Have you ever read Proverbs, an Old Testament book of the Bible? Supposedly it holds a vast amount of wisdom for those who would go there. BUT…
Don’t go there 21st century man/woman. It’s all foolishness. It makes no sense. If it ever made sense, it must have been way back then, but not today. We’ve come so far since then and so we’ve arrived – we have our winning techniques and our advanced know-how. Think about it. Proverbs is an old booklet of a quaint number of pages; but now go to the local bookstore – the volumes of books are amazing! Or go to your local “church bookstore” if you’re especially religious or superstitious and don’t want to have to filter through crazy ever-changing step-by-step books like Dr Benjamin Spock type books and many others. Yes, our culture has much to offer on ‘know-how’. Did you ever get lost in the ‘Parenting’ wing?
I read the craziest thing today which just goes to show how outdated Solomon’s advice really is. Here’s what I read…
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Proverbs 29:15 ESV)
Crazy, I know; I already said so didn’t I? First of all, Solomon doesn’t even understand the laws of our society in the 21st century. We are not allowed to take the rod (spank) to our children anymore. It’s been proven to harm their self-esteem and it’s been outlawed, right!?? And clearly our most successful method of discipline these days, the wonderfully wise idea some man or woman thought to exchange for almost all disciplinary action, the crown jewel of successful parenting in the 21st century… the “Time Out”. It’s our precious default, isn’t it? So how dare Solomon suggest that this practice brings shame to the parent; (“but a child left to himself”, otherwise known as the infamous “time out”)
And then there’s this outright nonsense…
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24 ESV)
How dare someone from another time and place suggest that I hate my children because I don’t find any ‘good’ in the idea or practice of ‘the rod’ (afterall, I’ve tried it and it just doesn’t work for my children). We could defeat Solomon with a hundred arguments over this, couldn’t we?
BUT, we do want to be wise, right? So take a look at this..
Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
(Proverbs 23:12-14 ESV)
Parents, Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma… as you parent the children God has placed in your care, know that God is for you! Trust Him, trust His Word, seek Salvation in Him through the Cross for yourself and then pray that your children and grandchildren will follow by God’s mercy and grace.
God, not Solomon, not a man, is giving you His instruction and offering you His wisdom in a very difficult endeavor… parenting. Among many wonderful truths in the book of Proverbs, is instruction for those who are raising children, preparing their hearts to revere their Sovereign God. They (the children) need you to be faithful to God’s word, not 21st century man’s word. Please think on this.
May God bless you with eyes to see and ears to hear… Truth.