by Danny Tariman
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Prov 29:15)
“He is so talkative in school.”
“He knows better that his teacher.”
“Teacher asked him to color the elephant but he colored the background instead because that was what he wants.”
“He knows how to reason out.”
“He talks a lot and he is well-loved.”
An amused mother was telling me stories about her 4-year old child. Yes, the child is quite – or maybe – smart. But many instances it appears he is able to get his way – to the point of not following instructions.
He is cute, he is chatty, chubby, and he is lovable. However, if as a parent, we continue to let him have his way unrestrained, when he grows old, he will be a headache not only to the mother and father, but maybe to the family.
Sometimes as a parent, we feel pleased because it appears that the little child is smart. We smile, we feel light that he was able to do it his way. We even brag him and his story to our friends and neighbors. But this is sending him the wrong message. We are telling him through our actions that it is okay to not follow the teacher if it is not to his liking, that it is alright to reason out to the teacher.
If this is left unchecked, he may grow up disobedient – to parents and authorities. He may even not get a good job if he brings this bad attitude to work when he grows old.
If this is left unrestrained, he may grow up an undisciplined, spoiled brat who does whatever he wants to do.
The Word of God is very clear. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Parents should not only educate their children, telling them what is good and what is right. We must also correct and rebuke the child when he is not doing the right thing. We should never leave him doing the wrong way!
I agree, sometimes it is uneasy to rebuke or correct. Much more with a rod. But disciplining with a rod should be accompanied with an explanation so the child knows what wrong he has done – this is where wisdom comes. I know it pains. But then again, the Bible warns us so. Hebrews 12:11 says “all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.”
I had passed this stage. My children are now grown up. I am very proud to say they continue to be lovable, and even huggable in their twenties. Whenever one offends the other, the offender apologizes quickly. When one is in need, the other helps. Up to this day, we go to Church together, we watch movies together, we eat-out together, and yes, we explore places together.
This is family, This is love.
Thank you Lord for giving me a wonderful family!
[Photo is a screen grab from Flickr.com]