DISCIPLINE OR DEATH?
Solomon was widely recognized for his insightful proverbs. There were many who did not worship his God but respected and followed the advice that was embedded in his wisdom. Many of his proverbs were written for his sons. But they were not intended to be limited to them. They were written to provide guidance for all fathers and mothers and children of all times and in all cultures.
A recurring theme throughout Proverbs is the importance of discipline. Solomon often reminds us that self-discipline is a life-long, never-ending necessity. But on one occasion he reminds fathers, which is also intended to include mothers, that there are some children who require life-long discipline which hopefully and eventually may accomplish its purpose. Though it may seem futile and a waste of time and effort, with no results, parents are to persevere!
“Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death,” is a rather stark warning. There may be times when parents think that education or guidance or advice or opportunity or wealth may bring hope for their children’s future. But what value are all those things without discipline? The underlying rule to what he is saying is this: “The undisciplined life is not worth living because it will certainly end in death!”
What a vivid warning: If we who are parents do not make discipline the most important priority in the life of our children, we willingly – and now knowingly – contribute to their death! This is breathtaking and frightening. And notice that there is no age limit to discipline a child. Whenever a child needs discipline, parents are to step in and intervene! A child – or adult – is never beyond the need for discipline if it is necessary or required it will honor God.
Discipline may not be accepted and parents must never give up hope. And there is one simple, Biblical rule we are to apply: the “if/then” rule – If you want our help, then you must honor Him.
Prayer: It’s not easy, Father, to be a parent and discipline our children. But You discipline us and are our example. If we want Your blessings, we must obey Your rules. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death