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Top 10 Bible Verses about Discipline

Are you wondering what the Bible says about self-discipline? Or maybe you’re looking for Bible verses about discipline in parenting?

Discipline means “control gained by enforcing obedience or order.” In self-discipline this can be choosing to control your own behavior. We can use discipline to work harder in our job, to wake up early and get a workout, and to choose healthy food over junk food.

In parenting, discipline is when parents enforce obedience on their child in order to direct them in the right choices. As you’ll see in the Scripture below, this is best when done in love and patience.

As we read through the verses below, we find guidance on how to become more disciplined. When we use the Bible’s wisdom, we can live good, full lives. So let’s look at Bible verses about discipline to examine how to approach these ideas in life.

What does the Bible say about Discipline?

Best Bible Verses for Discipline

Proverbs 12:1

Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.

To learn, you must love discipline;
it is stupid to hate correction.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.

We can learn so much from Bible verses about Discipline. Here, this proverb speaks to the value of discipline and correction as we pursue knowledge and wisdom.

It tells us that when we’re open to discipline and correction, then we truly desire to gain knowledge and understanding. On the other hand, those who reject correction or are unwilling to be disciplined are described as foolish or lacking in wisdom.

In essence, this proverb encourages humility and a willingness to learn from mistakes or receive guidance from others.

Bible verses about discipline: Proverbs 12:1

Hebrews 12:11

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

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.

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

This verse emphasizes the challenging nature of self-discipline. We can learn that discipline often involves discomfort or pain in the short term.

However, the verse also points out that the outcome of discipline is positive and beneficial. It produces a “harvest of righteousness and peace” for those who undergo it.

Hebrews encourages us to have endurance and perseverance through difficult times. Here we can see that the trials and challenges faced through discipline ultimately lead to spiritual growth, character development, and a sense of peace and righteousness.

Proverbs 13:24

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

We’ve all heard this proverb which brought about the famous saying, “whoever spares the rod, spoils the child.” In the Bible, the words are a bit different, but have the same meaning.

So what does it mean? The phrase conveys the idea that if a parent neglects to discipline their child when necessary, the child may become unruly, undisciplined, or spoiled. The “rod” symbolizes discipline or correction, showing that without proper guidance and correction, children may develop negative behaviors or attitudes.

It’s beneficial for children to have their negative behavior addressed and work toward good behavior. It will lead to a much better, more successful adult life.

But when we discipline our children, it should be done with love, purpose, and never in anger.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

This Bible verse from 2 Timothy emphasizes the divine inspiration and authority of The Bible, suggesting that all of it is from God Himself.

Here, we can learn some valuable purposes of Scripture: teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.

Particularly, in regards to discipline, these purposes can teach us self-discipline. We can read God’s word and allow it to teach us, correct us, and make us more righteous.

But also in terms of discipline for children, we see the value in God’s word. We can use the principals to teach them and correct them to a more holy life, which is for their good.

Bible verses about discipline: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:

12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
    and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12 For the Lord corrects those he loves,
    just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
    or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.

This Bible verse about discipline conveys the importance of accepting and embracing God’s discipline and correction.

The verses emphasize that God’s discipline is an expression of His love. Just as a loving father disciplines his child for their own good, God disciplines those whom He loves.

Instead of resenting or rejecting God’s correction, we are encouraged to receive it with humility and understanding, recognizing that it is ultimately for our benefit and growth in holiness.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

This verse provides guidance to parents regarding how they should approach discipline and upbringing of their children.

It begins with a caution against provoking children to anger. There are many ways parents can cause this reaction in their children. They might have too high of expectations, they might tease their child, or even embarrass their child.

Instead of approaching parenting those ways, this scripture gives a better way. It says to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

We can be calm, diligent parents, helping our children as they learn how to grow in maturity. This provides children with a much more stable, loving environment.

Proverbs 29:17

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
they will bring you the delights you desire.

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind
and will make your heart glad.

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.

This proverb teaches us that in order to have peace in your life as a parent, you must discipline your children.

Discipline includes training and walking alongside your children to teach them about life. It also includes correcting them when necessary. This verse tells us that disciplined children will bring peace to their parents.

It may be easier to give children what they want, or allow them to be in charge, but when we read Bible verses about discipline, we can see that isn’t a recipe for a good life for you or your child.

Colossians 3:23-24

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

This passage encourages believers to approach their work and daily tasks with diligence and discipline, as if they were doing it for the Lord Himself rather than for people.

It emphasizes the importance of having a mindset of service to God in all aspects of life. As we grow in discipline in our work, parenting, and serving others, we can trust that it is actually God we are honoring in our pursuits.

Bible verses about discipline: Colossians 3:23-24

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

What is the price we earn by being disciplined? We, Christians, strive for “a crown that will last forever.” We have eternity waiting for us with our Lord and Savior.

Just as athletes go through strict training and self-discipline to win a temporary prize, we should exercise self-discipline in our spiritual journey to attain an eternal reward.

These Bible verses about self-discipline encourage us to be intentional and focused in our pursuit of spiritual growth and obedience to God’s will.

1 Peter 4:7

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

This Bible verse encourages us to be disciplined in our prayers.

Being “self-controlled and sober-minded” means that we maintain a clear and rational perspective, avoiding excess or distractions that might hinder our spiritual lives or relationship with God.

We can look to Bible verses about discipline to learn to live a life with a close relationship with God which brings with it, good, eternal purposes.

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