Proverbs 29:17

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

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Child discipline has two great benefits (among others). First, the child is saved from folly and prepared for a productive life. Second, the parents have happy and peaceful lives as they watch their wise child succeed in life, and this second benefit is the lesson here. If you correct your children, they prosper and you celebrate. This is a win-win proposition, but parents neglecting to correct their children cost both their children and themselves.

Foolish parents often say, “We can let it go this time. If he does it again, then we will do something.” What a dangerous idea! Ignoring a problem does not help it go away. Ignoring foolish conduct reinforces it in a child. It will be even harder to correct later. It will also be easier to procrastinate again the next time. And before the parents realize it, they will have established the terrible habit of overlooking a child’s sinful behavior.

Many parents overlook foolish conduct to preserve domestic tranquility. They crave peace at home. They hope that giving a child some leeway will keep things comfortable and calm. They are terribly mistaken! The proverb teaches that rest and delight depend on correcting children, not accommodating them. Though seeking peace, many parents end up losing it. A short loss of peace to correct a child is a cheap price for long-term peace.

The wisest parent you will ever meet, King Solomon, warned against letting child discipline slide. He wrote, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Pr 29:15). The rule is simple; the consequences are terrible. The pain and shame that some mothers have endured are enormous. And why? They chose to take the road of compromise and not correct their children with tough love.

The rod and reproof will correct and train children to give wonderful joy to parents. The promise is sure: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Pr 22:6). “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Pr 22:15). Do not procrastinate! Every time you put off the inevitable, you harm your child and sacrifice your own future pleasure.

If you love your children, you will aggressively save them from dysfunctional lives (Pr 23:13-14). You will not delay in this great matter. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Pr 13:24). Betimes means to do it early, speedily, before it is too late. “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Pr 19:18). Only hatred or lazy ignorance would cause you to delay. These and other parental sins have spawned the most selfish generation in history.

The happiest parents are those with noble children that lead successful and beneficial lives. Solomon, who had the means for happiness in any aspect of life, mentioned this fact several times (Pr 10:1; 15:20; 23:15-16,24-25; 29:3). Such parents can live and die in peace, knowing they left a legacy on earth of godliness and virtue in their children.

A great source of unhappiness in parents is foolish children with dysfunctional lives. Solomon also mentioned this several times (Pr 10:1; 15:20; 17:21,25; 19:13). Problematic children cost their parents peace and rest during their latter years and then send them to their graves knowing they have failed and left thorns of foolishness for others to endure.

The choice is yours. The cure is simple. Correct your child! Do not let him get away with doing wrong in any matter. Tell him he is wrong. Teach him the right way. You brought him into this world knowing nothing, and his future and yours depends on you to show him the true and wise way. Reprove and rebuke him; then instruct and admonish him.

Deism is heresy. The God of the Bible did not create and then abandon His creation. He adopted children out of the human race, becoming their Father in an eternal way. He never violates this proverb by ignoring their folly. He wisely corrects them to turn them back to righteousness. If you are thankful for an earthly father’s training, give thanks to heaven for God your Father’s correction (Pr 3:11-12; Ps 119:67,71,75; Heb 12:5-11).

The Father in heaven greatly exceeds Solomon in wisdom. In order to perfect you, He uses various means to punish your sins and turn you back into the way of holiness, truth, and wisdom. And what a blessed and profitable privilege it is, for He does not correct those He never loved or adopted (Heb 12:6-8; I Cor 11:32). This is the proof of His love; it is for your profit; you should thankfully delight in it (Rev 3:19; Rom 5:3-5; Jas 1:2-4).