Pro 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
“While there is hope” makes us aware that there is a time to discipline when it is effective and there is hope. Putting off discipline is not wise! In our home, we don’t say, “Wait for your father to get home!” We discipline promptly. We have clear rules that the children know they are to obey with clear consequences if they don’t obey them. We also have blessings written out for children that do obey. In fact, the children are the ones that help us decide what these consequences and/or blessings should be in our family meetings. We have used this method for many years and found that it has brought about much fruit. Following the example in Deuteronomy, God clearly gave His people blessings for obedience or discipline for disobedience. We have used the “If Then” chart and the “Blessing” chart from Doorposts. I would encourage you to pray about such a resource for your home as well. The ONLY time I believe it is best to put off discipline is when you don’t have all the facts or you don’t have control over your own emotions. This last week, I had the opportunity to share some very monumental moments in parenting for my own life. When I was a young mommy there were times that my frustration level was maxed out. I was emotional and inconsistent. I remember being on my knees, by my bed, praying for God to have mercy on me and help me with my disobedient children. I will never forget the passage that rang in my ears: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Betimes is defined as early or quickly. If I love my son I will discipline him quickly “while there is hope”. That verse changed my life. I no longer waited till frustration to discipline my children, I learned to train them and then discipline them only when they refused instruction. I learned to discipline them without anger, without compromise, and with love just as God disciplines me! Discipline isn’t needed much in my home but training is a daily activity. Remember, children need to be trained up not disciplined up however, there are times in all children’s lives where they must be disciplined. Children need to grow up in a home where they know they are safe, where there are clear boundaries, consistent reactions for their actions and unconditional love! Children need to know that they are worth your time! Should they need instruction while you are busy, you will leave all that you are doing and be faithful to discipline them in love and quickly, “While there is hope”.
May each of us remember the awesome responsibility we have been given to train these children up in the Lord. May we set aside all selfish ambitions and laziness that may keep us from disciplining our children promptly, while there is Hope! All for His Glory!
With much Love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood