Proverbs 12

In Today's Reading:

Moral virtues; pitfalls of evil

God, in His infinite wisdom, has declared: He that spareth his rod hateth (disregard for) his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently) (Proverbs 13:24).

The greatest acts of love 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 schoolteachers and law enforcement officers (II Timothy 2:1-2). This obedience should also extend to the laws of our government (Matthew 22:21). As a prerequisite to teaching a child submission to authority, it is vital that parents consistently show submission to authority by their own example.

The rod is the symbol of 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. Using the rod of authority does not mean that parents should release 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 maturity from our children. 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 love, has forgiven our sins and failures throughout the years.

Biblical discipline follows the example of our loving Father in heaven, who corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6). The psalmist expressed it this way: Before I was afflicted (punished) I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word (Psalm 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, to develop a concern for the things of God (Deuteronomy 6:2-9; Proverbs 22:6).

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour 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 burneth with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:5,8).

Word Studies:

12:1 brutish =/i> without regard to reason or propriety; 12:11 vain =b> worthless; 12:25 Heaviness =b> Worry; maketh it stoop =b> causes depression; 13:11 vanity =b> dishonesty; 13:16 layeth open =b> exposes; 14:1 plucketh =b> tears; 14:23 penury =b> poverty; 15:1 grievous =b> harsh; 15:17 stalled =b> fattened; 15:27 gifts =b> bribes.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Timothy Johnson (IL) and Justice Anthony Kennedy · Country: Czech Republic (10 million) in central Europe Major languages: Czech and Slovak Religious freedom 63% Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is faithful to keep His promises (Hebrews 10:23).

Optional Reading: Philemon 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:5