“Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.”
And it’s probably not WHY you think, either.
I wish I could say I hated to discipline because I don’t want them to need discipline.
It’s true – they do need it – but that’s not why I hate it so bad.
I hate to discipline my kids because I hate seeing them not get something they want; experience any kind of pain; or for them not to like me.
I said it.
Confession is good for the soul, right?
I don’t like for my kids NOT to like me. I want to – here goes – not just be their dad, but also be their friend.
When I discipline them – they don’t like me and really don’t want me to be their friend. Therefore, I HATE disciplining my kids.
This verse, however, brings my selfish tendencies and preferences into proper perspective. I am not in their life to be their friend all the time – right now, anyway. No, first and foremost I am called to be their dad.
What Proverbs 19:18 does is remind me that “short term” pain will bring “long term” hope. Discipling them now will ensure me hope and them life. For me to forego discipline because I want to be their ‘buddy’ (short term joy) will only produce pain for them later (long term). If my heart is wanting for them to always like me – I am setting my heart on destroying them.
Isn’t that what the verse says? If I discipline them, I won’t set my heart on putting them to death.
I’ve heard it said before, “Pay now, or Pay later.” I can pay the price now required for disciplining my kids. Or, I can pay the price later for not having disciplined them. One is short term pain and long term gain. The other is short term ‘gain,’ and long term pain.
Discipline now. Hope later.
No discipline now. Destruction later.
Come to think of it – when my daddy spanked me – I didn’t like him very much AT ALL.
Now? He’s my very best friend.
I guess the Bible is right after all. 🙂