WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 29, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T NEGLECT PARENTAL DISCIPLINE
BY T. O. BANSO
“The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15 New King James Version).
Hebrews 12:7b asks what son is there whom his father doesn’t discipline? Considering the evils pervading the world today, and the moral decadence in society, the issue of parental discipline must be on the front burner. The family is the microcosm of society. As the family goes, so goes society.
Parents must discipline their children. According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, the biblical concept of discipline has both a positive side (instruction, knowledge, and training) and a negative aspect (correction, punishment, and reproof). Therefore, disciplining your children includes instructing them in the way of the Lord and correcting them when they’re wrong.
To correct them, you may have to sometimes use the rod in a way that would not harm them when they’re young and there is a need for it. Parental discipline must start early before it’s too late. “Discipline your children while there is hope. If you don’t, you will ruin their lives” (Proverbs 19:18 New Living Translation).
The beating of children may not be allowed in some societies but the Word of God prescribes this. “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13-14 New King James Version). The New Living Translation presents it thus: “Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death.” Those who over-pamper their children and fail to discipline them are actually ruining or destroying their lives without knowing it.
The Bible prescribes the use of physical punishment, if necessary, in disciplining your children. “Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart” (Proverbs 20:30 New Living Translation). In the same vein, Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (New King James Version). If I may borrow the phrase in the song of Joey and Rory, children must be raised with “a Bible and a belt.”
Anyone who subscribes to societal opposition to the beating of children to discipline them would be violating the Word of God. If the rod is not necessary, God would not have recommended it in His Word. There is no substitute for the rod of correction. “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15 New King James Version).
Don’t neglect parental discipline. Giving birth to children is not enough. Sending them to the best schools and providing them the basic things children need is not enough. Without proper discipline, the parents would regret later. Children raised without discipline would cause their parents sorrow. “Discipline your children, and they will give you happiness and peace of mind” (Proverbs 29:17 New Living Translation). Instruct and correct them. If the need arises, beat them.
We can learn from the life of David. David appeared to lack parenting skills. He was not an effective father. This could be the reason his children did whatever they liked. This was in addition to the judgment that God had passed on him that the sword shall never depart his house for despising Him and taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 12:10).
Amnon, David’s first-born, raped his half-sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-18). There is no record that David did anything about this evil by Amnon. 2 Samuel 13:21 only says, “But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry” (New King James Version). A father should have done more than that. Probably because David did nothing, the Bible says, “Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon neither good nor bad. For Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar” (verse 22 New King James Version).
Absalom plotted how to avenge the rape of his sister. He killed his eldest brother two years later when it looked as if everybody had forgotten about what happened (verses 23-33). If David had acted the way a father should, and disciplined Amnon, probably Absalom would not have killed him. Absalom fled to Geshur after the murder.
Years later, after his return from Geshur, Absalom revolted against his father and seized the throne from him. He also slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israelites, an indication of complete opposition to his father (2 Samuel 15:1-12; 16:21-22). It is possible that he revolted because he had not forgiven his father for his failure to redress the rape of his sister. Eventually, David’s men killed him in the war to bring down his rebellion (2 Samuel 18:11-14).
Another son of David, Adonijah, got himself anointed as king without the knowledge and approval of his father, who was still alive (1 Kings 1:5-9). But his joy was short-lived. David made Solomon king instead (verses 28-40). Solomon got Adonijah killed eventually because he asked for Abishag the Shunammite, a young woman, a virgin, employed to take care of David at his old age (1 Kings 1:1-4; 2:13-25).
1 Kings 1:6 says of Adonijah, “his father, David, had not rebuked him at any time by saying, ‘Why have you done so?’” (New King James Version). Did you see that lack of parental discipline? What kind of child training was that? Adonijah was left to himself and he brought shame to his father (Proverbs 29:15b).
There was also the case of Eli the priest, which predated that of David. Eli failed to discipline his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who were behaving irresponsibly as priests especially with the sacrifice worshippers offered to the LORD. 1 Samuel 2:17 says their sin was very serious in the LORD’s sight, for they treated the LORD’s offerings with contempt.
Because of this, the LORD told Samuel who was a boy serving the LORD by assisting Eli, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family. I have warned him continually that judgment is coming for his family, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them. So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings” (1 Samuel 3:11-14 New Living Translation).
Please take note that the LORD found Eli guilty of not disciplining his sons. Consequently, he was punished along with his sons. Eli’s sons died the same day in a battle against the Philistines. Their father, 98 years old and nearly blind, upon hearing the news that the Ark of God had been carried away, broke his neck and died. If Eli had disciplined his children, he and his descendants would have been exempted from the judgment of God. The priesthood was later taken away from his family.
Avoid negligence of parental discipline. Discipline your children according to the Word of the Lord. Let God see that you have done what you should. Your children will be obedient children in Jesus’ name. They won’t be sons of Belial and daughters of the devil.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God. I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to discipline my children the way God expects me to do. I shall not disappoint God over my children. I shall not receive condemnation over my children. My children will not cause me sorrow but give me joy and peace in Jesus’ name. They shall be obedient children and turn out well in life.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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