Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death. 19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Loving Enough To Discipline
We see Solomon possibly speaking to his sons concerning their own sons; but clearly applicable to all. It’s interesting to me Solomon says not to set your heart on putting your son to death. I suspect most parents… even when their children break a precious item dear to you or if they almost burn down the house… (did you note the passion in my tone? I have done those things.)… Even in dire disobedience we do not want to put them to death. But if we do not give them discipline… then that is exactly what we are doing. When they disobey… If we say… no problem with no other instruction… that is not love... then again and again as we watch them stray from godliness and truth if we offer no instruction and discipline… We too are at fault. We are being a willing participant in bringing their life to misery and ruin.
I think of Gods priest Eli and his sons.
1st Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. …17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.
And then remember when God called the young prophet Samuel as a child and God spoke to Samuel about Eli and how he had not disciplined them in the Lord.
1st Samuel 3:13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.
And it seems to me that today's verses from Proverbs are very timely for the generation and cultures of today where parents only discipline with anger when their children annoy them or hamper their style… When children interrupt them as they are seeking their own self centered desires. We see a lot of parents today more concerned about the tv programs they watch than what their children are doing or even where they are. We see parents consumed with alcohol and drugs and tv and smart phones and Facebook and pornography. Parents who do not have self discipline much less are they disciplining their own children in a loving godly way.
If we love our children we will work and do our best to provide them a loving home… with a clean bed and food to eat… We will teach them love by giving them the example of the giving of ourselves to them. We will discipline them in discernment with grace and mercy… and yes with things that bring pain…
God shows his love for us in the same way.
Hebrews 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Proverbs 3:11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.