ROBERT >> How many of you have ever been spanked by your parents? Spanking used to be a general practice in our country. In fact, there was a time not too long ago that many parents brutally spanked their children to the point it brought great resentment to them. But that’s certainly not the case today. It seems the pendulum has swung all the way to the other side, so that now many parents would not dare lay a hand on their children. Ever since Dr. Spock, parents have quit spanking kids. They said it’ll give them a warped psyche, make them violent; and yet it seems to me that today we have more messed-up, violent kids than ever before. They have no respect, they’re out of control, their parents do not know what to do with them. So what is a parent to do? God tells us, if we’re willing to follow his instructions. And those instructions are found in the book of Proverbs.
SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> Proverbs is a book of inspired wisdom, and it contains very valuable, good, and practical advice for living our lives. Several of the Proverbs address the matter of disciplining children. In fact, in Hebrews 12:5 and following, we see that God himself is a disciplinarian, that he chastens those whom he loves and reminds us of how we are subject to our fathers who correct us.
In Ephesians 6:4, we learn that fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath, but to bring them up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord. But I want you to know today that it’s not enough for us to know that we are to discipline our children; we must know how to do so properly. Much of the aversion to spanking is in reaction to those who have misused and abused it.
You see, not all discipline, not all spanking is effective. If misapplied, it can be very harmful. And so here are three helpful keys to disciplining children from the book of Proverbs that every parent needs to know. First of all, apply the rod of correction.
Look with me in Proverbs 22:15. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”
You see, children are full of foolishness. That’s obvious. Some of it’s innocent, some of it’s harmless; but some of it’s not so innocent, it’s not so harmless. Yes, we’ve got to allow children to be children; but we must train them to be well-disciplined children. Left to themselves, they’ll never learn better. And it’s not going to be easy to remove this foolishness from the heart of your child, because the scripture says it’s bound up there. It’s literally tied up there, in their heart. But there’s one thing that will drive it far from him. It is the rod of correction.
Now, there are some parents that want to substitute grounding or timeout; but the rod is an actual instrument that must be applied to the body of the child. And it is that rod that drives out the foolishness. The rod may come in a lot of different forms, like a small tree limb, a wispy branch. I remember the late gospel preacher Johnny Ramsey used to tell how his parents would use limbs off their peach tree and said that they never did have any peaches on that tree the whole time he was growing up. I don’t know about peach tree limbs, but I remember when I got in trouble and my mother would have me go out to the front yard and take a switch off our weeping willow. And that did sting. And so did my daddy’s skinny black belt that he used on me. In school, they would have wooden paddles that were used on the students. I don’t know if they still use those paddles or not. But that’s the rod. My wife, she’d grab a wooden spoon off the stove to swat our boys when they were growing up. Somehow those spoons kept disappearing. We found them a few years later behind the refrigerator when we moved out of that house. The rod is to be used as an instrument of correction, not abuse.
Notice he says that, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”
It’s a rod of correction. Sadly, parents have cruelly beaten their children mercilessly, causing bleeding and broken bones. And I know often parents will lash out dangerously at their children in anger, causing physical harm. Parents must not use the rod to take their frustrations out on their children, nor allow their anger to cause them to misuse the rod on their children. An abused child will suffer great trauma; but children will not resent being properly corrected, as the Bible teaches us. Children know the difference between being struck out of anger, frustration, or hatred to harm them and a loving parent who cares enough to teach them right from wrong and how to act and how to treat others. They know the difference between the two.
It’d be great, wouldn’t it, if you could just say to your little child, Sweetheart, now, don’t do that again. And they’d respond, Okay, Daddy, and then never, ever do it again?
That’d be wonderful, wouldn’t it?
But if you’ve been a parent for 30 seconds, you know that’s not happening. Most of the time, we tell them once and twice and three times, even more until we start saying the words, How many times have I told you?
This verse says it takes the rod of correction to get the job done. It doesn’t say have a nice talk with them and reason with them and give them a pillow so they can hit it and beat on it and get rid of their anger. It doesn’t say let them express themselves. It doesn’t say if they want to write on the walls or they want to scream at you or say how they feel about you, that’s okay. All that is a sack of humanist garbage.
This verse says foolishness must be driven out. It doesn’t say that foolishness goes out sweetly or nicely. You must drive it from them. That sounds to me like I’ve got to keep after them. It sounds to me like it’s not going to be easy. It sounds to me like you must confront them. It sounds to me like you must do this very seriously and intentionally. And that’d be right. Apply the rod of correction.
Now let me give you a second point from the Proverbs today about disciplining children.
Look back in Proverbs 13:24. Here it says, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”
Yes, the Bible says to discipline promptly. And this verse stands in stark contrast to those who say I love my kids too much to spank them. No, this verse says, He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. This verse says you hate your child if you don’t discipline them promptly.
In short, it means that you value your comfort: I don’t want to hear that child cry, I don’t want to hear that child complain if you spank them. And the result is a spoiled child who doesn’t listen. A parent does not love his child if he fails to apply the rod of correction when it’s needed. That word translated promptly, it actually carries the idea of jumping up and quickly taking care of it. Too many parents will not do this because they’re too busy, or maybe they’re too lazy, they don’t want to be disturbed. And so they wait and they put off the correction or not ever correct their child at all for what he’s done wrong. And it’s that kind of inconsistency that’s so confusing to a child. He never knows what to expect. But disciplining a child each time he needs it, if we’ll do that consistently and in a timely manner, then we’re going to teach him quickly what he’s doing wrong, and effectively correct his behavior. Too many parents give confusing signals, spanking sometimes and other times letting it go, so the children never know what to expect. Discipline is only meaningful and effective when it is consistent.
Look what it says in Proverbs the 23rd chapter. Notice verse 13 and verse 14. “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.”
Oh, your child might act like he’s getting murdered or something, and he’s screaming and he’s hollering when he’s getting a spanking, but that’s not the case. You’re not going to kill him. You’re keeping him from destroying his soul. I wonder just how many children will be lost in hell because their parents did not love them enough to discipline them promptly. I know it’s hard to discipline your children, look into those little eyes and see those big crocodile tears. It takes a great deal of love and courage. But it’ll save your child’s life. I want the children who are listening today to know it does hurt your parents when they must correct you. They don’t want to spank you. There’s no pleasure in it for them. And it’s true when loving parents say, This is going to hurt me a lot more than it hurts you. One child responded, I don’t want to put you through all that pain. Let’s change places. Believe me when I say they would change places with you if they could. But we can’t do that. It’s our responsibility as parents to bring you up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord. But let’s notice another Proverb here.
Notice Proverb 29:15. Here it says, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”
You see, it’s not enough for us to rebuke our children, though we must do that; but we must back it up with the rod. You’ve got to get their attention, or they’re going to end up getting their own kind of attention, and you’ll be embarrassed by them. Look at verse 17 of this same chapter. “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.”
Parents, not only will prompt discipline save your children, it will relieve you of a great deal of distress and worry, and you’ll be able to feel good about your child. Instead of being ashamed, you’ll be proud of them.
How many parents live in grief over their children because they failed to discipline them promptly?
But still there is a third point that we need to remember today. Not only must we apply the rod of correction, but we must also discipline them promptly when they need it, consistently; but thirdly, we need to begin their training early on.
Read with me from Proverbs 19:18. “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.”
Yes, here the Bible tells us to chasten our children when there’s hope, while there’s still time, before it’s too late. You know, kids are so smart. It seems to me that they’re getting smarter and smarter at a younger and a younger age. They learn so much before they ever start the first grade of school these days. Many parents are careful to teach them everything that they can as early as they can, it seems, except for how to act. They put off their discipline, thinking they’re too small to spank or they’re too young to really learn. But if you truly care about your children, don’t wait until they’re five years old to start disciplining. Even before they know words, they understand pain, and they’re able to learn what they can and cannot do. They touch a fire and it burns, and so they stay away from it. And when you spank your children, they learn to obey you. If your children are allowed to be disobedient when they’re small, it’ll be too late to train them later. If we’ll train them early on, then they’ll not need a whole lot of discipline later. They’ll be through testing you for the most part. If they learn to obey their parents, then it’ll be much easier and more likely that they’ll learn to obey their teachers and their employers and the law enforcement officials and their God. I wonder how many lives have been ruined because parents have waited too long to discipline their children.
I want you to know today that I’m thankful for parents that loved me, that loved me enough to spank me. They taught me to respect authority and to be obedient. They saved me from getting into a lot of trouble, and they helped me become a responsible person that’s held accountable for my actions. I love them for that. I don’t hate them. I’ve never been a violent person, and I don’t think I’ve turned out too warped in my thinking. But you know more than that, more than all that, I’m thankful for a God that loves me enough to discipline and to chasten me so that I might live a blessed life.
I want you to look with me in Hebrews the 12th chapter, and I want you to see how God, our heavenly Father, is a disciplinarian, that he disciplines us, too. And he gives an example for the fathers in our families today. But more than that, it helps us to understand how God loves us and how God cares for us.
In Hebrews the 12th chapter, the Hebrew writer is trying to encourage the first-century Christians in their trials and their difficulties, in their persecutions, to stay with Jesus Christ, to be faithful, to live for Christ and not turn back; and so he encourages them by reminding them of this exhortation.
Read with me Hebrews chapter 12 beginning at verse 5. ” And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
You see, this was something that was written before. Those of the Old Testament understood that God would discipline them, that he would chasten them, that he would scourge them. But they were not to be discouraged by that. And neither are we to be discouraged by that today. It means that God really does love us enough to correct us, to help us. He doesn’t just ignore us, but he’s doing what he can to make us into the kind of people we need to be. And so God in his love would chasten and scourge every son whom he received. Don’t be discouraged by that and don’t forget that.
Notice verse 7 of Hebrews 12. “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons. For what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?”
You see the connection between what we learn at home and how that affects our relationship with God later?
You see, if we understand that God loves us, and because of that we suffer in this life and we’re tried and we’re tested, God allows that to happen. But he’s able to use that for our good. He’s correcting us, he’s molding us, he’s shaping us. This is something we learned at home as little children when our fathers corrected us and we were in subjection to them. Look at it a little bit further here in this chapter.
Notice what he says here in verse 9. “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. You see here in this passage that sometimes we as parents don’t always discipline our children properly. The most perfect parent is going to make mistakes from time to time. No matter how hard we try, we’re not going to be perfect in our discipline. But that’s not true with the father of our spirits, with our heavenly Father. God disciplines us, and it’s always for our benefit, for our profit, for our good, he says.
Notice he says here again in verse 11, “No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful.”
Yes, life is difficult. It’s hard going through this testing and this trial of this life. We need to recognize that God is able to bring something good out of this. In fact, he uses these very things he says, Afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Instead of becoming discouraged, instead of giving up and quitting, let’s remember that God loves us and that he corrects us and that he wants only the very best for us. It’s always for our good. It’s always for our profit. But most of all, I want you to know that Jesus Christ loves you so much that he would pay the price for your sins. Jesus Christ has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He paid for our sins. We could never pay for them ourselves. In fact, long before he ever came into this world, Isaiah wrote about that.
Notice what it says in Isaiah 53:4-6. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet he we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Let me stop here for just a moment, because I want you to realize that when you look at the cross, we don’t understand sometimes why this happened to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
But we as Christians, we know that he did this for us, that he went through these things for us, that as he goes on to say here in verse 5, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
You see, the things that happened to Jesus were for us. It wasn’t for any crime he committed, but for our sins that he received this chastisement and these stripes, the discipline of God. Many times we don’t understand what God is doing with us. We don’t understand why things are happening the way they are in our lives. But understand that in everything God is working to bless our lives. It’s for our profit.
It’s for our good. As we read on here in Isaiah 53, notice in verse 6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
God does not only correct us as we seek to continue to try to go astray, but God provided for our forgiveness through the death of his son and that suffering there upon the cross for us. He was wounded, he was bruised, he was chastised, he was given stripes; but that’s what it cost to pay for our sins. And it’s because that payment has been made that we can be forgiven today. Our God loves us enough to correct us. And I hope that you’ll respond to that love, that you’ll respond to his correction, that you’ll get your heart, that you’ll get your life right with God today, that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love in how we can help you towards heaven.
singing>> On Zion’s glorious summit
stood a numerous host redeemed by blood.
They hymned their king in strains divine.
I heard the song and strove to join.
I heard the song and strove to join.
While everlasting ages roll, eternal love shall feast their soul;
and scenes of bliss forever new rise in succession to their view,
rise in succession to their view.
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of hosts on high adored.
Who like me thy praise should sing, oh almighty king?
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of hosts on high adored.
Holy, holy, holy.
ROBERT >> Thanks for watching the program today. We’d love to hear from you, so let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.
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Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.
SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.