Read Proverbs 12 -- 15
God, in His infinite wisdom, declares: He who spares his rod (fails to discipline) hates his son: but he who loves him chastens him betimes (meaning that he doesn't put it off) (Proverbs 13:24).
The greatest contribution we can make to our children's future is to teach them obedience and respect -- first, to Christ as their personal Savior and Lord of their lives, then to their parents and all who are in authority, including school teachers and law enforcement officers. This obedience should extend to the laws of the government. As a prerequisite to teaching a child submission to authority, it is vital that parents show submission to authority by their own example.
The rod is the symbol of the authority that God has committed to parents for training their children. To apply the rod means to exercise authority. The rod must be administered firmly yet lovingly. The rod of authority does not mean parents releasing their bottled-up frustrations by shouting demands, slapping faces, or severely spanking. These are examples of mental and physical abuse. We must not expect adult perfection in our children; they are not robots and they need the same loving-kindness and patience from us that we desire from our Heavenly Father. Even mature Christians are prone to forget how many times the Lord, with long-suffering and love, has forgiven our failures through the years.
An important responsibility of parents is to discipline their children at a very young age to prepare them for later life. Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not let your soul spare for his crying (19:18). Withholding the rod is not a sign of love for the child, but a sign of weakness in the parent, and it does a great injustice to a child. The reason is that foolishness (sinful ways) is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (22:15). The ultimate purpose of the rod (of discipline) and reproof (is to) give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame (29:15).
Biblical discipline follows the example of our Father in Heaven, Who corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves (see Hebrews 12:6). The psalmist expressed it this way: Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept (obeyed) Your Word (Psalms 119:67).
We can develop our children's respect for God-ordained authority and, at the same time, provide them with an assurance of both our love and God's love for them. It is important to spend time with our children, especially reading the Bible and praying with them, teaching them to love the Lord, and developing a concern in them for the things of God (Deuteronomy 6:2-9; Proverbs 22:6). Our children need to see our submission and dependence upon our Father Who is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9). Let them hear our prayers for them and see our own desire to please the Lord with our lives. What children see at home is what they grow up believing to be right.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord (as His representatives): for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:1-2; also Exodus 20:12).
Christ Revealed: As One who hates lying (Proverbs 12:22). He that sat upon the throne said . . . All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:5,8).
Word Studies: 12:1 brutish means stupid; 12:11 vain means void of understanding; 12: 25 Heaviness means Worry; maketh it stoop means causes depression; 13:11 vanity means dishonesty; 13:16 layeth open means exposes; 13:24 betimes means diligently and promptly; 14:1 plucketh means destroys; 14:23 penury means poverty; 15:1 grievous means harsh; 15:17 stalled means fattened; 15:27 gifts means bribes.
Government Officials: Rep. Timothy Johnson (IL) and Justice Anthony Kennedy · BPM Staff: Linda Kennon · Pray for HCJB World Radio in Quito, Ecuador, and Dr. John Boldt · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Linda and Joel Kennon · Country: San Marino (25,000) inside north-central Italy · Major language: Italian · Religious freedom · 95% Roman Catholic; 5% atheist · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for your daily needs (Luke 11:3).
Optional Reading: Philemon 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 20:14