Besides being a revelation of God to man, the Bible is meant to provide practical instruction that covers every aspect of life. Contrasts are often used to illustrate the meanings of a proverb. For example, check out Proverb 15:17! It literally says a bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak (fatted calf) with someone you dislike!
God, in His infinite wisdom, has declared: He that spareth his rod hateth (has disregard for) his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently) (Prov. 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 Tim. 2:1-2). This obedience should also extend to the laws of our government (Matt. 22:21). As a prerequisite to teaching a child submission to authority, it is vital that parents themselves submit to authority.
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 is to be used 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 often 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 (Heb. 12:6). The psalmist expressed it this way: Before I was afflicted (punished) I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word (Ps. 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 (Deut. 6:2-9; Prov. 22:6).
Thought for Today:
Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice (Ps. 141:2).
As One who hates lying (Prov. 12:22). He that sat upon the throne said. . . . all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:5,8).
12:1 brutish => 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.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Government Officials: Rep. John Hall (NY), Rep. Timothy Johnson (IL), and Justice Anthony Kennedy • Country: South Korea (46.9 million) in northeastern Asia • Major languages: Korean and English • Religious freedom • 48% Christian; 40% Buddhist; 3% Confucian; 9% Shamanism; Chodogyo, Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national leaders and their families (Ezra 6:10).
Optional Reading: Philemon 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:9