Disciplining Our Children in Love (Proverbs 13:24) - Radical

Disciplining Our Children in Love (Proverbs 13:24)

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
– Proverbs 13:24

Proverbs 13:24 is probably not my kids’ favorite verse, but it’s such a significant verse. So just like Proverbs 12 encouraged us all to love discipline, we see this picture of a parent who loves his children, who loves her children, disciplining his or her children. So we’re reminded in this proverb that we need to love our kids in a way that leads them to acknowledge folly, that leads them to hate folly, to want to walk in goodness and righteousness. And just like we all need discipline as sons and daughters of God, our sons and daughters in this life need discipline. And obviously, as parents, any one of us who’s a parent, knows we need wisdom to discipline our children well.

We are to discipline our children in love for their eternal good.

It’s interesting. I was reading this verse on the same day that I was reading Ephesians 6:4 which says, “Fathers don’t stir up anger in your children but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Proverbs 13:24 Leads Us to Grow in Our Love of Discipline

So I’m just praying, God, help me then. Help me to discipline my kids in a way that doesn’t stir up anger in them but in a way that brings them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

So just as we all need to grow in our love for discipline, we need to pray this for our kids. And if you’re not a parent, then think about children around you, in the church especially, in the body of Christ who you have an influence on, pray that God would help them to love discipline, to desire discipline in a way that recognizes this is good for me.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray for Children

And then as parents, for us to pray for that in our kids would know we love them by the way we discipline them. God, we pray for that. We know we all need discipline in every one of our lives. We praise you for how you discipline us as a loving Father. And so we pray as parents, many of us, Lord, that you would help us to love our children enough to discipline them. Help us to know how to discipline them in love. Give us wisdom, we pray, to know how to love them and discipline them in a way that brings them up in the training and instruction of the Lord, not in a way that stirs up anger in them.

We pray for our kids hearts. We pray that you would help them to learn to love discipline, to see it as good. Lord, we pray that You would help them to see our love for them in disciplining them. In all of this, O God, help us all, as parents, kids alike. Help us to grow in righteousness by the discipline You give to each of us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!