Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Discipline your children while there is hope.
Otherwise you will ruin their lives. 19.18
God’s Word tells us that all discipline is necessary for training toward righteousness. No one likes to be disciplined or to give discipline. The Bible tells us whenever God disciplines his children it is always done out of love even the discipline is painful. The word “discipline” is given as a command (Proverbs 19.18). It is not a suggestion but a command from God for parents to discipline our children with love. What is discipline? To disciple a child is to teach, correct and to punish to improve wrong behaviour. Discipline is also to give instruction to our children. It can be informal or formal instruction. The instruction often focuses on warning of consequences for bad behaviour. Solomon is giving a command for parents to disciple our children to walk in Godly ways.
The stress is the need for wise and loving discipline in the home. I believe many problems we face today in the society can be traced largely to the lack of discipline in the home. Certainly, there are many other problems in the home, broken families; permissive parents; and many children grow up without boundaries and supervision. The Bible is very clear God commands parents to discipline their children. Discipline is the responsibility of parents.
How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge? Pro. 1.11 ESV
In this verse, Solomon deals with three types of children:
- The Simpleton has nothing to do with intelligence but describes the child who is young, gullible and naïve. They tend to believe everything. They are young and unable to discern from right and wrong. (Pro. 14.15)
- Scoffers or mockers are what we call “Smart Alecs” who think they have all the answers. They will not listen and are rebellious. They have made up their minds. Whatever their parents tell them falls on deaf ears.
(Pro. 15.12; 9.7-8)
- Fools – if parents fail to get across to the scoffers or mockers, they will become fools and there is no hope for fools. (Pro. 1.22; 14.19)
Proverbs 19.18 “Discipline your children while there is hope”. Discipline cannot be given evenly with all your children because every child is so different. There is timing too to carry out discipline. “While there is hope” or when the child is still young, it is easier to train them from birth. If the child has committed an offence or act that calls for discipline, don’t threatens the child, “wait till your daddy or mommy comes home”, most effective discipline should be done as soon as possible with love and firmness. The child needs to know the reason for his discipline. The rod is to inflict pain on the child but not to abuse or injure or damage the child. The discipline by using spanking is to make it stings (painful).
Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. Pro. 13.24
Don’t fail to discipline your children.
The rod of punishment won’t kill them.
may well save them from death. Pro. 23.13.14
Love uses the rod; hate spares the rod. Solomon commands parents to use the rod. The word spare is to withhold, refrain or to keep from doing something. What Solomon wants to emphasise is this, when the child needed firm and loving discipling and you withhold it, you don’t really love the child. You are easy-going, he cannot know his boundaries. There is room for the use of the rod at appropriate times and situations.
The earlier we instil discipline and instruction on our children, the lesser will be needed when they grow older. Below are simple but workable ways to give discipline and instructions.
- Show and tell them what is right and wrong.
- Set consistent and clear boundaries or rules to follow.
- Don’t discipline when you are angry.
- Make time to hear them out.
- Give them your attention.
- Reward them for being good.
- Know when not to respond.
Why do we discipline our children? Solomon give us these goals for discipline.
Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it. 22.6
To discipline a child produces wisdom,
but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child. 29.15
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind
and will make your heart glad. 29.17
God is more interested in building our character than He is in our comfort. I believe all of us parents want our children to grow up to be a balanced person, that they be healthy and wise; they be honest and productive citizens where they live. This can be a reality when we dispense discipline while they are still young. Our children will be proud of us as parents. Our grandchildren will bring great joy and satisfaction to us in old age.
Prayer for today
O God, like a mother who comforts her children, You sustain, nurture and strengthen us; like a father who cares for his children, you look upon us with compassion and goodness. Thank you for your great love and sacrifice so that we might have life abundantly. Forgive us for when we don’t thank you enough, for who You are, for all that You do, for all that You’ve given.
Lord, we humbly confess to you our negligence in our past where we failed to discipline our children. We beg you to forgive us for some of our children already past the point of hope. We plead for mercy that you will have us to recover the lost opportunity. We thank You, there is always hope in You. Help us to take heed of your command to discipline our children when they are still young, so when they grow up they will not depart from You.
Lord, we need You. Give us grace each day to love our children and see them with your eyes. Help us to find in Your Word the wisdom we need to lead our kids well and to train them diligently. We are so thankful we don’t have to rely on our own wisdom to parent our children. Thank you for the guidance, discernment and truth your Holy Spirit provides. Help us live in utter dependence on you in all things, particularly in our parenting. Renew our spirits, and fill us with your peace and joy. We love you, We need you today and every day.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Pastor Isaac Yim
- 愚昧人 – 愚昧与智力无关，但是用于描述一个年轻，轻易上当和幼稚的孩子。他们轻易相信一切事情。他们年轻，无法分辨是非。（箴言14：15）
- 亵慢人 – 亵慢/嘲笑者是所谓自作聪明的人，他们认为自己对万事都有答案。他们不听从意见却喜爱造反。他们决定不考虑别人的提议。他们对父母的劝勉总是置若罔闻、视而不见。（箴言15：12；9：7~8）
- 愚顽人–如果父母失败把亵慢的孩子纠正，孩子们就将成为了愚顽人，这样就毫无希望了。（箴言1：22; 14：19）