Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24 NLT).
Solomon’s direct, harsh wording here takes the reader by surprise. Parents don’t usually hate their children, do they? His intent, in my opinion, is to focus on caring enough to discipline children and guide them by God’s Word.
Look at discipline in Hebrews (below). It adds clarity. The challenge in raising children is when and how to discipline. Parents must purpose to have an attitude and lifestyle that seeks God’s will and desire to conform to it. Teach your children God’s ways, disciplining them when necessary with words and action.
Trained by Discipline
For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose] (Hebrews 12:11 AMP).
Discipline—even painful discipline—should be an expression of love! It always seeks a child’s best interest. Parents need to use God’s approach when guiding their children. And themselves be guided by God.
Love and Guide
Are parents taking God’s place in discipline? No, we as parents are overseers of our children — God’s children — as they grow up. Parents should bring both words and actions, warnings and consequences, to our children’s challenging situations in life to keep them on track (or right with God’s ways).
The principle remains the same: love our children, guide and discipline them when they error. They may not like discipline, but it is necessary for their own good as temptations invade proper thinking and desires. * Teach your children God’s ways, disciplining them when necessary with words and action.
Prayer: Father, thank you that your ways are higher than ours. Keep us on track as we interact with our children).
*Characteristics of Biblical discipline from focusonthefamily.com.