Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

DD–The Children-Training Scripture List

As we close out our study of the fifth commandment, I’m reflecting on how much I learned from examining those words in Exodus 20 about the “honor system: that exists in godly families. I had never spent a lot of time before thinking about how Scripture bears out that the fifth command was every bit as much for adults as it was for children. 

Thinking about the training of children, this morning, I wanted to share the passage list, as promised in the podcast—the list that directs us to a three-fold responsibility in bringing up our children. We must nurture. We must educate. We must chasten, or discipline. Here are some passages that might be helpful as you contemplate this. I know you could add more from your own study. Thanks to Emily Anderson for adding her list to mine.


Ephesians 6:4

Colossians 3:21

Proverbs 29:15

Genesis 25:28; 26:34-35; 27:41,42

Luke 11:11-13

Matthew 7:9-11

Proverbs 31:27,28

Proverbs 31:21

1 Timothy 5:8

2 Timothy 1:5

Titus 2:4


Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Deuteronomy 4:9,10

Judges 17:3-13

Exodus 13:8

Exodus 13:14

Exodus 10:2

Exodus 12:26,27

Deuteronomy 6: 20-25

Leviticus 23:31-43

2 Timothy 3:15

Deuteronomy 11:18,19

Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Psalm 34:11

Psalm 78:5-8


Ephesians 6:4

Proverbs 19:18

Proverbs 13:24

Proverbs 29:17

Proverbs 22:15

Proverbs 23:13,14

Proverbs 29:15

1 Samuel 3:13

Hebrews 12:6-11

Proverbs 3:12

Deuteronomy 8:5,6

Proverbs 22:6 (note Hebrew for “train”)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For the Diggers: Let’s Amend the Question–Month 5, Question 11

Today let’s take a look at question 11, in month 5, of  “The Ten”. Here’s the question: 

Some child therapists today tell us that parents should not try to force good behavior (I.e. administer corporal or force punishment, but instead should try to work on the heart so that behavior will follow. Is this Biblical? Is it fallacious? Explain and Discuss. 

I’m glad this is a discussion question, because there has certainly been some about it. For clarity and precision, let’s change the question, for our podcast discussion, to this: 

Some psychologists today tell us that punishment for bad behavior (all punishment, but particularly corporal punishment) is counterproductive to the development of good character in kids. Is this Biblical? Is it fallacious? Let’s discuss this on the podcast. 

I want to always be correct and clear in the study. I believe the original wording of the question was probably unfair to the vast majority of child therapists, who, in the very nature of their work, are modifying behaviors in children through therapy. 

So let’s go with version number two, as stated here. Perhaps you can find examples of this philosophy as you research. It does not take long to do so. Maybe we will even have some child therapists chime in on the podcast on January 26th.  Their ideas about how behavior, thoughts and feelings all work together to make for positive change might be helpful to many of us as we try to parent Biblically. We have some great therapists among us. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #31: Proverbs 13:24–Children and Discipline

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:      

My Favorite Proverbs: Children and discipline (Prov. 13:24)

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

Children come from God. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalms 127:3).  God sees each child while he or she rests and grows in the comfort of the womb, and He is the One who adds an eternal soul (Heb. 12:9).  It’s always been an instinctive thing for parents to want to give good things to their children. For that reason parents make a good illustration of how God cares for and blesses His children:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:11).

Good parents correct their children, but that discipline is a challenge for parents who were reared without consistent correction.  They have to learn how to discipline from someone else. May I encourage young parents to seek out those who have successfully raised Christian children and to learn from them by asking questions and seeking counsel.  You don’t want your children to be deprived of loving discipline just because you did not have a great example of it in your parents. The Hebrews writer simply assumes that parents will practice discipline:

“Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:9-11). 

And, here’s a follow-up thought to the fact that God corrects His children:  “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Prov. 3:11-12).

Today’s proverb not only endorses corporal punishment–spanking–but strongly endorses this form of discipline. The word “rod”, according to Strong’s, can be used to describe a stick anywhere from a staff you used to steady your walk, down to a pencil-like instrument you’d use for writing.  Any who read into this an abusive form of discipline are ignoring other parts of Scripture (Eph. 6:4).

Additional thoughts about this “corporal punishment proverb”:

It implies that we are involved enough in the lives of our children that we know when spanking is warranted.  

Parents who daily take their children to others for childcare must come to grips with this passage and similar ones.  Can someone obey this passage for me or in my stead?  Will that someone have the same sense of fairness and diligence about timing and severity of a spanking?

Parents who have more than one child know that children are different and require special attention to know the whens and whats of discipline. 

Quality time isn’t just in the pleasant things like playing games together or going to get a milkshake, but also in unplanned moments when discipline and correction are needed.  

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

As we conclude the series on David and Bathsheba, let’s spend a couple of nights on godly sorrow and the wonderful forgiveness that God gives through His mercy. Tonight’s passage is Psalms 51. Read it aloud to your children. It’s short and even very young children should be learning to sit still during the reading of the Word.

  1. For young children, teach them that David was very sorry for all the wrong things he had done and that God forgave him. Teach them what forgiveness is. For young children it’s “forgetting that someone did wrong and acting like it never happened.” Let them act out several scenarios in which misbehavior happens and then walk them though what repentance and saying “I’m sorry” looks like: Examples of this role-play: a) Have a child say to a sibling “I do not even like you and I don’t want to play with you.”…Then talk about being sorry and have them apologize and have the sibling appropriately forgive. b) Have a child take a treat from the pantry without permission, get caught, come to “repentance”, apologize and be forgiven by parents. Emphasize here that sometimes there’s punishment (or consequences) even though there’s forgiveness. In the case of the stolen treat, for instance, there might be a week without those treats from the pantry. Just because there’s a punishment does not mean there is not forgiveness. Parents who love punish and forgive because they want their children to grow up to be good and happy people! (If you have teeny people, just practice saying I’m sorry and giving hugs, telling them Jesus wants us to always say “I’m sorry” when we do wrong.
  2. Remind young children of how Joseph forgave the brothers who had mistreated him. Tell them that Joseph was a happy person because he could forgive his brothers. We cannot be happy if we are not “forgivers.”
  3. Read Matthew 6:15 to your children and discuss the ramifications of being unforgiving.
  4. Have older kids choose a verse from Psalm 51 that shows David’s very deep regret for the things that he’s done in the horrible Bathsheba time of his life. Have them discuss with you how this shows that, even though there’s forgiveness, there’s pain caused by sin.
  5. Have older children also look at 1 Kings 15:5 to see how God looked at David’s life, as a whole. Discuss this with them. Tell them to make it a goal to not have a time in their lives that will stand out as a time of sin and shame like this time in David’s life. Make sure they understand that regret over sin is bigger, when it is haunting a person, than it seemed it would be before the sin. Challenge them to think about how much bigger the regret in Psalm 51 was, than what David was counting on in 2 Samuel 11.  He was thinking of immediate “happiness” and sexual fulfillment in 2 Samuel, but his “instant happiness” carried sorrow and regret for a long time.
  6. If your family knows “Create in Me, O God, A Clean Heart” from Psalm 51, sing it now and pray with your children. (You can find the song in many places online, of course, by googling. Alternately, you might sing “Love Lifted Me.”)


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: About that Spanking (Part 2)–A Sneak Peek from “Women of Scandal”

12642739_10154934105087588_4663197017850762678_nRespect for God’s authority is not nurtured in an environment in which there is no respect for parental  authority. This snippet (part two of two short posts about child discipline) is taken from a lesson about Mrs. Phinehas from I Samuel three and four from the new book Women of Scandal, and gives four things not to do when encountering situations in which your kids need to be punished.   The target date for the book’s release is late March. Many thanks to Publishing Designs ( for the excellent and tireless work they are doing at the moment to publish this and so many other books for the family of God.


1. Don’t yell. You do not want your children to obey you because you are loud. You want them to obey you because you are Mama!

2. Don’t abuse. We really do know the difference between anger induced lashing and gentle, but firmly administered discipline. We know that one is of God and the other is a sin of the devil. Never leave any red marks on your children that will remain there for over fifteen minutes. Never bruise, burn, squeeze or immerse in water. I suggest that you use your hand to pop your children when needed rather than other objects. You really know the force with which you are touching them when you use your hands (plus your hands are always “handy”…right there when you need them).

3. Don’t lie. Whatever the good thing you promise your children, break your neck to keep your promises. But make the same commitment to your word when you promise a spanking “…if you touch that again,” or “if you say one more word about that.” This gift of  your word’s reliability is huge in developing trust and respect in your children. It is also huge in the development of their own integrity as they travel to adulthood.

4. Don’t count. I was recently speaking with a grandmother who spanked her small grandson when he blatantly disobeyed her. He whirled around to her and exclaimed, “Why Grandma! What are you doing?” She calmly explained that she was spanking him because he did not obey her. “But Grandma!…” he wailed, “…you didn’t even get to one, much less two or three! What are you thinkin’?” God doesn’t count for us when He commands. He expects our immediate attention and obedience. That’s respect. Sometimes mothers teach counting and even fractions (“two-and-a-haaaalllf…”) during attempts at discipline, but fail to teach respect.


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: About that Spanking (A Sneak Peek from “Women of Scandal”)

12642739_10154934105087588_4663197017850762678_nToday I am in prayer for more than one friend who is doing battle in some arena in our permissive society for the children. There are many children who are literally suffering due to a lack of  parental discipline. This problem is exacerbated by “professionals” in fields of social work and psychology who are touting “new” methods of dealing with behavioral issues that involve taking the authority from the adults and “talking out” the offenses and any consequences with the offenders…basically letting the rule-breakers and their peers set the standards of behavior.

Respect for God’s authority is not nurtured in an environment in which there is no respect for parental  authority. This snippet is taken from a lesson about Mrs. Phinehas from I Samuel three and four from the new book Women of Scandal. The target date for the book’s release is late March. Many thanks to Publishing Designs ( for the excellent and tireless work they are doing at the moment to publish this and so many other books for the family of God.

Now, about that Spanking…

He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24).

Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction (Proverbs 19:18).

(Under the law of Moses, consistently rebellious children were to be put to death, so in this proverb we see that parents were not to give up hope for rebellious children too soon; they were to hope and trust in the effectiveness of corporal punishment; i.e.. spanking.)

I suggest that spanking is one appropriate and very Biblical method of discipline. While I am sure it is not the only good method and that positive reinforcement for good behavior rather than punishment for wrong doing is smart and effective under certain conditions, I still believe that spanking, administered lovingly and in measured doses, is, hands-down, the simplest and most effective form of punishment. May I offer, from the realm of judgment, some do’s and don’ts of effective punishment?


1. Be consistent. Whatever was wrong yesterday needs to still be wrong today (no matter if you are stressed or experiencing PMS today). Whatever exacts a spanking at any particular time needs to always exact a spanking.

2. Spank for outright disobedience or verbal disrespect every time. Be sure you understand completely that there was intentional disobedience or disrespect. Once you determine that, a spanking is in order.

3. Practice discipline. You are probably thinking, “What does she mean? Isn’t that the whole topic of this part of the lesson?” By “practice” I mean practice like a drill or a repetitive exercise. When you give your young child a command—say… to stop playing with the kitty and climb in the high chair for lunch—and the child continues to play with the kitty, you may, in the hurry of events, want to give the toddler a swat on the bottom and pick her up and put her in the chair yourself. That’s not a terrible choice, but a more effective choice is to give that child a swat, and then say, “Now let’s try again. You play with the kitty.” She complies and then you give the command again. Command-swat-repeat…until you get the desired result. This is both laborious and loving. I once did it for forty-five minutes with a strong-willed 13 month-old. Let me just say that it was both excruciating and rewarding.

4. Be sure that you, as parent, always win in any war of the wills. When you begin this very effective battle of the wills on any occasion, you have the potential to make great progress in the long-term molding of your child’s view of authority. If you surrender in the middle of the battle and let the child have his way, you are eroding, rather than building respect for authority.

(Catch the next Bless Your Heart for the “don’ts”.)