Love and Correction

He who loves [his son] is careful to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24

Last night we talked about a family in which the son controlled the father. Now let’s look at another family:           

A six-year-old named David was asked by his mother to pick up orange peelings he’d left on the carpet. He wouldn’t do it and as a result received a slap on his behind. This led to a temper tantrum. David’s father then appropriately applied a paddle, saw to it that David picked up and disposed of the orange peelings, and sent him to bed (it was already past his bedtime). After a few minutes the father went to David’s room and explained that God had instructed all parents who truly love their children to properly discipline them and that since they loved David, they would not permit such defiant behavior.

The next morning, David presented his mother with a stack of ten pennies and a letter that said in part, “Dear Mom and Dad, here is 10 Cints for Pattelling me when I really needed. Love yur son David.”

David intuitively understood the truth available to all of us in Scripture: “The corrections of discipline are the way to life” (Proverbs 6:23). He knew that his father had applied just the right measure of loving discipline. When we parents properly balance love and correction, we’ll stimulate the same respect and tender affection in our own families.

Before you say good night…

  • How do you usually respond to a situation like the one with David?
  • Are you doing a good job of balancing love and correction?
  • If you handled this better, how might it change your family?

Dear God, we want a home filled with joy, tenderness, and mutual respect. Give us grace to find the holy combination of love and discipline that You desire for our family. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.