Discipline that Disciples

Discipline that Disciples June 22, 2024

Discipline that disciples is about relationship, not rules. | Photo by Alena Shekhovtsova on Canva.com.

In November, I introduced you to the Connected Families Framework to teach your children grace and truth during discipline. Proverbs 3:12 (NLT) tells us, “For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” When we discipline intentionally and like our Father, we discipline in a way that disciples our children’s hearts and faith. This is a discipline based on relationships, not rules. It goes beyond behaviors to changing hearts.

As a Connected Families Certified Parent Coach, I am excited to share this framework with you.

(This may contain some affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.)

God’s Discipline and Discipleship

This is a framework that completely changed my parenting, and really, my life. When I discovered this in late 2019, I knew I had finally found a way to discipline that would also help me to become more like Jesus and reflect Who God is to my children. 

Until then, I knew that God didn’t just punish us to shame or inflict pain. But, He teaches us and gently convicts us to help us grow in Christ’s likeness. 

God also doesn’t get us to obey through fear or threats, but He confidently leads us and humbly allows us to make mistakes to learn.

The Connected Families Framework

Since discovering Connected Families through their book Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart, I have felt more confident in my parenting during the hard times, even when I mess up. I am confident and safe knowing I can use that mistake to grow and model failing forward to my girls.

Safety is where the framework begins. It is our foundation. If we want to enjoy parenting more and change our children’s behavior, we must first change our own. Only then can we connect, coach, and correct our children with the hopes of not only disciplining but discipling them as well.

Let’s dig into each step of the framework a little bit by looking at the message we send, the Scripture to guide us, and the questions we can ask to grow in our parenting and discipling.


  • Message: Child, You Are Safe With Me
  • Scripture: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NLT
  • Question: What is going on in me?


  • Message: Child, You Are Loved No Matter What
  • Scripture: “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Luke 1:17 NLT
  • Question: What is going on in my child?


  • Message: Child, You Are Called and Capable
  • Scripture: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
  • Questions: What can I affirm in my child? What are the skills my child is lacking?


  • Message: Child, You Are Responsible for Your Actions
  • Scripture: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly[b] should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” Galatians 6:1
  • Question: What can I do to build wisdom? What (if any) consequences may help?

Discipling Through Discipline

Now, this is just a broad look at the framework and our work as parents is never done, but I hope this will help you see the potential of this type of discipline that disciples.

Next week we will look at a real-life discipline situation through the Connected Families Framework. But, until then, don’t hesitate to reach out for more personalized help.

About Joy Wendling
Enthusiastic. Passionate. Profound. Joy Wendling is a family pastor, writer, speaker, podcaster, certified parent coach, and founder of Created to Play. She has over 20 years of experience in children, youth, and family ministry, as well as a Master’s in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary. She also is certified in Connected Families Parent Coaching and Parenting for Faith. Her idea of relaxing is gazing at the mountains from her island home with an ice-cold Diet Coke and a good book. Joy lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys laughing and playing with her five daughters and husband. Get to know her better at CreatedtoPlay.com and on her podcast titled Playfully Faithful Parenting. You can read more about the author here.

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