The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.Proverbs 29:15
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.Proverbs 29:17
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.Proverbs 29:18
The passage we are considering this week, Proverbs 29:1-3 and 12-20, has a theme of discipline. The first pattern we pointed out in the passage was the theme of leadership and discipline. Good leaders are self-disciplined and they bring discipline to those in their stewardship.
This leads us to a second pattern that we will see in this passage. There is a pattern of discipline and blessing seen here. The right kind of discipline brings freedom and not bondage. Let’s look at discipline and blessing in these three verses.
In verse 15 there is a connection between discipline and the blessing of wisdom. Here there are two “tools” of discipline- the rod and reproof. The rod was an implement of corporal punishment. It was a “paddle.” The Bible nowhere advocates child abuse. A small amount of pain, judiciously administered by a loving parent with the right heart attitude and the appropriate teaching (reproof), will bring about wisdom in the child over time. If you only use words and not action, the child will ignore you. Remember, “a servant will not be corrected by words” (v.19). If you use only the rod and not words, the child will begin to resent you because there is no love expressed. There will be confusion. But action-oriented discipline is powerful and effective when it is administered with the right reproof. The result is a wise child. Discipline brings blessing.
Verse 17 is similar. When a child is corrected through loving discipline it certainly takes effort. The result over time is a child that is self-disciplined and focused on others. This kind of child begins to honor and bless their parents. Again, discipline brings blessing.
Verse 18 has two contrasting sections. We will look at the first part later. Pay attention to that second part. The person that keeps the law revealed by God and meeted out by the leader experiences happiness. There is a freedom in self-discipline. There is an avoidance of pain and heartache when we do right. Discipline brings blessing.
We didn’t abandon the first pattern for this second pattern. These verses have leaders that administer discipline, but notice that second pattern. Discipline brings about blessing. Proverbs makes it clear that the parent that does not correct or discipline their child hates that child. Even if they have an affection for the child, the lack of discipline brings about the same result as the child whose parents have no affection for them. The pattern is clear. Loving leaders are self-disciplined and implement discipline because it brings about blessing.
Even if you are not a parent the principle applies. When we are disciplined it brings blessing.
• Parents, are you action oriented in the way you parent your child? Do you correct your kids? Are you loving in your approach to discipline?
• Where have you experienced blessing that was the result of discipline in your life?
• Is there an area of your life that you are finding difficulty because of a lack of discipline?