PUNISHMENT -vs- DISCIPLINE – When it comes to parenting, there’s a popular new teaching that attempts to distinguish a difference between punishment and discipline. The problem with this teaching is that it’s too easy to get the idea that there is little place for punishment, because it focuses too much on the recent past and gives Junior the impression that his parents simply want to get even for sinning against them.
I don’t think this is the intent of many of these well-meaning teachers; because, if remembering the past is all that harmful, then we might reconsider the importance of history. An added benefit of punishment is that it steers other little would-be rebels away from folly themselves. No, punishment certainly isn’t the end-all to discipline; but, like history, punishment is still a vital component of discipline–and it’s certainly biblical. Proverbs 19: 25 says, “Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence.”