Discipline in many ways is as complicated to define as love. Looking at the varied definitions of the word, I think of it as the process of bringing order to one or more people. In the case of a group of people their has to be a leader with authority in order for the process to work. Discipline is neither good or evil because it can be used for either. A disciplined group of bank robbers is far more likely to be successful in a heist than an undisciplined one. A disciplined man can rule his family like a mafia boss or as a righteous ruler.
To lead well begins with a love of discipline. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.[Proverb 12:1] If you are looking for a wife, look for a woman who demonstrates an understanding of this principal. If you have children teach them the importance of it.
Discipline is a blessing.
Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. [Job 5:17]
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law,[Psalm 94:12]
Discipline is needed for growth.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, [Proverb 6:23]
Lack of discipline is dangerous
He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.[Proverb 5:23]
Discipline begins with you.
I see discipline as a mix of instruction, training and correction. Instruction sets expectations and boundaries. Training helps cement instructions. And correction is correcting a deviation from what is expected.
But my experience has taught me that it is best to lead by example. It is difficult to respect a leader who doesn’t try to live up to their own expectations. As a leader we need to be cognizant of our own areas of negligence. If you are a glutton don’t be surprised if you have an overweight family. Begin working on your area(s) of negligence then you can confidently lead your family in working on their area(s).
When it comes to disciplining your wife the apostle Paul describes it as washing her with the word . If you want a more in depth discussion or practical advice check out the article from BiblicalGenderRoles.
NOTE: All biblical references are from the ESV