A couple years ago in Death Valley it rained 7” in a very short period of time. Death Valley is the driest place in the United States. That spring there appeared a beautiful bed of flowers across the floor of the valley showing that life still exists in Death Valley, but the climate isn’t conducive to life. Parenting is very much like climate control. Parenting is creating the conditions that are conducive to life and conditions in which the Holy Spirit of God can work.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Nurture is from the Outside In for example the rod of correction
Admonition is from the Inside Out for example instruction
Today, we will deal with nurture in childhood.
Parents are instructed by God to use the rod of correction. Spare the rod, spoil the child as the saying goes. Yes, spanking your child.
- Hebrews 12:5-11 – Chastening, or the administration of pain in order to align the will of the child with the will of the parent. (See also Leviticus 26:39-42 to see the purpose of chastening.)
The “will” begins to set like concrete from early on. “Terrible Twos”, tantrums, saying “No” and so on. “But it’s so cute,” one parent says. Just wait until they’re teenagers and it won’t be so cute. Little kids can’t be reasoned with though we’ve all seen the parents begging their children not to do this or that as though the child comprehends what’s being said. The one thing a child has right out of the box is a will. And it is that will that parents deal with first.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
There will come a time when the rod will not work hence the instruction to administer the rod while there is hope. Secondly, no chastening is joyous to anyone, parents or children, but not only are you not to spare the rod but you are not to spare your own feelings about the rod.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Children cannot reason and need clear rules where violation brings consequences that train the will of the child to line up with the will of the parent. Spankings affect the heart like touching a hot stove affects the heart by affecting the DESIRE to never touch it again. See also Proverbs 20:30 for this connection.
Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
The rod teaches the child judgment and consequences. That is spiritual truth being taught in discipline. Without consequences the child will be trained to be a victim and live an arrogant lifestyle. See also Ecclesiastes 8:11 for this truth.
Proverbs 19:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
The philosophy of the world is in direct opposition to the wisdom of God. The world says to “Express yourself” and let the child be expressive, don’t stop them from learning their way. Those ideas constitute what God calls a “child left to himself”. The result is grief and shame to his mother.
Will -> Emotion -> Intellect
Loving our children is not that ooey gooey feeling we get. In fact, we must be taught to love our children, taught to love our spouse and taught to love others by God. Part of loving our children is making a climate conducive to life and the work of the Holy Spirit of God. This begins by aligning the will of the child with the will of mom and dad. Let’s finally consider this verse.
Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
These are the Biblical principles in applying the rod so that the will of your child is brought into obedience without harming your child.