I’ve read this chapter multiple times over the last couple of days, and there is a verse that I can’t help but read over and over again. It’s like a Giant Bill Board you can see from miles a way! It’s like my Grandma’s passive aggressive comment about my haircut! It’s waking me up faster than a Metallica ballad blasting through the speakers of my morning alarm clock! Okay God you have my attention!
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. (23:2)
WOW! Proverbs is full of transferable principles on relationships, life, marriage, parenting, leadership and apparently diet tips. Call it the Solomon Diet, however, pushing the plate away might be a safer approach. I sure could have used this advice at lunch Thursday before downing a basket of chips and salsa.
Seriously, in reading Proverbs 23, as a parent of three girls, I was captured by these verses.
Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death. (23:13-14)
There have been millions of blogs, articles, books, training videos, and TV shows all with various and contradicting methods of discipline. Why? Because, in my opinion, (meaning I have no research to back it up) discipline is the #1 issue parents struggle with, and we need help! As long as there have been kids, there have been discipline issues because kids are kids, and they need adults to help them navigate their journey to adulthood.
Discipline is not the responsibility of the government, schools, teachers, youth pastors, or counselors. According to Proverbs and the rest of scripture, discipline of a child rests in the hands of parents. It’s up to parents to choose their methods of discipline, and there are PLENTY of methods to choose from. The problem with most of these methods is that they don’t focus on the one thing that is central to discipline. In my efforts to raise and discipline my children I often blow this…
12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
Too often the focus of discipline by parents is on the behavior and not on the heart. With my daughters, I know how to get the behavior I desire from them. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve taken away their phone, and they’ve lost privileges. It may have seemed like a victory, but I was only modifying their behavior. The goal of discipline should never be behavior modification. The goal should always be heart transformation which will always be the joy of a parent.
My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. (23:15-16)
How are you impacting the hearts of the next generation?
What were your insights on Proverbs 23?