by: FCC Staff
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Over and over in scripture, parents are commanded to discipline their children, and in this verse, it is coupled with the giving of wisdom. The rod is probably a figure of speech for discipline of any kind, but what is crucial is the consistent loving use of discipline during a child's formative years.
When the Apostle Paul instructs Timothy about the qualifications of a church leader, managing his household is one of the qualifications. “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?” 1Timothy 3:4,5
In Proverbs 3:11-12, we are reminded that God disciplines those whom he loves. “My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” In the same way, parents discipline their children because they love them.
We know from a passage in Luke that Jesus was submissive to his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. Following the incident where Jesus disappeared for three days (and was found in the temple in Jerusalem asking intelligent questions of the rabbis), we read these words: “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”
Everything we do as Christ followers should lead us to become more Christlike. There are phrases in these last verses from Luke 2 that are sometimes overlooked. Jesus was about his father's business when he went to the temple. Once Mary and Joseph found him, he submitted to them and travelled on with them. And he increased in wisdom--not just because he had spent time listening to the rabbis, but also because he submitted to his parents.
Prayer for today: Dear Heavenly Father, help those of us who are parents to discipline our children in a way that will not only guide them, but will make them wise. Give us wisdom and patience as parents so that we will bring honor and glory to you. Amen.