Proverbs 13:24 “Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.”
I cannot count the times in my life that I have heard the statement “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Growing up, I thought this was talking about spanking or physical punishment for bad behavior. As I talk with my women friends about our kids (only occasionally, you know) discipline is often a topic of discussion. Only a century ago children were to be seen and not heard; speak only when spoken to. Expectations have changed dramatically since then and for the most part it is good. As I guide my children in the disciplines of self-control and respect for parents sometimes I think it would be easier if they didn't speak so often... The rod is not for corporal punishment. It is a tool shepherds use to guide the path of the sheep. We are not called to squash the spirits of our children; we are called to be diligent to discipline. As I grow in my discipline to God, I pray that learning will bless me in teaching my children discipline as well. Then we can all step forward as disciples together in the kingdom of God.
Help me remember the rod as a tool, not as a switch. Guide my words and my tone to be of your spirit and not of my wrath. As you have been gracious and loving in my discipline, help me be gracious and loving in the discipline of my children. Thank you for these words today. Amen.