“In its original sense, discipline is systematic instruction given to disciples to train them as students in a craft or trade, or any other activity which they are supposed to perform, or to follow a particular code of conduct. Often, the phrase "to discipline" carries a negative connotation. This is because enforcement of order – that is, ensuring instructions are carried out – is often regulated through punishment. Discipline is also believed to be one of the main pillars of modern life, according to many different religious beliefs.” Wikipedia
Discipline is best defined by the Bible:
“Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law;” Psalm 94:12 We can rejoice when we are disciplined knowing it is for our good. We are being trained from God’s perfect Word:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 1 Timothy 3:16 We gain wisdom and understanding and grow closer to Him.
God considers us His children when He disciplines us:
“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” Deuteronomy 8:5
He disciplines us according to what is needed. If we are good parents, we will do the same. For instance, a good parent would gently rebuke his child and only if that doesn’t produce results, would he consider a harsher consequence.
God disciplines us because He loves us. Discipline may be unpleasant but “it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace”:
“And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-11 (Proverbs 3:11-12)
We are disciplined for a purpose:
“Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.” 1 Corinthians 11:32
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” Revelation 3:19
We have a responsibility to discipline those God has put under our care. We will suffer consequences until we obey, and we should do the same with our children:
”Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs13:24
“Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.” Proverbs 19:18
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.” Proverbs 23:13
This article is mainly about our responsibility to discipline those God has put under our care,
Eli, a priest in Israel, is an example of using poor discipline with his children. The story of Eli is found in 1 Samuel 1-4.
“Year after year this man (Elkanah) went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 1:3
Elkanah had two wives. One of his wives, Hannah, had no children. Hannah went with her husband to Shiloh:
“…Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s house. In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty , if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:9-17
Eli knew the Lord, and in some ways was a good priest. He had compassion on Hannah and knew how to pray for her. He lacked discernment, thinking she was drunk, but that is a mistake many could have made.
“…they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.” 1 Samuel 1:25-28
“Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.” 1 Samuel 2:11
Eli’s serious flaw, serious enough to harm the whole nation of Israel because of the authority he had as priest and serious enough to be recorded in the Bible, was his failure to discipline his sons:
“Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD. Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.
If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”
This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD’s sight, for they were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt.” 1 Samuel 2:12-17
Perhaps Eli was eating the meat his sons gave him, even though he knew it was detestable to the Lord:
“…Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?” 1 Samuel 2:29
“…he was heavy…” 1 Samuel 4:18 Maybe he was participating in this sin and so did not feel free to chastise his sons, giving them the consequences they deserved.
I remember visiting a woman who said she was trying to eat a healthy diet, but she had to eat the donuts her husband brought home for her. She seemed to think she had no choice. This is almost like Eli. His attitude seemed to be that he knew it was wrong, but what could he do? This is a trap all of us can fall into – if we have been involved in a sin for a long time, we begin to think we cannot change.
Other sins, he did rebuke:
“Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD’s people is not good. If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.” 1 Samuel 2:22-25
Eli knew what his sons were doing. He told them not to do this, but didn’t do anything. He could have replaced them. God saw their heart and planned their death.
God seems to have considered their sin of not respecting His offering as worse than their sexual sin because their sexual sins weren’t mentioned in the prophecy against Eli’s family:
“Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites. Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
“Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day. I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat. ”’ 1 Samuel 2:27-36
Samuel was the faithful priest being prepared by the Lord to rule Israel in place of Eli’s family:
“The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.” 1 Samuel 3:1
The Lord also gave to Samuel a prophecy about Eli’s family:
“And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God and he failed to restrain them. Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’” 2 Samuel 3:11-14
God had told Eli twice of the coming judgment – first from an unnamed prophet and then from Samuel. The Lord told him his family would be destroyed because of the sin he knew about, but refused to discipline. Eli accepted the fact that the sins his sons were committing were serious and that the Lord’s judgment was fair. He said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.” 1 Samuel 3:17 He accepted the consequences of his actions but refused to change.
The fulfillment of the prophecy seems to have taken place quite a while later because Samuel had grown up.
“The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.” 1 Samuel 3:-4:1
Perhaps the consequences were more than Eli antcipated because he died when he heard the ark of the Lord was captured by the enemy: “The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died…” 1 Samuel 4:17-18 The ark of God was taken into battle as a sign that God’s presence was with the Israelites.
When she was dying in childbirth, his daughter-in-law named her son Ichabod saying, “theGlory has departed from Israel, for the ark of the Lord has been captured.” 1 Samuel 4:22 Losing the ark meant that God’s blessing had departed from Israel.
All Israel suffered from Eli’s lack of discipline.
David is another example of using poor discipline with his children. Even though “…God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22
God spoke through Samuel to King Saul, David predecessor:
“But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.” 1 Samuel 13:14
One reason that David was a man after God’s heart was his repentance of sin. Nathan, a prophet of God, told David a story of a man with many lambs taking the one prized lamb of a man who only had one lamb in order to feed a guest (1 Samuel 12).
When David “…burned with anger…” 1 Samuel 12:5 against this heartless deed, Nathan said:
“…“You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD. Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.”1 Samuel 12:7-13
David confessed his sin and the Lord forgave him–he did not die. Death was the just punishment prescribed by the law:
“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10
However, David had to face the consequences of his actions:
“…God cannot be mocked. A man sows what he reaps.” Galatians 6:7 David knew God well enough not to blame Him for the events that had happened or the consequences of those events. Even though David was a man after God’s own heart:
“…God does not show favoritism” Romans 2:11 Actually, because he was the king of God’s people he was judged more strictly. This is the same principle set out in James 3:1 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
The first consequence was the death of the son conceived as a result of David and Bathsheba’s sin. David’s response shows his knowledge of God:
“While the child was alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:22-23 He understood the mercy of God, but accepted His righteous judgment. This passage also shows other important truths. One is, that every child that dies before he is born or before he understands good and evil goes to heaven (Psalm 139:13-16; Deuteronomy 1:39).
One of the laws given to Moses concerning a ruler of God’s people states that they were not to have many wives:
“He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray.” Deuteronomy 17:17 David disobeyed this law by having several wives (2 Samuel 3:2-5; 2 Samuel 5:13-14; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9). Although, his heart was not led astray, his son Solomon’s heart was, as a result of his example. Jesus says that God’s ideal for marriage was one woman for one man:
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7 This was a first indication that David, in this respect, was not right with God.
David’s second wife, Ahinoam of Jezreel (1 Samuel 27:3) was the mother of Amnon, David’s firstborn. Amnon was completely godless and the first indication that “…the sword will never depart from your house…” 2 Samuel 12:10 It seems that David, who knew the Lord so well, had little contact with this son. If David had been concentrating on teaching his children godly principles, his heart would have remained close to the Lord and he would not have fallen into such a great sin.
Amnon lusted after Tamar, the daughter of David by his fourth wife, Maacah. He pretended to be ill and requested that Tamar make bread for him in his presence. After getting rid of the servants, he raped Tamar and, then, drove her from his presence (2 Samuel 13). David was furious, but he did nothing about this crime. It is difficult to judge fairly when we are guilty of the same crime we are to judge.
Two years later, Absalom, whose mother was also Maacah, murdered Amnon as revenge for raping Tamar. Absalom fled to Geshur for three years where his grandfather lived. David then allowed Absalom to return, although he did not allow his son to come into his presence.
David never punished Absalom accept through rejection, which is not a suitable punishment. Punishing Absalom would have been even more difficult for David than punishing Amnon–not only was murder a sin he had committed when he had Uriah killed, but it was also his own failure to punish Amnon that had caused this crime. Also time had made the crime seem less serious:
“And the spirit of the king longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.” 2 Samuel 13:39
After two years of living in Jerusalem David forgave Absalom (although Absalom never repented) and reinstated him in the royal family.Absalom was now the first in line for inheriting his father’s kingdom. He made plans to acquire the kingdom before David’s death and after four years requested that he be allowed to visit Hebron, the site of an important sanctuary, saying he had made a vow to the Lord. Absalom used David’s love for the Lord as an excuse to trick David. David told him to go in peace. While there, Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes in Israel to say that as soon as they heard the sound of the trumpet, they were to say, “Absalom is king in Hebron.” 2 Samuel 15:10
When David heard a report of this he fled Jerusalem with his officials in order to avoid a bloodbath. He took his entire household, leaving ten concubines to watch the palace.
A wise and respected counselor of David’s, Ahithophel, appears to have secretly aligned himself with Absalom in the planning stage of the revolt. Since Ahithophel was Bathsheba’s grandfather (2 Samuel 11:3; 23:34), perhaps this was also the result of David’s treatment of Bathsheba and Uriah. Ahitophel gave Absalom the advice to lie with the ten concubines David left in Jerusalem. This was to show all Israel that “you have made yourself a stench in your father’s nostril, and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened.” 2 Samuel 16:21 Absalom followed this advice fulfilling Nathan’s prophecy:
"This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” 2 Samuel 12:11-12
When Ahithophel’s further advice was not followed, he, realizing that the rebellion would not be successful, hanged himself (2 Samuel17:23) His suicide, plus the twenty thousand men that died in battle between David’s men and Absalom’s men (2 Samuel 17:7) were a result of David’s sin.
When Absalom was killed in battle, David wept:
“O my son Absalom! My son! My son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you–O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33 Sin had a tremendous price. Perhaps adding to David’s grief was the knowledge that his own sin was one cause of Absalom’s death.
More consequences would follow. Adonijah, the next in line for the kingship, got chariots with horses and fifty men to run ahead. He conferred with Joab and several others to acquire the kingship and planned a great feast. David was very old at this time. Nathan, the prophet, asked Bathsheba to remind David of his promise to put her son Solomon on the throne and to tell David of Adonijah’s intentions. When she did this, Nathan arrived and confirmed what she had said. David made Solomon king. Solomon pardoned Adonijah.
However, when Adonijah asked Bathsheba to request of Solomon if he could marry Abishag, Solomon realized that he was, in fact, requesting the throne. Abishag had cared for King David at the end of his reign. Although she was a virgin, the people would regard her as belonging to David’s harem–possession of the royal harem signified the right to the throne. Solomon had Adonijah, Joab, commander of the army, and Abiathar the priest who had given Adonijah support, put to death.
Finally, Solomon, so wise and spoken to directly by God twice, turned away from the Lord because of his many wives (1 Kings 11:1-13). He did not understand the severity of the sin of having many wives partly because of the example of his father, David.
“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.” Proverbs 6:27-29 We take the sin of adultery so lightly today. God does not.
God’s punishment is the consequence of the sin we commit, although “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” Psalm 103:10 The consequences of David’s sin had already been set in motion when he chose to sin. His children, whom he should have been instructing in the fear of the Lord, were neglected to their destruction.
The wives David had chosen seem not to have taught them about God, although Abigail, his third wife, was a godly woman. Her son Kileab (2 Samuel 3:3) or Daniel (1 Chronicles 3:1) appears to have died because his name is mentioned only in the genealogies, and he would have been in line for the throne after Amnon.
Partly because of the guilt and shame of having returned evil for good, David could not see clearly to raise his family properly. David corrected his mistake of neglecting his sons and spent many hours instructing Solomon in the things of the Lord (the majority of the book of Proverbs was written by Solomon). David appears never to have realized his sin of having many wives.
If your child deliberately, against your warning, touches something hot and is badly burned, you might tell him what to expect, what he would have to suffer. But you would wish, with all your heart, that he had not disobeyed and would have to face the consequences. That is something like what God felt. He must have wished with all His heart that David had not sinned. He would not want several of David’s children perhaps to perish in everlasting torment.
However, God has established a standard; His Law must be obeyed. When Adam chose to disobey (Genesis 3), the authority given to him by God to rule over the world was given to Satan, the devil. The Bible shows that Satan had the legal right to control the world by Jesus’ acceptance of what Satan said when he tempted Jesus:
“The devil led him to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.” Luke 4:5-6. Jesus chose not to sin and was qualified by His death to pay the penalty for the sin of mankind.
To a certain extent Satan has the legal right to control any situation in which we choose to sin. If we do not choose to sin, Satan cannot harm us; we are under God’s protection:
“Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.” Proverbs 26:2 If David had not sinned, evil would not have been able to touch his house in the same way that it did because he chose to sin.
Although David was not the father he should have been, his children had a more than average opportunity to know God. Each individual is judged on his own merit:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10
God’s punishment is always redemptive; He always punishes for His glory and our good. There is a difference between punishment and consequences. Using the analogy again of your child touching something hot after you have warned him, the consequences would be the pain he experiences from disobedience. You would probably not punish him because there would be no need; he would have learned his lesson without any need of punishment. Were the terrible results of David’s sin consequence or punishment? Only God knows the full answer.
Even though there were terrible consequences of David’s sin, God used it to teach us many truths. Because of his sin of adultery and murder, David wrote Psalm 51. This psalm is a masterpiece on the character of God and His dealings with man. God is:
“proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.”
David realized his sin was frst and foremost against God–his sin had severed the closeness between God and himself:
“Against you, you only, have I sinned.” He realized he “was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (a truth we need to know to combat the heresy that man is basically good). He realized:
“you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place”
God had a high purpose for allowing this whole experience:
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” Romans 8:29
Like all of us, if David had understood the consequences of sin and had known God better, this would have been avoided. And David knew God well. That is why we need a Savior–Someone to pay for the sins we do commit.
An example of good discipline is Paul who considered the people he led to the Lord as his children.
He considered the Corinthians his children:
“Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15
He rebuked them as a loving father would rebuke his children. All of 1 Corinthians 6 is a rebuke.
He told the fathers in Ephesus how to discipline their children:
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
He was to the Thessalonians as a loving parent would be:
“…Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 1:7-12 As a nursing mother he loved and cared for them, and as a father deals with his children, he encouraged, comforted and urged them to live a life worthy of God.
He wanted to see them as a parent would want to see his child:
“But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you…For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
He will love them forever.
Paul considered Timothy his son and treated him accordingly:
“But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.” Philippians 2:22
“To Timothy my true son in the faith…” 1 Timothy 1:2
“To Timothy, my dear son…as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.” 2 Timothy 2:2-4 He constantly prayed for Timothy and longed to see him as a father would his son.
Paul rebuked Timothy with love:
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7 He corrected Timothy by a gentle reminder.
But Paul did correct Timothy. Do we speak “…the truth in love…” Ephesians 4:15?
As Christians “…we have the mind if Christ” 1 Corinthians 2:16. God will give us the wisdom to discipline those under our authority. We just need to seek his wisdom and boldness.