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How do the rod and reproof bring wisdom? First of all, when it is done is key. Proverbs 13:24 says, "He that spareth the rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Betimes means "early."

We could take that to mean early in your child's development, use the rod or you aren't really loving him correctly. Now, nobody likes to spank a little toddler who is still running around in diapers, but that is the time to start! Early, before disobedience becomes rebellion and gets out of hand.

Physical correction should be done not only early, but also prayerfully. That is, not when you are too angry to pray, but after you have prayed and the anger has subsided. Just send the child to his room to wait until you have fully prepared yourself.

Love must be established before and after a rod is used to discipline the child.

A rod simply means a switch or stick, not a two by four! My dad used a big old belt he had. Boy, those belts can sting! But since the Word specifically refers to the rod, then that is the right way to go.

Proverbs 22:15 says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Notice it is a rod of correction, not a rod of beating.

The purpose isn't to literally beat the kid till he has welts on his rear, but to use a stick to make a sufficiently strong impression so as to correct their wrong behavior.

There is a modern-line of thinking that says any time you hit a child it is abuse. That is simply not true. Many of the people proposing that philosophy have never had any children themselves, or are reacting to their own emotions.

The Word of God is very clear. Physical correction is a vital part of discipline for a child, and the parents who refuse to administer it actually love their child less than parent who will.

Let's face it: kids can be foolish at times. They do foolish things because they are kids, not adults. But even adults do foolish things from time to time.

Sometimes we see kids doing what we do and react to them, when it is ourselves who need correction first! Sometimes the habits they have learned become such reminders of our own shortcomings that we become irritated with them.

If you don't correct your own actions, they will hear your instruction and feel that rod on their behinds, yet sooner or later they will come to resent you and will imitate you anyway!

Remember, you are instructing them day and night, whether you are aware of it or not.

Source: Man Husband Father by Buddy & Pat Harrison.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Buddy Harrison
Web site:
Buddy Harrison and his wife, Pat, were co-founders of Faith Christian Fellowship International Church. He served as president of the organization from 1978 until he went home to be with the Lord on November 28, 1998.

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