A rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a youth left to himself is a disgrace to his mother. When the wicked increase rebellion increases, but the righteous will see their downfall. Discipline your son, and he will give you comfort; he will also give you delight. Without revelation people run wild, but one who keeps the law will be happy. A servant cannot be disciplined by words; though he understands, he doesn’t respond. Do you see a man who speaks too soon? There is more hope for a fool than for him. A slave pampered from his youth will become arrogant later on. An angry man stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered man increases rebellion. A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor. To be a thief’s partner is to hate oneself; he hears the curse but will not testify. The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected. Prov 29:15-25 (HCSB)
We have become far too soft in our country and our children are suffering from our desire to be best friends with our children. Parents are not to be best friends with their children and attempt to enter their circle of friends. However, we are told to be their instructors, mentors, and teachers. As such, we must exercise our role with proper discipline and by example to guide our children to learn and practice what they will need to make right choices in life. Too many parents today are too busy investing in their own lives, and they do not invest in the lives of their own children as they should. These are the parents who when called by the school about a discipline issue defend their child and complain that the problem is with the school, not their child! And, the child becomes empowered to continue the same behaviors because he or she receives the attention they have been longing to receive, and then their misbehavior is reinforced because there is no attitude altering consequences applied to correct the wrong behavior choices.
The Lord clearly states in this passage there are consequences for the wrong ways caused by a lack of proper authority in a child’s life:
- A child left uncorrected will be a disgrace, an embarrassment to the parents.
- A rebellious child and their wickedness spring out of freedom to make choices without proper recognition of and the rewarding of right choices.
- A child without a clear understanding of the consequences for their choices, or simply understanding of what is right versus wrong choices, leads a life of turmoil and frustration.
- A pampered child who has been indulged in apathy is raised to become arrogant as an older youth and an adult in life.
- A child without the right knowledge of and respect for the Lord will stumble and fall in life because they grow not to fear man or God.
Here are some consequences of proper instruction or discipline invested in the life of a child that produces a child anchored by a genuine reverence or awe of the Lord.
- A child with proper instruction will easily recognize wrong attitudes and actions and avoid engaging in that kind of behavior.
- A child under right instruction will have a clear vision of where to walk and where to not go in life, and they will be a comfort and inspiration to others.
- A properly disciplined child will learn to walk humbly in this world and to care for others, and they will recognize their actions and attitudes affect others and thus must be carefully considered before they choose the choices they have to make in life.
- A child who fears the Lord will walk in the light of God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word, and they will be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Some people were even bringing infants to Him so He might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. Jesus, however, invited them: “Let the little children come to Me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Â I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17 (HCSB)