Family wisdom is one of the six main subjects that is repeatedly spoken about in the book of Proverbs. Solomon says much to his son Rehoboam regarding keeping his family in order as he leads the country. He would say the same to you.
More broadly, when the institution of the family flounders in a country for whatever reasons, eventually the state will become overwhelmed with insurmountable problems. That’s biblically axiomatic.
The State has a much easier job of maintaining civility in society when parents lovingly discipline their children at a young age. One might say that parents are the manufacturing plant of a prosperous nation. They are God’s intended means for the long-term fundamental curtailment of evil. A good culture is created first and foremost through good parenting.
It follows then that in government you should not only prioritize your own parenting responsibilities, but in a professional sense, legislate to protect the nuclear biblically-defined family because it is such an essential, vital component to a healthy State.
PROVERBS ON PARENTING
The state can never accomplish what parents can in fostering good citizens (and more importantly, in fostering their salvation in Christ). What follows are Proverbs on this subject for one’s betterment as a parent. One of my favorite passages from this book that all parents should hold near to their heart, by way of memorization, is Proverbs 22:6…
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs are principles, not promises. That is to say that generally if you do what Proverbs says, the result will follow but there is no implied guarantee. Being a good parent doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have godly children. Again, training up a child, and him or her not departing from it is true in principle, but it is not a promise. So don’t judge, as bad parents, folks who have a stray child or more. Conversely there are many bad parents with children who are on fire for Christ! The child’s will is definitely in play throughout the parenting process. That’s to say the parent-child relationship and outcome is not necessarily formulaic, but what follows will greatly help your odds to achieve the raising of godly kids.
From Danielle and my parenting experiences we can share several overarching principles. First, parenting has much to do with the adults’ persistent inculcation of a Christian worldview, the teaching of the Bible, and belonging to a biblically solid church; but more importantly, it has to do with our example of the same. Perhaps it was Solomon’s later example, where is life went south, that led to his son’s disappointing outcome?
Here are several other opening thoughts: Point out, when your child is disobedient, his or her need for a Savior: Good parenting always points a child to the Cross. To do otherwise is to moralize your child with biblical principles and raise a Pharisee. Let me explain further: your skill as a parent is not only to correct misbehavior, but to use the same as a lesson as to why your child needs Someone to permanently forgive his or her manifest sin. When a parent trains a child in this manner, the child is most likely to learn of his or her need for Jesus Christ. Otherwise your child might do all the right things outwardly, and sees no need for Christ in his or her heart.
Our second overarching observation on wise parenting is this: Parents characterized by grace tend to raise godly children more so than legalistic, fundamentalist, overly rigid parents. Children flourish in the former home environment of love, forgiveness and grace in Christ. Whereas children in the latter environment tend to rebel from the overemphasis on strict rules relative to outward behavior. The former incubates a passion in the heart for Christ whereas the latter squelches and confuses the child’s heart as to what a personal relationship with Christ really means. Keep these essential thoughts in mind as we study what Proverbs says about political leaders and their parenting.
II. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS
A. TO INSTRUCT THEM
1:3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity;
To instruct a child in wise behavior means that the parent inculcates the ability of the child to govern him or herself by choice. To train in righteousness means the parent inculcates the application of God’s standards when dealing with others. To train in justice means the parent inculcates the ability to conform to the will and standard of God, and to train in equity means the parent inculcates the idea of living life in a fair and pleasing way.
1:8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
6:20 My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
The fear of the Lord is connected to reverence for one’s parents. Therefore to allow your son or daughter to disrespect your authority is akin to teaching your child to not fear God. And the fear of God is the basis for your child one day bowing the knee to the Lordship of Christ (i.e. there is no need to submit to God if there is no fear of His wrath for sin). Make no mistake here: your child needs to clearly hear…the [parents’] commandments and not be allowed to forsake them. Obedience to one’s parents is not an option; rather, obedience is to be demanded – with immediacy – always.
2:1 My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you,
Notice how this passage relates to 1:8. If you read through chapter two of Proverbs, you will learn what this if leads to, as verse five provides the then: “Then you will discern the fear of the LORD.” If you demand your children receive your words of instruction it will lead to their fearing the Lord in a very healthy way.
3:26 For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
When the child receives parental instruction, there is ensuing confidence and peace of mind, and an opportunity to avoid many pitfalls in life.
4:1-‐2 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding, for I give you sound teaching; do not abandon my instruction
Too many parents simply do not instruct their children. In essence they live with them under the same roof, with the child finding his or her own way. Leniency is in vogue today, as if it were a higher virtue than instruction. It is not. It is neglectful parenting! Generally, there is too little proactive instruction in American families. If you will allot time to hang out with your children, instruction will be much easier to accomplish via the interaction that occurs from doing things together.
22:17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;
This further illustrates the need of the parent to be proactive – requiring their children to apply their mind to the parent’s instruction.
DON’T BE A WIMPY PARENT. THE PARENT IS THE ONE IN CHARGE. WIMPY PARENTS ARE TERRIBLE PARENTS. YOUR CHILD WILL DISRESPECT YOU.
B. TO EXHORT THEM
Some good synonyms for exhort are: “urge strongly, advise, and warn.” The parent’s responsibilities go beyond instruction; they are to press God’s truths by repetition, urgency and reason into not just the mind, but also the heart of the child. Parents must shepherd the heart of their children. The following two Proverbs bear witness to a parent’s urgency; notice the demanding nature of these passages:
3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;
3:21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion,
8:32 Now therefore O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways.
7:1 My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you.
C. TO CORRECT THEM
Not only does the biblically driven parent instruct and exhort, he or she also corrects.
3:12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father corrects a son in whom he delights.
Hebrews 12:9-10 is the New Testament corollary passage,
Furthermore we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of [our] spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good so that we may share His holiness.
Do you notice the continuing biblical association between the child’s obedience to an earthly father and his or her submissive response to God?
MANY PEOPLE LACK A PASSION FOR THE SAVIOR TODAY BECAUSE OF BAD PARENTING YESTERDAY
They missed out on being habitually, lovingly corrected by their parents. No one ever bothered to break his or her stubborn, sinful self-will. Listen up parents: What results from failing to muster the courage to continually correct is this: a heart for self versus a heart for God. I love to watch my daughter in law parent our three grandchildren. She diligently, consistently, lovingly corrects bad behavior. She is a great mom.
9:6 Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding.
This is a passage that should be memorized and utilized by every parent when shepherding the heart of a child. Learn to say, “That’s not in accordance with God’s Word.”
Of course, if one is a humanist, believing that man is basically good, not fallen, then there is no reason for correction. Scaled up to society, this practice leads to the situation which often preceded the defeat of Israel in the OT, where “every man did what seemed right to him.”
To the contrary, the Christian worldview holds that everyone is fallen, including our cute little boys and girls, who are therefore in dire need of parental instruction, exhortation and correction. Lastly, they are in need of direction in their path through life….
D. TO DIRECT THEIR PATH
1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
1:15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path,
2:20 So you will walk in the way of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.
4:21 Do not let [my words] depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart.
The picture of a path is a wonderful metaphor for one’s direction in life (i.e., the straight and narrow path). Parents should not be remiss in correcting the direction their child is going as he or she ages. These mid-course corrections are ultra-critical, courageous acts wherein the parent must not be passive or cowardly. These are critical junctures in the direction your child will go If one has taught a child submission to wise authority at a young age, it will not be as difficult for the child to obey at an older age (while still under one’s roof).
E. TO KEEP THEM FROM SEXUAL SIN
Solomon repeatedly stresses the importance of keeping your child from sexual sin.
5:8 Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house,
6:24 To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
7:5 That they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words.
A responsible parent will always know who their child is with and where they are – especially at night. Be passionate about making your child accountable in these areas at all times. Don’t be naïve and underestimate man’s fallen nature.
In summary, do all of the aforementioned with great love, compassion, forgiveness and patience. I have learned that some lessons, like industriousness, may not be learned until the late teens, so be persevering!
III. THE REWARDS OF PARENTING
There are tremendous benefits from taking the time and developing the biblical conviction and skill to raise your children God’s way. These rewards will be a blessing to you for a lifetime (versus grief for a lifetime!)
A. YOUR LONG LIFE
4:10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many.
Ephesians 6:3 quotes this promise from Deuteronomy 5:16, “…that you may live long on the earth.” Since a child must be obedient for this principle to take effect, it implies that the parent received instruction as well.
B. YOUR PLEASANT HOME
How blessed it is to thoroughly look forward to each and every family gathering! There is little in this life to compare to the joys of family…but how many are those, who, for a lack of earlier wisdom in parenting now miss out on these blessings? Be passionate about your parenting now and it will accrue to a present and future lively and pleasant home for the rest of your life.
GOD’S WORD CALLS US TO PARENT CENTERED FAMILIES, NOT CHILD CENTERED FAMILIES
7:2 Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.
22:18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on your lips.
C. OUR BETTER COUNTRY
28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law contend with them.
This Proverb was cited in the introduction. If a child doesn’t learn obedience in the home, he will most likely be a cost to society, both literally and figuratively. Conversely, those who learn to respect authority in the home will be on the side of helping society by curtailing crime. It all pivots on one’s passion for parenting.
IV. THE RESPONSE OF THE CHILD
Children are called to obey their parents in Ephesians 6:1. Proverbs echoes the same truth.
1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
4:4 Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live;”
24:32 When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction.
Parents must establish authority early on, allowing the child to gain a sense of conditioning as to the normative nature of parental authority in his life. They must curtail a child’s nature of rebellion; a parent must lovingly prove and enforce his or her authority at the earliest stages of a child’s life. This is done through spanking.1 States Proverbs 22:15:
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
I have found that parents who refuse to spank usually possess a weak biblical understanding of the doctrine of sin. I lovingly recommend that you bone up about all that Scripture teaches in this regard if you naively think your child is an angel. Read on my friend!
IV. THE RESULTS OF BAD PARENTING
Notice all of the deleterious things that happen to a child when the parent allows rebellion, both passive and aggressive, in the home.
10:8 The wise of heart will receive commands, but a babbling fool will be ruined.
13:10 Through insolence comes nothing but strife, but wisdom is with those who receive counsel.
19:16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of conduct will die.
28:7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.
28:9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
29:18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.
Too many bad things can happen to a child whose parents are negligent, whose perseverance and passion for the privilege of parenting is something less. It is too high a price to pay to neglect your child while in office and abandon your high calling. Discipling your child must be a higher priority than leading your country.
MOTHERS AND CHILD RAISING
1Timothy 2:15 speaks about the primary role the woman has in raising children. In God’s design of the family, the man has the primary role of breadwinner and the woman of child raiser.2 Hers is the biblical high calling and giftedness of being the primary influencer, lover and discipliner in raising the next generation. May both husband and wife commit afresh and anew to their God-given complementary roles that benefit not only the child, but the family and society – as well as the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Parents are to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD (Eph. 6:4). This is not a suggestion; it is a God-ordained command, a privilege to be passionate about.
V. SPECIFIC PARENT-CHILD COMMANDSM
These parallel Roman numeral I in my outline and elaborate further on each. As a parent make sure of the following…
A. THEY MUST HEAR YOUR INSTRUCTION
1:8-‐9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck.
4:20-‐21 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart.
The Hebrew word for incline natah means “to stretch out or extend” and is used here in the imperative mood to indicate that the father is commanding the child to hear his instruction. Inclining one’s ear to parental instruction is not presented as an option in the life of the child who possesses good parents. The word heart (lebab in Hebrew, kardia in Greek) as used throughout the Bible carries the idea of the heart as the center of thinking and reasoning. But it also includes one’s emotions, so the word is best thought of as the repository of the inner being that affects everything from the will to learn, the seat of appetites, manifest speech, and conduct.
(Such is the case when lebab is used in Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding…” To trust in the Lord then is a signification of one who has committed his or her intellect, emotion and will to the Savior…all three parts of one’s inner being.)
B. THEY MUST KEEP YOUR EXHORTATION
3:1-‐2 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
5:1-‐2 My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge.
The word for incline is again natah used in the imperative mood, meaning this is a command of God!
6:20-‐23 My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.
7:1-‐5 My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend; that they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words.
24:21-‐22 My son, fear the LORD and the king; do not associate with those who are given to change, for their calamity will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?
Notice here how the parent teaches a child not only to respect his authority (Ephesians 6:1), but also that of God’s and His surrogate, the Government (cf. Romans 13:1-8; 1Peter 2:13).
C. THEY MUST HEED YOUR CORRECTIONS
3:11-‐12 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, for whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
4:3-‐4 When I was a son to my father, tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live.”
Per the introduction to this Bible study, the above passage is impossible in the long run: no child can hold fast [God’s] words apart from saving faith in Christ. Romans 6:17-18 addresses this: “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Further, 1Peter 2:2 underscores that new believers have an inherited nature that desires to know and obey God’s Word when it states, “Like newborn babes [who] long for the pure milk of the Word…” Therefore, to lead one’s children to Christ is to give them a Helper for life (cf. Hebrews 13:6) who will correct them when you are not around.
D. THEY MUST STAY ON COURSE
A good parent not only instructs, exhorts and corrects, he or she continues to guide his or her children as they get older, keeping them on a steady course of godliness as they mature into adulthood and independence. Once a ruler…now a coach.
4:10-‐12 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble.
19:27 Cease listening, my son, to discipline, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
A good New Testament corollary passage is, “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1Cor. 15:33). Enforce this truth in selecting your children’s friends at a young age, and remind them of this as they grow older. At one point in raising my oldest son, even though he was 6th in the state as a downhill skier in high school, I pulled him off of the team due to the bad influences of his spoiled teammates.
In ways other than those that were tempting my son, King Lemuel displays the same interceding parenting skills when he and his wife said to their son:
31:1-‐3 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him: What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which destroys kings.
E. THEY MUST REMAIN HUMBLE
6:1-‐3 My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, have given a pledge for a stranger, if you have been snared with the words of your mouth, have been caught with the words of your mouth, do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.
Teach your children to be humble not only before God (again so they see their need for a Savior) but also with others. Children need to be taught to admit their sin when they have done or said something wrong to another. In addition do not allow your kids to be arrogant in other ways. One common form of arrogance today is the incessant focus on self in conversation, i.e. a lack of conversational skills:
27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
VI. MORE REWARDS FOR GOOD PARENTING
Your obedient efforts as a parent will foster…
A. YOU WILL HAVE JOY-FILLED CHILDREN
10:1 A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
“…the child, watched, prayed over, instructed, and disciplined, shall, in the Lord’s best time, choose wisdom’s paths (22:6) and be the gladness of his father’s heart.” Conversely, since the mother plays a more intimate role in the child’s development, she is the one who feels the grief more so with a wayward child. Soberly, often the difference stems from the home of the child, one’s parents’ skills in raising them: “Yielding when we ought to command” states Bridges.3
15:20 A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother.
29:3 A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.
If one of the biggest follies in secular child raising today is leniency, i.e. yielding when they ought to commanding, one of the biggest follies in fundamentalist child raising is rules that are extrabiblical. There needs to be a high quotient of fun with your children in order to impart your faith to them. How do you expect to have joy-filled children if you aren’t?
B. YOU WILL HAVE INDUSTRIOUS CHILDREN
10:5 He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.
Seek to raise a child that lays hold of life’s opportunities, by your own exemplary work ethic. Do not allow your child to blame others, the government or the economy for their failures. Don’t raise whiners! Raise can-do kids!
WHINING AND MAKING EXCUSES FOR LAZY BEHAVIOR SHOULD BE AN UNACCEPTABLE FORM OF COMMUNICATION FROM THE FIRST DAYS OF SPEECH FORMATION
To be tolerant of your child’s habitual selfacquittals is to license lifelong irresponsibility and slothfulness.
C. YOU WILL HAVE RESPECTFUL CHILDREN
13:1 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
15:5 A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible.
17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of old men and the glory of sons is their fathers.
As one gets older and experiences the fruit of having raised godly children, there is inexpressible joy: “A good root maketh the branches to flourish, by virtue of the lively sap that it sendeth up. And flourishing branches win praise to the root, for the pleasant fruit which they bring forth.”4
D. YOU WILL HAVE DESERVING CHILDREN
19:14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Who doesn’t want to leave an inheritance to one’s childrens’ children, who have proven loyal and faithful to Christ (Proverbs 13:22)? Conversely, bad parenting leads to slothful kids who wait around their whole lifetime to inherit their parent’s estate, undeservingly so.
E. YOU WILL HAVE DEFENDABLE CHILDREN
27:11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may reply to him who reproaches me.
Little compares to having children who turn out so good that their character speaks loudly about yours! When people say all kinds of things about you falsely during a campaign, the uprightness of your children serves to offset their vitriol: How could a man who they say is so bad have raised such great kids?
F. YOU WILL HAVE BLESSED CHILDREN
Do not sacrifice the priority and privilege of raising joyous, industrious, respectful children on the altar of career or other selfish pleasures. Holding office may seem very important; it may last two years or decades, but having a loving family is for a lifetime, my friend! Woe to the parent who gets his or her priorities mixed up and neglects their family while in office! The following passage in Proverbs is an apt summary regarding the priority of parenting:
23:25 Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
A large portion of gladness and rejoicing in this difficult world of ours comes from raising godly children: Don’t lose sight of this priority while in office. Take a further look and consider once again the opposite of having blessed children….
VII. MORE RESULTS OF BAD PARENTING
The world is chock-full of the following kinds of kids whose parents were less than skilled and/or tuned-in to their responsibilities:
A. YOU WILL HAVE SORROWFUL CHILDREN
17:21 He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow and the father of a fool has no joy.
B. YOU WILL HAVE HEARTACHE CHILDREN
17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.
19:13 A foolish son is destruction to his father, and the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.
C. YOU WILL HAVE EMBARRASSING CHILDREN
19:26 He who assaults his father and drives his mother away is a shameful and disgraceful son.
D. YOU WILL HAVE ABUSIVE CHILDREN
28:24 He who robs his father or his mother and says, “It is not a transgression,” is the companion of a man who destroys.
30:11 There is a kind of man who curses his father and does not bless his mother.
E. YOU WILL HAVE DISAPPEARING CHILDREN
Too often, bad parenting leads to life-long fractures that result in the disappearance of the child from the parent’s life. Solomon states that God removes rebellious children from this earth. Such could be the result, in part or whole, of a parent who fails to discipline a child at a young age. Remember, although it may seem counter-intuitive, to love is to discipline.
20:20 He who curses his father or his mother, his lamp will go out in time of darkness.
This sorrowful proverb should come as no surprise because in contrast, long life inures to an obedient child; this principle is repeated throughout Scriptures (3:1; 4:10; cf. Ephesians 6:3, Deuteronomy 5:16). States Stevenson:
Under the OT law a rebellious son could receive the punishment of death (see Exod. 21:17; Lev. 20:9). There is general agreement, however, that the Jews did not enforce this part of the law during the Solomonic and later kingdom periods. The death forecast in these proverbs, then, reflects a theological punishment rather than a legal punishment of the Child. God Himself intervenes to bring judgment upon the wicked child.5
Still, it is true that sometimes a parent can be quite skilled and committed with his or her time to child raising, and the child nonetheless lives in rebellion to authority, wherein his actions, not the parents’, are causal. Whatever the case, there is little I suppose that can match the heartache of a parent over the disappearance of a child. My heart-felt compassion extends to you who live with the reality of a lost loved one. Vivid language underscores this truth in the following proverb:
30:17 The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.
A word of caution is appropriate on this point: Be very careful not to make rules and discipline your children on matters where Scripture is silent lest you become extrabiblical and legalistic in your parenting and drive your kids away in self-righteous zeal.
VIII. THE NECESSITY OF SPANKING
Proverbs and the whole of Scripture speak about the necessity of spanking in child raising. Given the controversy surrounding this topic today, here are some passages that speak to this.
22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
23:13 Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
Corporal punishment is to be administered in love and objective restraint by parents who wish to raise their children in a way pleasing to God.
CHILDREN OFTEN REBEL IN ORDER TO TEST THE LOVE OF THE PARENT. IN MAKING A SCENE, THEY ARE SAYING, “DO YOU LOVE ME ENOUGH TO CORRECT ME, OR DO YOU JUST NOT CARE – NO MATTER HOW OUT OF CONTROL I BECOME?”
When you realize that that is what your child is saying to you it will make it easier for you to discipline him or her.
It must first be repeated that these principles are principles, meaning that they are generally true. But what Proverbs is teaching here is not guaranteed. That means you may be a wonderful parent, but your children didn’t turn out to be very godly. It follows too that you could be a parent who is naïve to biblical principles of child rearing and have great kids! So the last thing I want to do here is put a wet blanket over you by use of the God’s Word. That is not my spirit in producing this study. But it is to say this:
NOTICE HOW SEVERE AND OPPOSITE ARE THE DIRECTIONS A CHILD CAN TAKE DEPENDING OF ONE’S SKILL AS A PARENT
Having said the aforementioned, work hard to be a good parent in the power of the Holy Spirit! The consequences are too drastic to not give this your all! These bipolar results should sober every adult as to the critically important task parenting requires in a broken world. Recommit to becoming a biblically skilled, persevering parent today! Do not be passive, thinking your children will turn out all right if you “just love them and give them room.”
In that both the husband and wife are responsible for parenting their children, the wife carries the primary day-to-day charge (cf. 1Timothy 2:15; Titus 2:4-5). Given that truth, Solomon, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, appropriately pens what is an apt conclusion to this study:
31:28 Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her.
May God give you His grace, strength and wisdom to be a wonderful parent while you serve your country.
1 The Bible does not allow parents to physically abuse their children. Spanking a child is to be done with love, sobriety, and self-control. The Bible teaches that reasonable corporal discipline is the best response to defiance, rebellion, and disobedience.
2 This is known as the theological position of Complementarianism versus Egalitarianism. I believe that when the student of Scripture approaches this subject with a grammatical-historic-normative hermeneutic, that Scripture clearly supports complementarianism. For a more complete discussion of this read Piper/Grudem Rediscovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2012).
3 Bridges, Charles Proverbs, A Geneva Series Commentary (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1998) p 91
4 Ibid., (Clever, p. 258)
5 Stevenson, Peter A. A Commentary on Proverbs (Greenville: BJU Press, 2001) P 276