Wrestling with the Word.
My disclamer is right here in plain view. I will never win father of the year awards. Ever! Usually the fine print appears at the bottom of the screen or in some out of the way area on a package. My failures are only overcome by my wife and children's grace and forgiveness toward me. I am thankful for that. In this morning's devotion time I saw this passage from Proverbs 19:18 (CEB) and paused in stunned silence.
On the surface it seems over the top, until one digs into a few commentarires and looks at the Hebrew. The verb *'discipline' means a mixture of chastisement and instruction. When parents are able to discipline children with love and justice then all is good. Abuse occurs when parents are angry, out of control, and absorbed with their own frustrations and needs.
In providing chastisement and instruction, parents are able to train a child in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). Discipline in child rearing looks a lot like lawn professionals coming to weed and feed your lawn or when one takes their automobile to the garage for scheduled maintenance.
Disciplining a child carries no guarantee they will be model citizens but *'discipline' does teach children right from wrong, justice and mercy, and the most important aspects of grace and forgiveness.
It's up to us (parents) to provide healthy boundaries for our children, to not over indulge them with things, and to be firm and fair in our relationship with them. Enjoy and love your children today, Keep them safe. Say no to some trivial stuff.
PS: Proverbs 19:18 could also say, "Look son, there is a rattlesnake. Don't go near it."
(Photo creds. to Brenda Robbins)