Parental Discipline

The Hopewell Presbyterian Church Position Paper on Parental Discipline

We recognize and affirm that God’s law pertains to family relations and claims our first and best obedience.

WLC 123 Which is the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.(1)

(1)Exod. 20:12

We affirm that God expressly encourages obedience to this law..

WLC 133 What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?

A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, in these words, That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,(1) is an express promise of long life and prosperity, as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good, to all such as keep this commandment.(2)

(1)Exod. 20:12 (2)Deut. 5:16; 1 Kings 8:25; Eph. 6:2,3

We affirm that parents, under God have a special duty to love and nurture their children.

WLC 125 Why are superiors stiled Father and Mother?

A. Superiors are stiled Father and Mother, both to teach them in all duties towards their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations;(1) and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents.(2)

(1)Eph. 6:4; 2 Cor. 12:14; 1 Thess. 2:7,8,11; Numb. 11:11,12 (2)1 Cor. 4:14,15,16; 2 Kings 5:13

We affirm that inherent in this duty to love and nurture is the work of instruction and discipline.

WLC 129 What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?

A. It is required of superiors according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love,(1) pray for,(2) and bless their inferiors,(3) to instruct,(4) counsel, and admonish them;(5) countenancing,(6) commending,(7) and rewarding such as do well;(8) and discountenancing,(9) reproving, and chastising such as do ill;(10) protecting,(11) and providing for them all things necessary for soul(12) and body:(13) and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God,(14) honour to themselves,(15) and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.(16)

(1)Col. 3:19; Tit. 2:4 (2)1 Sam. 12:23; Job 1:5 (3)1 Kings 8:55,56; Heb. 7:7; Gen. 49:28 (4)Deut. 6:6,7 (5)Eph. 6:4 (6)1 Pet. 3:7 (7)1 Pet. 2:14; Rom. 13:3 (8)Esth. 6:3 (9)Rom. 13:3,4 (10)Prov. 29:15; 1 Pet. 2:14 (11)Job 29:12-17; Isa. 1:10,17 (12)Eph. 6:4 (13)1 Tim. 5:8 (14)1 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 2:3-5 (15)1 Kings 3:28 (16)Tit. 2:15

We affirm the parental responsibliity to use corporal punishment in love as a necessary part of the process of instruction and discipline required under gods law.

KJV Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

KJV Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

KJV Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

KJV Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Adopted by resolution of the Session of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church, 8th day of February, 2001.


Jim Patterson, Clerk of Session Charles W. Bradley, Moderator

Hopewell Presbyterian Church

Position Paper on Parental Discipline