In continuation of the “One Head Household Series” (which was located at the old blog you can check out here.) in which we focus on the family. Today we will dive into the relationship dynamics between children and their parents. As you might recall we discussed previously in Part 1: Husbands and Wives we discussed the roles of women and men inside of a marriage.The title of today’s post might be alarming to some, but to others it has been a family tradition handed down from generation to generation. And while the Bible does speak of “rods,” the term is used as a metaphor in the bible (IMO) in which we are to correct our children’s misbehavior. While many in today’s day and age have distorted and perverted the ways of spanking to be a barbaric and old fashioned way of doing things, I have found it most useful and will continue the way of discipline for the younger children of the family.
Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)
This verse goes well beyond a simple smack of a spoon on the backside of a young rebellious child. It reaches from the early years of being a toddler up until their out of the house. A child needs, craves and requires boundaries in order to safely make their way through life.
An example would be: imagine crossing a bridge with nothing to hold onto on either side. No railing, no support… and no boundary. You would be terrified, and depending on how far down the drop was, you might not even attempt it.
Now give that bridge boundaries, railings, support. You’ll be a lot more comfortable crossing that bridge. Heck, you might even enjoy it! That bridge is life, and those railings are your parent boundaries in action. Sure, all of your children will grow up and move out into the real world and there is little you can do at that point… but when you pillow your head at night and reflect on the day, you know how you parented those children.
Are parents perfect? No, never. But there are God given instructions to mothers and fathers in the upbringing of their children. Correcting the bad behavior is the first one. The second one is not exasperating them.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
When punishing our children, we ought to keep in mind that they are children and we are correcting a problem in order for them to learn from that incident. When we become violent, angry or forceful in a way that is not appropriate, we need to stop. The NIV version of this text reads: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” which helps clarify (in my mind) that we need to make sure we are staying on track with our correction and raising of the children in accordance to God’s will.
The most important thing we can do, as parents, is lead by an example. I’ll never forget the mornings in my later high school years and when I’d wake up to find my father outside on the back porch reading his Bible with his morning cup of coffee. That same year he took me door knocking for to invite people to church. While that year was only a few months of my entire life, they live with me forever. To be honest, I was even in a bit of a rebellious stage at that point. But now, later in life, I use those twelve months as a reminder of the type of man who I want to become with my own children.
Our impact on the little ones around us is incredible.
Now that you’ve listened (or most likely read) my ramblings… try to digest, pray about it and then proceed to make any tweaks in your own life that you can. If you see an error or incorrect statement I have declared here today, please feel free to let me know.