The one who spares his rod hates his child,
but the one who loves his child is diligent in disciplining him.
The righteous has enough food to satisfy his appetite,
but the belly of the wicked lacks food.
As a kid it’s hard to understand the whole concept of discipline. All we know at that time is that it hurts and seems mean. We begin to learn the things we’re not supposed to do because they lead to some form of punishment. Sometimes we never do them again, sometimes we have to get disciplined over and over until we learn the lesson.
I never really gained a full understanding of why discipline was important until I had kids of my own. I’ll admit to you that I can be a little strict with our kids from time to time. Probably more strict that most of you. Though, not as strict as many of you may have grown up with. But, I’m not strict because I want to be a jerk or because I want to have perfectly behaved kids. I’m strict because I want to raise the right kind of adult.
If you known some adults who were never disciplined as kids you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I wonder if it’s because you were never disciplined. But, when you meet adults who weren’t disciplined you meet someone who has no respect for authority, rules and regulations. They believe they are above the law and you. Because of this, they have developed a life-style that is impossible to live without ending up getting some form of punishment as an adult. Some of them start to learn that there are consequences for their actions and are able to turn their lives around before they hit the judicial system. But, there are so many who don’t. And then there are just many who never get caught.
Discipline is love. We don’t think of it that way, but it is one of the hardest kinds of love we can give. Which makes is one of the deepest forms of love as well. We see it in Hebrews 12:6 which is quoting Provers 3:12 – “The Lord disciplines the one he loves and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” If the Lord didn’t love you, he wouldn’t discipline you.
So, I ask you this: do you truly love your kids? Do you understand that you are raising an adult? If you understand those things, then you must discipline your kids. When you are diligent in this process, you are being a loving parent. When you are diligent in discipline, you are being diligent in raising and adult who will understand the full spectrum of love and be able to function well in society.
If you don’t love your kids, don’t discipline them. See how that turns out for you. Just be ready to have a kid for the rest of your life.