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January 8 – Proverbs on discipline of children

“Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.” – Proverbs 19:18

Scripture reading: Proverbs 13:22-24

I heard someone say, “My children are my friends; I don’t hit friends.” But that is wrong on two fronts. First, your children may be friendly with you, but they are not your friends. They are your children! You don’t make friends eat vegetables or go to church. Second, you don’t “hit” your children; you spank them. Hitting is to satisfy your anger.

God commands discipline. As Proverbs 13:24 says “… But he who loves his son disciplines him promptly.” So to not discipline your children is to hate them. That same verse begins: “He who spares his rod hates his son…” You must discipline from love. And you are to start discipline when they are young. And of course, spanking is not the only form of discipline. As children get older, the type of discipline changes.

Children need discipline. In Proverbs 19:18 we read:

“Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction…”

You can’t bend a branch when it is old. It is hard to do a worse thing to your children than not disciplining them.

There are blessings to discipline (especially when it is combined with instruction). Discipline teaches a child to be humble. Discipline restores the child to the right path. In fact, Solomon said that if you spank your child you will save his soul from hell (Proverbs 23:13-14). So to not discipline your child is to desire for his death! And don’t forget the shame a bad child brings to parents.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you will be able to discipline from love not from anger and that you will have patience with your children, knowing God’s patience with you.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.

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