The Latin word for student is discipulus. From it, we get a few English words.
- Verb form: meaning to help make one a better student. (ie. The youth pastor likes to disciple young people in the gospel.)
- Noun form: a person who is dedicated to a school of thought or a teacher
- Verb: to train or correct behavior
- Noun: the attribute or characteristic of being in control of one’s actions, thoughts, etc.
In almost every case, the word has a positive connotation. Discipline is something we should desire. The Bible teaches us that God disciplines those He loves (Heb. 12:6-11) and that a parent that neglects discipline hates his children (Proverbs 13:24). Our generation needs to rethink how we understand the idea of discipline. We admire personal discipline in Olympic athletes but sometimes shy away from requiring or training that attribute in our children. Why is that? Perhaps it is too hard? Perhaps it requires to much personal sacrifice? Perhaps we don’t know how? Or perhaps we’ve been led astray by pop psychology and the ideas of the secular world.
God has something to say about discipline and the discipline of our children. This article, published by the Gospel Coalition, is one of the best short treatments on the topic that I have read in awhile. I highly recommend it!