Do not withhold discipline from your children; if you beat them with a rod, they will not die. If you beat them with the rod you will save lives from Sheol (Hell).
As a survivor of abuse. I find today’s scripture reading hard to take; but it helps to look at this verse in its context: it was written in a different time and culture, when discipline was harsher and at a level that should not be tolerated today.
We know that God does not want us to beat our children in order to keep them in-line; what this Proverb is really telling us is that as our children need to be given love and guidance through life (yes, even teenagers), in order to be put on a good direction as they travel towards adulthood.
Life can be difficult, and providing good guidance and fair discipline can be a challenge for any parent; but as single parents we are often the only authority in the household and therefore responsible for making the hard choices, and may wind up saying “No” more often than we would like, putting us too often in the role of “bad cop”; a role which can often go unappreciated as we can be called (among other things) “unfair“; and often, despite our best efforts our direction and guidance fall upon deaf ears, as our kids will often go their own way, and make their own mistakes.
There are times when this responsibility can be confusing, and when faced with a tough decision, or questioning which choice to make, we can turn to others for help by asking them for advice, and suggestions, and then praying for the wisdom to make fair decisions. Reaching out to others, and to God can also help us from becoming too frustrated or too upset as we struggle with providing discipline and guidance to our children as we lead them along the path of life.
Let us Pray:
God, please help us to give good guidance and fair discipline to our children. Let us learn from the wisdom of others; and not to let our own frustrations get the better of us. Thank you for supporting us in our journey, and giving us sources of strength and learning, which can help us as we guide our children along the road to adulthood.