For the fans of oft-quoted proverbs, the time has come for one of the biggies. Proverbs 13:24 is so well known that you only have to start it …… and someone else will finish it.
Spare the rod …… and spoil the child.
One of the ways that this thought is conveyed in the book of Proverbs is
Those who spare the rod hate their children,
but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.
This rendering rescues this Proverb from misuse by abusers. Our society has thankfully moved away from the common use of the rod as a means beating children into submission. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the important role of discipline in parenting.
Making children work to earn some of the things that they want is not abuse.
Making children suffer the consequences for their actions and choices (as long as reason and safety is exercised) is not abuse.
Standing the ground firmly on principles and procedures even in the face of a child’s tantrums is not abuse.
Love can seem tough when discipline is necessary.
Luckily, my children have moved away and I don’t have to deal with parental discipline day by day. Maybe I’ll file this one for my grand-parenting days. (But I don’t know that grandparents use discipline.)
Help the adults in our world use the right amount of discipline to help the children in their care to grown into the type of people who will obediently follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.