Proverbs 13:24 – Biblical principles for corporal discipline

watch your mouthAt the risk of being misunderstood by those who overreact or have an unbalanced philosophy of child rearing, instruction and discipline– the focus of today’s devotional is an often quoted proverb of past generations (Proverbs 13:24).

Does the Bible teach a “politically incorrect” principle of corporate punishment? The answer is “yes”. The model of parental discipline is personified in God’s loving discipline of his children. Consider the following examples of God’s loving discipline of His people.

Deuteronomy 8:5 – “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.”

Job 5:17 – “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:”

Proverbs 3:11-12 – “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”correction

Hebrews 12:5-8 – “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”

Loving discipline is not only advised, the Word of God mandates it as a tool of education and character development.  You are no stranger to the following proverbs if you have been following my devotional study in Proverbs this past year.

Proverbs 22:15 – “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Proverbs 23:13-14 – “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”foolish youth

Consider today’s proverb regarding parental training and corporal punishment.

Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth [refuse; restrain; hold back] his rod [branch; staff; rod of discipline] hateth [detest; set against; hate as a foe or enemy] his son [or daughter; child]: but he that loveth [have affection; to show love] him chasteneth [instruct; reprove; discipline and punish] him betimes [diligent, early discipline].”

A parent who fails to discipline and correct the sins of his or her son or daughter has treated them with the contempt a soldier has for his enemy [“hateth his son”].  Why?  A parent who is unwilling to inflict temporary pain for sin and wrongdoing, leaves a child’s soul bare for a lifetime of pain and sorrow.

Parental love is evidenced in this:  Knowing the dangers of sin and the penchant of an undisciplined soul for destruction, a loving parent will discipline their child faithfully and early in their youth before their soul is set upon a lifetime of sin.

Children without boundaries and discipline become undisciplined adults who are self-willed and a sorrow to those who love them.  A loving parent will discipline their sons and daughters knowing the failure to discipline produces a foolish, undisciplined child who will be a heartache to his father and mother [Proverbs 29:15 – “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”].

angry, provoking dadP.S. For those parents whose definition of discipline is abuse, be forewarned:

Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith