correct them if they fail to adhere to those rules.

For that discipline to be effective, it needs to be based on the right reasons which will in turn help us to adopt the right strategies in meting it out.

Discipline should always have the best interests of the subject at heart. Our goal should be to improve the attitudes and conduct of the subject and not to make ourselves look good in the sight of others, to give them the impression we are not negligent or permissive. That type of eye-service discipline is usually fleeting and inconsistent. The person involved often sees through our insincerity and would fail to commit himself or herself to change.

For example, some parents scold their kids when guests are around but they don’t follow through. They may complain of their kids’ untidiness but they don’t insist on specific and lasting steps that should be taken to correct it. With time, the kids begin to ignore their complaints.

It’s important to ask God to help us see people under us as He does. Beyond any shadow of doubt, God places a very high value on all of us, He loves us immensely. Here are a couple of scriptures that show God’s love for us and our fellow human beings.

1 John 4:9-10
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (New Living Translation)

Romans 5:8
“But God has shown us how much he loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!” (Good News Translation)

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David often mused on God’s extravagant love for man in his songs as exemplified in Psalm 8.

Psalm 8:4-5
“What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” (New Living Translation)

The apostle John admonishes us on how to relate with others in view of God’s love for us.

1 John 4:11
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (New International Version)

When we have this understanding, we’ll love those under our authority in spite of the hard time and inconvenience they may be giving us, just as God loves us and is patient with us in our own failings. And from that love will flow a dedication to see them become the best that they can be with God’s help and ours.

Such discipline that is well-intentioned will look beyond the subordinate’s misbehaviour and attempt to identify what is causing it. This will lead to a more sympathetic approach than when the worst is assumed about the subject after a superficial appraisal.

Discipline should not merely be a reaction to a personal slight or insult nor should it be activated by jealousy. If, for example, we are angry that people under us are not respectful enough, we should ask ourselves why. Perhaps, we need to recalibrate our interactions with them and respect ourselves. And we should celebrate people under us when they do well, not see ourselves as competing with them and hide under the guise of discipline to slow down their success.

As I said earlier, the bench mark for our interaction with everyone should always be how God relates with us and with them. Hebrews 12:10 says that God disciplines us for our own good. May He help us to do the same for others in Jesus’ name.
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Watch out for #2 in this teaching series. It’s coming up soon. You are blessed!

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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32 thoughts on “BEST APPROACH TO DISCIPLINE I: THE RIGHT MOTIVATION FOR DISCIPLINE

  1. Good points. I am always grateful for the balanced way my parents used discipline as I was growing up. They were never overly-strict, but I respected them and never wanted to hurt them. They did not make the mistake of being too over the top with strict rules, because they trusted me. I, in turn, did not let them down.

    • Thank you, Gloria! Sounds like my experience with my parents. Praise God for parents who discipline their children in a loving manner.

  2. Amen. Many lessons learnt. Mum does same. Thank God for her… Discipline according to her, should always go with eternity in view.
    Ride on ma.

    • Yes, Lawrence. Thank God for a mum like yours. May God grant her many years to see the fruit of her labour in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  3. Thank you so much. My parents did those for me and I passed same on to my children. It will also go to my next generation. Thank you great teacher.

    • I give all glory to God for the teavhing, Patsie! Thank God for conscientious parents like you. Your children are the hope of the future. God’s grace and abundant blessings on you and your family in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  4. This is really inspiring.i have a situation like that in my house.i wish they can go through this write up and understand that disciple doesnt mean exacting authority.it will only end up making ur subject inwardly rebelous and outwardly submissive

    • Maybe, you can slip them the article in the mail or read it around them to draw their attention. There must be a way … You are blessed!

  5. Being disciplined is more efficient and effective with God. Discipline has to do with more of action than words, based on the example about parents correcting their children with words and not really going further to give them measures for correction. This is a huge problem in some homes today.

  6. discipline in every human endeavor is very important. It is the pathway to success and greatness. Most home that lacks it is always in shambles

  7. I have come to understand through this post that disciplining children or other people is out of love and the desire to correct. This lesson has given be a fresh perspective of what discipline is all about

  8. Finally, Someone who knows what discipline is about! The best approach to discipline is one filled with care and love. Just like the kind God has for us. Beautiful post aunty

  9. This is a lesson because many of us are guilty of this. The right motive for disciplinary action is necessary to get the desired effect. I have learned the principle of looking beyond the misbehaviour and identifying its cause

  10. My parents discipline is not here o, they will discipline you to the extent of knowing who calls you at late nights

  11. Nice post ma.
    Most parents do not Know the right approach to discipline, they do it in such a way that they end up scaring away their wards. When they employ love and care in doing that , it gears towards putting the children on the right track.

  12. Amen! These are very good points. Without the right motivation, the essence of discipline is short-circuited. Most parents think their children do not know when they discipline them out of love or out of anger, but children can tell and the result of such discipline always differs. Discipline is good, and when done with the right motivation, it produces change and induces love in the heart of the one disciplined.

  13. Being disciplined is a good attribute anybody can possess. We should know the right motivation for discipline. Discipline entails many things, your relationship with God and people around, your understanding of people and the word of God and obedience to the word. May God help us to be disciplined in and out for the glory of his name and for the elevation of peaceful conduct with people around us, Amen!

  14. Discipline comes with a lot of rewards. When we are disciplined, we have nothing to loose and a whole lot to gain. The way.you react with people around you.can tell if you are disciplined. May God guide us to be disciplined.

  15. As a youth I have come to understand that when you correct your younger ones with respect and love they take correction easily. Also, when we set measures for our younger ones to follow let us put in mind that they (younger people) are constantly watching us… Nice ???? post Ma.

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