Read: Proverbs 13
Key Verses: Proverbs 13:1. “A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”
Proverbs 13:18. “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.”
Proverbs 13:24. “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
Devotional: Parenting can be tough. If you have kids or even if you know kids, especially teenagers then you know that they can be a rollercoaster of emotion. One minute they’re up and the next minute they’re down. That’s the life of the average teen. The hormonal rollercoaster doesn’t get any easier to navigate when you have to firmly correct your teenager for their ill timed response, eye roll or flat out disrespectful attitude. If you thought things were rough before, wait until you ground them, take away their phone or shut down the weekend plans: BUCKLE UP and HANG ON.
We’ve been blessed with pretty well-behaved kids. They seem to have developed pretty easy going personalities and as they’ve grown into high schoolers we’ve developed an even better relationship with each of them. They’re open with us, they don’t seem afraid or hesitant to talk about girls they like, their journeys with Jesus or their future plans and dreams. As crazy as it may sound to some, we don’t just love our kids, we really like our kids. They’re fun to be around.
Even still from time to time we have to step in a provide some discipline for our sons. You’ve heard the old adage right, “Son this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.”? Growing up, I always thought that was a ridiculous statement but as a parent I’ve come to realize the truth that’s buried there. Sometimes, I want my sons to succeed more than they want to succeed and sometimes that requires tough love.
It really does break my heart as a parent to discipline my sons. It breaks my heart because although it’s necessary, it’s avoidable. There’s a better way to do that, say that, express that frustration, etc. that would not result in discipline. It breaks my heart that my sons have to experience discipline but it’s necessary for their maturity and spiritual growth. One of my greatest desires in the area of raising my sons is that they would be open to discipline and instruction.
Here’s the good news, God not only knows more but He also knows best. In chapter 13 of Proverbs there are several references to the topic of discipline. The majority of these references are in the context of parent/child relationships but sandwiched in there is a line just for us:
“Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.”
If we’re not careful we become quick to apply the concept of discipline to everyone but ourselves. Our kids need discipline, our lazy co-worker needs discipline, our slouch of a brother in law needs discipline, but what about us? How often are we guilty of blowing off the discipline of God in our lives? God’s greatest avenues for providing us with discipline come through His Word, His Spirit and His people. If we’re truly interested in allowing God to continue disciplining us than we’ll continue to place ourselves on the corners of those avenues. Allow other people to speak into your life. Spend time looking into God’s Word, asking for Holy Spirit inspired discipline.
Take Action: Make a commitment this week to invite someone to speak truth into your life. Ask them to provide you with the “tough stuff” that we sometimes avoid. Are you a good friend? Are you treating your spouse in a God honoring way? Are you giving your all while at work? What area of your life do they see that needs discipline.
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