RESCUING OUR CHILDREN: WHEN TO USE THE ROD
What is the goal of your discipline for your children? In choosing a rod of correction, it is to be goal oriented toward the child. God always disciplines with a purpose as indicated in Hebrews 12: 11-13: For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
The rod is to be tied to correction of a fool (tomorrow will begin a section on the fools of Proverbs). The purpose then is to correct the foolishness which means the rod is to produce repentance. The key is that a child has been instructed and trained for the thing that they are being disciplined for. In other words, if I am using the rod of correction for something that my child does not really understand or I am using the rod in an area of honest weakness, I am exasperating and provoking my child to anger. Also if I choose a rod that is too powerful or one too weak, I am showing a lack of wisdom. Note Isaiah 28:27-29; Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; when he drives his cartwheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it. This also comes from the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.
So is spanking the only form or a rod for children? I say absolutely not. God uses what He sees as appropriate to bring about the repentance that he requires. Luke 12: 47-48 shows he disciplines differently two groups. Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 34 shows that leaders are disciplined differently than others.
Finally, to not use the rod of correction for foolishness by our child is to be foolish as a parent. In multiple places in Scripture, i.e.; Proverbs 13:24, 23:13, to not discipline is described as even hating your child. The reason is that as a parent you are to help your child to restrain from sin and to not discipline them properly is to be negligent to their well being. The results can be devasting as in Proverbs it is described as “saving them from death.” It is God’s way to deal with us and so as those in stand in our child’s life on behalf of God, we must discipline even with the rod when necessary.