In our series entitled “Train up a child”, we’ve been studying together principles of Christian parenting. And we’ve been dealing with the major techniques that are available to us to train our children. Precept, example, preventive discipline, restraint, and now we’re dealing with corrective discipline, the rod and reproof. This is part 2 in our study. This morning as we studied together we tried to come to a Biblical perspective or a Biblical philosophy for corrective discipline. And there indeed is, a very clear Biblical philosophy.
We also considered some of the essential prerequisites for rightly exercising corrective discipline. Now this evening, I would like to study with you some of the various forms of corrective discipline and how they can be used. But let’s ask God to be with us in a special way, shall we kneel?
Father God, I thank You that You love us enough to correct us, when we need it. I pray that we would love our children enough to correct them when they need it. But help us to correct them in love, as You correct us. Help us Father to always bear in mind that we represent You to them. Keep us from wrongly representing You I pray. Especially in this area of corrective discipline. Help us to be guided, by the principles of Your Word. Help us to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. That we might discipline in love. In the person of Your Spirit, open our minds that we might better understand how we can use the rod and reproof, in love. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
There are three basis forms I would suggest of corrective discipline. Verbal, which in our text is referred to as reproof. Corporal, which in our text is referred to as what? The Rod. And another category that is not included in the text, but I think one that we should give some thought to as time affords. Circumstantial. In other words, creative alternatives to the rod, corporal punishment, that are designed to relate to the particular circumstances involved. That’s why we use the word, circumstantial.
They are determined by the circumstances around the infraction, and we’ll consider that further. We must always bear in mind the purpose of corrective discipline as we noted this morning, it is to do what? It is to give wisdom. “The rod and reproof, give wisdom.” If we use either verbal, or corporal or even circumstantial discipline, in a way that does not give wisdom, we are using them wrongly.
Reproof. Let’s consider the first category. This is a corrective measure of a verbal nature. First consider with me what reproof is NOT. It is not scolding with harsh angry words. So often we think of reproof as scolding. But I submit that it is not the same thing at all.
CG 246 “Harsh angry words are not of heavenly origin. Scolding and fretting never help.” “Scolding” what? “never helps”. “The rod and reproof, give” what? “Wisdom”. That helps, therefore scolding could not be synonymous with reproof. Reading on, “Instead”, (“scolding and fretting never help”)”Instead, they stir up the worst feelings of the human heart. When your children do wrong and are filled with rebellion, and you are tempted to speak and act harshly, WAIT before you correct them. Give them an opportunity to think, and allow your temper to cool.
Brothers and sisters, we cannot possibly reprove in a fashion that gives wisdom, in a Biblical fashion, if we are angry. CG 247 “When a parent becomes impatient and is in danger of speaking unwisely, let him remain silent. There is wonderful power in silence.” What is one of the most effective ways of training our children? A thousand times more effect than precept. Example. The power in silence, when you are irritated is that of example. You are modeling for them, the very behavior that you seek to develop in them, self-control.
Manuscript 126, 1903 “Unless you discipline yourselves, you will be unable properly to discipline your children. Train the voice that you may cultivate a kindly tone, refrain from all scolding and fretting. In the home, no unkind words should be heard.” That’s rather all inclusive isn’t it? Did you get those words? “Refrain from ALL scolding”. “In the home, NO unkind words should be heard”. Does that bring your heart under conviction, as it does mine? Let’s ask God to forgive us, for our short coming in this area and “press on towards the mark” “No scolding”. No harsh angry words. But you might respond, you don’t understand my situation, you don’t realize I’m a high strung nervous person, and sometimes the children and circumstances are just more than I can bear. Or sometimes I just get so tired and warn out trying to cope with all the household jobs, and the kids. I just lose control, and after all I’m only human.
Dear brother, dear sister. Yes we are only human, but we have superhuman grace available and if God says, no harsh words, no scolding, “His biddings are enablings”. Trust Him, His grace is sufficient. CG 246,247 “Parents sometimes excuse their own wrong course because they do not feel well. They are nervous and think they cannot be patient and calm and speak pleasantly. In this they deceive themselves and please Satan, who exults that the grace of God is not regarded by them as sufficient to overcome natural infirmities. They can and should at all times control themselves. God requires it of them.”
“Sometimes when fatigued by labor or oppressed with care, parents do not maintain a calm spirit, but manifest a lack of forbearance that displeases God and brings a cloud over the family. Parents, when you feel fretful, you should not commit so great a sin as to poison the whole family with this dangerous irritability. At such times set a double watch over yourselves and resolve that none but pleasant, cheerful words shall escape your lips. By thus exercising self-control, you will grow stronger.
And brothers and sisters, by the law of reciprocal influence, if even when you’re feeling irritated, you speak cheerful kind patient words, what will you do for yourself? You will begin to feel that way. It works. By law it works.
We’ve considered what reproof is not. What then is it? Remember, according to our text, it “gives wisdom”. And what was our definition for wisdom this morning? An understanding of the principles of Gods Word, combined with an ability to recognize cause/effect relationships between obedience and blessing, and disobedience and suffering. And the good sense to govern ones self accordingly, to avoid the suffering and experience the blessing. That’s wisdom. It involves not only knowledge of the principles of Gods word, but it involves an understanding of how they must be applied in the everyday experience.
So reproof, if it is to give wisdom, must help our children understand principles, and cause/effect relationships between obedience to those principles and blessing, disobedience and suffering. Reproof. Let’s work on a definition. Reproof is verbal correction that #1 lets a child know in no uncertain terms, yet in a kindly manner, that we do not approve of His behavior. And #2 let him know why, we do not approve. It is that why aspect that I would suggest to you, that distinguishes scolding from reproof. Scolding is also frequently distinguished from reproof, in that scolding is usually when you’re angry. Reproof cannot be given if you’re angry.
Reproof then, verbal correction lets the child know that you disapprove and lets him know why. Its purpose is not only to express disapproval, but to be instructional as well, to “give wisdom”, by helping the child to recognize the principles that he’s violated and helping him see the negative consequences if he continues to violate. Thus Prov 15:32 uses the word instruction as a synonym to reproof. Prov 15:32 “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding.” Do you see the parallel there between reproof and instruction? “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds reproof”, in parallel to instruction, “gets understanding”. Reproof brings understanding. We must help our children see, when we reprove them, what they have done wrong, and why it is harmful to them. That is the understanding that it must bring. And we must also as we reprove them, challenge to make changes. This is the object of reproof.
Listen, ED 291 “The true object of reproof is gained only when the wrongdoer himself is led to see his fault and his will is enlisted for its correction. When this is accomplished, point him to the source of pardon and power.” Ok you’ve helped him see his fault, that leads him to repentance. His will is enlisted but he must have power, in order to carry through with that decision. So you do what? You point him to the CROSS, the source of pardon and power.
Reading on, (ED 291,292) “Seek to preserve his self-respect”, which is part of reproof. “Seek to preserve his self-respect and to inspire him with courage and hope.” Reproof then is something quite different than scolding, isn’t it? Quite different than scolding.
A very important tool in reproof then is what? Gods Word. 2 Tim 3:16 what are we told? “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for” what? “reproof”, “for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (Verse 17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Do you see brothers and sisters, if we are going to reprove in the Biblical sense, using Gods Word, how it is impossible to do so if we’re angry. It’s impossible, we cannot possibly reprove when we are angry.
MM 180 “The admonitions God has given in His word are infinitely better than any words of reproof you can speak. Lead the youth to see that it is for their eternal good to follow the path the Lord has marked out for them. Tell them they must not sin, because it grieves the heart of the Redeemer. Tell them to fear to sin, because the wages of sin is death.” There’s the cause/effect relationship aspect, which is part of reproof. Reading on, “In gentleness and love try to inspire in them an earnest purpose to do their whole duty to God and to their fellowmen. Remember that the future experience of these youth will bear the stamp of the teaching you have given them.”
My mother, bless her heart, used THIS as a tool in reproof, in my formative years. I remember when I was very young. I got into the habit of speaking untruths, telling lies. And my mother sat down with me one day and she said Stevie, I want to show you a text in the Bible. And we turn in scripture to Prov 12:22. And that was a very solemn occasion, and it is indelibly impressed upon my mind. She had me get my Bible out, and a red pencil, and we together read this verse, and she explained it to me and I underlined it in my Bible. “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”
And my mother explained to me what an abomination was and I was very much impressed. And that cured me of “lying lips”, and to this day, it has had an effect upon me. Reproof, rightly done, brothers and sisters, can have a lasting effect on our children. IN REPROOF, USE SCRIPTURE, use Scripture.
I read from R&H June 13, 1882 “When children err, parents should take time to read to them tenderly from the word of God such admonitions as are particularly applicable to their case.” this takes some thought doesn’t it? Reading on, ” Thus the young mind may be directed to that which is pure and ennobling. And as the great problems of life, and the dealings of God with the human race, are unfolded to the understanding, the reasoning powers are exercised, the judgment enlisted, while lessons of divine truth are impressed upon the heart. Thus parents may be daily molding the characters of their children, that they may have a fitness for the future life.” What a tremendous privilege is our parents, when we rightly use the corrective disciplinary measure of reproof.
Prov 17:10 is a good verse to close with after you have reproved your child. Prov 17:10 “Reproof is more effective for a wise man, than a hundred blows on a fool.” Then ask them, are you going to be a wise man? Or a fool? Unfortunately brothers and sisters, as you well know if you’re parents, not always is a word to the wise sufficient. Because perhaps our children aren’t wise, and it takes a little more than verbal correction. Sometimes it becomes necessary and appropriate to use corporal punishment, the rod. But lets be very careful to consider the context and the method in which the use of the rod is appropriate. It must always be used in love, never in passion or in anger.
Prov 13:24 makes it very clear to us that we are to use corporal punishment. It is indeed a part of loving discipline. When it is administered in love, and for the sake of instruction. Note the qualifiers, when it is administered in love and for the sake of instruction. Prov 13:24 “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly (diligently).” “He who spares his rod” what? “hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently”. The rod, corporal punishment.
Brothers and sisters, though scripture exhorts us to use it, I submit that we must recognize that this is not to be the standard form of punishment. It is rather to be the exception. When all else has failed. It is not top on the list of things to do when house-hold rules have been broken, disobeyed. It is not plan “A”. It is more towards plan “Z”, when all else has failed. The purpose of using the rod, is clearly told us in Prov 22:15. Again with the very insightful, candid words of wisdom of the wise man. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” “Foolishness”
Now please understand however that this is a strong word in the Hebrew. This is not foolishness like we often use it as silliness. This is a much stronger word. MB 57 gives the idea here. “In the Old Testament the word ‘fool’ is used to designate an apostate, or one who has abandoned himself to wickedness.” Ok, so it’s a strong word. And by nature, as we have studied, we are apostate, and abandoned to wickedness, we are sold unto sin. But the rod is to help drive such foolishness far from us.
In Prov 23:13 We have another clear scriptural injunction regarding the use of the rod. “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat (smite) him with a rod, he will not die.” Verse 14 “You shall smite him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” Brothers and sisters, if you smite him he will not die, but if you don’t smite him, he may well die, eternally.
You see, use the rod to drive foolishness, that bent towards evil, far from the child. The correct use of the rod, has much to do not only with helping a child come to know happiness in heaven, eternal life, but it also has much to do with coming to know happiness at home, on a daily basis.
I read from CG 276 “If, instead of unlimited indulgence, the chastening rod were oftener used, not in passion, but with love and prayer, we would see happier families and a better state of society.” “happier families and a better state of society.” The question is, how can we use the rod in love?
May I suggest seven (7) steps in the administration of the rod, corporal punishment. Seven steps. Step #1: Wait. Wait, give your child and yourself time to cool down and think things through. Step #1 in the administration of corporal punishment, WAIT. CG 246 “When your children do wrong and are filled with rebellion, and you are tempted to speak and act harshly, WAIT before you correct them.” Wait, “Give them an opportunity to think and allow YOUR temper to cool” down. ” As you deal kindly with your children, they and you will receive the blessing of the Lord.” But brothers and sisters, if you administer discipline, in the heat of the moment, it will not be in love and it cannot be in love, and it will not be kindly, and it cannot receive the blessing of the Lord.
In our home, we like to have our children sit in a “think it over” chair, or else and do the same. And this allows mummy or daddy, to take step #2. And what’s that? Go alone to pray for them and for yourself, that the Lord might give you a special measure of grace to enable for you to control yourself and to deal rightly with your precious blood bought child.
Manuscript 27, 1911 “If your children are disobedient they should be corrected, but do not correct in anger. Before correcting them, go by yourself and ask the Lord to soften and subdue the hearts of your children. And to give you wisdom in dealing with them. Never in a single instance, have I known this method to fail. You cannot make a child understand spiritual things when the heart is stirred with passion. That’s the reason for waiting, and that’s the reason for praying. It takes supernatural power for a child to discern spiritual things. Give the child time to settle down and during that time, pray diligently that the Holy Spirit, would prepare his or her heart for Step #3.
Before Step #3 make sure you know what REALLY happened. Get all the facts you can before going to talk to the child. In Step #4 you talk with the child. But before you go and talk with the child, do yourself and the child the favor of getting all the facts. Because if you go in without all the facts, and administer corrective discipline, the rod, when it is not deserved, you have the potential of doing terrible damage.
I read from CG 251 “You may have to punish with the rod, this is sometimes essential, but defer any settlement of the difficulty until you have settled the case with yourselves. Ask yourself, Have I submitted my way and will to God? Have I placed myself where God can manage me, so that I may have wisdom, patience, kindness, and love in dealing with the refractory elements in the home.”
CG 249 “Some children will soon forget a wrong that is done to them by father and mother, but other children who are differently constituted cannot forget severe, unreasonable punishment which they did not deserve. Thus their souls are injured, and their minds bewildered.” Make sure parents that you get the facts.
Then Step #4. Talk it through with the child, helping them to reason with you. Helping them to see that disobedience, violation of principle, leads to suffering. Help them to understand the cause/effect relationship between disobedience and suffering. CG 252 They (parents) should “reason with their children, clearly point out their wrongs”, show them their sins “and impress upon them that they have not only sinned against their parents, but against God. With your own heart” subdued and “full of pity and sorrow for your erring children, pray for them, before correcting them”, then your correction will not cause your children to hate you. They will love you.
You heard Step #5 as well didn’t you? What is it. Before correcting them, pray with them. PRAY WITH THEM. Manuscript 53,1912 “Do not, I beg you, correct your children in anger. That is the time of all times when you should act with humility and patients, and prayer. Then is the time to kneel down with the children and ask the Lord for pardon. Seek to win them to Christ. By the manifestation of kindness and love and you will see that a higher power than that of earth is co-operating with your efforts”. (CG 245,246 as well)
Another statement in this regard, CG 253 “That prayer may make such an impression on their minds that they will see that you are not unreasonable. And if the children see that you are not unreasonable, you have gained a great victory.” Now parents at this point, the steps in the administration of corporal punishment may have gone far enough. If during that prayer, and during your discussion and after that prayer, you sense a true spirit of repentance, genuine repentance in that child, it may not be necessary to go any further.
I read from CG 244 “Your children may have done something that demands punishment, BUT if you deal with them in the spirit of Christ, their arms will be thrown about your neck, they will humble themselves before the Lord and will acknowledge their wrong. That is enough. They do not then need punishment. Let us thank the Lord that He has opened the way by which we may reach every soul.”
Now there may be times however, where either you do not sense a true spirit of repentance, or you feel, and I believe there are occasions where even though is a true spirit of repentance, for the sake of that child they must experience, even then corporal punishment. I would suggest that there are occasions.
But listen to the context please. CG 253 “Before you cause your child physical pain, you will, if you are a Christian father or mother, reveal the love you have for your erring one. As you bow before God with your child, you will present before the sympathizing Redeemer His own words, “Suffer the little children to come to me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14. That prayer will bring angels to your side. Your child will not forget these experiences, and the blessing of God will rest upon such instruction, leading him to Christ. When children realize that their parents are trying to help them, they will bend their energies in the right direction.”
I’d like to share with you my personal experience with my father. I remember very vividly, occasions when I had done something wrong, and he had invited me into his office. My father is a minister. And he would sit down and talk with me and explain to me what I had done wrong. And then pray with me, and I would have a spirit of repentance. Sometimes I was sorry however for what I knew was coming rather than for what I had done, and I think that my father could sense that. Because even though I might express repentance, sometimes I would still be turned over the knee. And I would be spanked in a way I would still remember to this day. When my father used the rod, he didn’t use it frequently, but he sure used it impressively.
And he, after I had received the rod, would put his arm around me and hold me until I stopped crying. And I never hated him for that. I loved him all the more. In fact in those experiences, my father and I were closer together than probably any other time. Because it was done right, it was done right. It may be necessary parents, but do it right.
CG 251 “Some children”, and these are the context in which it may still necessary. “Some children are so vicious in their tempers that the infliction of pain is necessary, but very many cases are made much worse by this manner of discipline…..” Another context in which it may be necessary. Bible Echo June 4, 1900, “If mild measures will not avail you, you must use the rod. You must give your children to understand that God MUST be honored in your house. But this work is sadly neglected.”
In CT 116 “The mother may ask, ‘Shall I never punish my child?’ Whipping may be necessary
when other resorts fail; yet she should not use the rod if it is possible to avoid doing so. But if milder measures prove insufficient, punishment that will bring the child to its senses should in love be administered. Frequently one such correction” (listen to this) “will be enough for a lifetime, to show the child that he does not hold the lines of control.” I’m afraid with me however, one such correction was not sufficient for a lifetime. I must acknowledge and confess that I had to receive several.
Again CG 252 “Then” when it is administered correctly, “Then they will see that you do not punish them because they have put you to inconvenience, or because you wish to vent your displeasure upon them, but from a sense of duty, for their good, and they will love and respect you.”
You know brothers and sisters, a test whereby we can determine whether or not we have rightly administered the rod, is our children’s attitude for us after having done so. If they love and respect us then we have done it right. If there is alienation, if they are angry with us, then it is likely that we have not done it right.
Step #6 then the actual administration of the punishment. In summary, we must lovely administer corporal punishment if it is still necessary to adequate impress the child after other measures have failed. But we must do so in such a way as to make it obvious that we are not punishing in anger, but in love. That is not to say however, that when we actually give the punishment we should give a little “love pat”. Please don’t mistake me there. To convince the child that it is done in love, is done before and after the administration of the rod.
I fear that there are , sometimes, due to sentimentalism and a fear of hurting the precious little child, corporal punishment that is really not very impressive at all. Just a little pat. And children are quick to pick this up and they will scream and holler and try to impress you with how badly you’ve hurt them. When actually, you haven’t affected anything at all.
Now please, don’t mistake me. I am not suggesting that we should use brutal force. But we should use the rod in a way that makes it a very impressive experience. You don’t want to have to do it all the time. You want it to be impressive.
I read a statement made by Ella Robinson in this regard. It’s found in early recollections of my grandmother, Ella Robinson. As perhaps you know, was a granddaughter of Ellen White. I quote “Another recollection is of my receiving a sound spanking for dumping a box of blocks out onto the floor after promising to be quite during a very important committee meeting. After its administration, grandma (that’s Ellen White) took me on her lap and comforted me, explaining that the spanking was very necessary in order to help me remember never to do such an impolite thing again. Those spankings usually administered by my father, though infrequent, were no love pats. They are still remembered as very SOLEMN occasions.” Very solemn occasions.
Step #7 and the administration of corporal punishment, and this is vitally important dear follow parents. Comfort your children, show affection towards them, encourage them to learn from their mistake and to do better next time. And if it seems to you incompatible with smacking the child, holding it to you in a loving embrace, then I fear that you have not the right understanding of the context of which corporal punishment must be administered. It is TOTALLY compatible, because when done right, corporal punishment is just as much an act of love as embarrassing and kissing your child. I know that’s hard for us to get a hold of, but it’s very true. We have such a sentimental concept of love that it is hard for us to equate it with the administration of the rod. But please understand that the administration of the rod, done rightly, is a very loving act, and if you have done it rightly, it will be perfectly natural for you, in fact, you will desire to hold and comfort that child. Because its suffering will be painful to you, if you have Christ’s heart of love for that child. And you will want to comfort your child, and you will want to encourage him.
I like to say over and over again, as I hold my child after I’ve administered corporal punishment, Daddy loves you, Daddy loves you, you know that don’t you? Daddy loves you. And invariably if I have administrated corporal punishment rightly, they say, without hesitation, yes. Daddy loves me. I know you do.
Daddy loves you so much that he couldn’t let you go on without learning an important lesson. He had to teach you that disobedience brings terrible consequences. Because daddy wants you to grow up to be a special boy, a special girl, for Jesus. If daddy didn’t care about what kind of boy or girl you grew up to be he wouldn’t bother to punish you. But because daddy loves you he spanks you sometimes, because that’s what you need to learn your lesson.
And then I like to encourage them, by reassuring them that Jesus loves them, and freely offers them forgiveness and power to do better in the future, to overcome their bad habit, if that’s the case. And to teach them to be more like Him, if they’ll ask Him to. And I often like to invite my children to pray to ask Jesus to help them to learn from their mistakes and to do better next time.
I also like to encourage them to make things right, as far as possible with those they have wronged. This is another part of the learning process. And I like to help them recognize, that if they do learn from this mistake, it will work together for their good, and it will be a stepping stone.
CG 255 “Let the child and the youth be taught that every mistake, every fault, every difficulty, conquered, becomes a steppingstone to better and higher things. It is through such experiences that all who have ever made life worth the living have achieved success.”
The 3rd type of corrective discipline in just the moments that remain us, let’s touch on it. We called it circumstantial discipline. These are creative alternatives to using the rod, and I would recommend them highly. They require some careful thought. They need to be designed to be as relevant as possible to the particular act of disobedience. With an effort to teach cause/effect relationships. The circumstances surrounding the infraction, influence them directly, what the punishment will be.
Some examples. Here’s one that you’re probably familiar with, one that I’ve had used on me as I grew up and one that was effective for me, so I use it on my children. Naughty words, lying, ugly talk, a circumstantial disciplinary action. Something designed to help them recognize what they have done, they have defiled themselves. So a bar of soap and a wash cloth is a very tangible way to help them learn that lesson. To wash their little mouths out.
Another one that is a standard in our family, is whatever they are selfish about and fight over, they lose. Selfishness is the surest way to lose. “He who would save his life must” what? “must lose it” (Matt 16:25) So what I do with selfishness and fighting over toys, I take those toys away from them. That’s just a standard rule. Whatever they fight over, they lose.
Another infraction is, abuse of social privileges, as members of the family. Sometimes my children are fussy and they are in a bad mood, and I want them to know that it is simply not fair for them to negatively influence the family. As a social member of the family unit, it’s not fair for them to do that. And so they loose their social privilege of being with us as a family. They are asked to go into “quarantine”. Until they get over their “disease”. Be it the “grumpies”, or be it the “fussies”, or whatever. I don’t want the rest of the family to catch it, because it’s a nasty disease and so they are invited to go to their room until they are all well again. And then they can come out and join with the family.
Another means of discipline, under the heading of circumstantial discipline, is also rewards. It’s the other side of the coins. And it teaches the blessings inherent in obedience. And sometimes rewards promised are a great motivation, and it is sufficient punishment if they fail to meat the requirements necessary to gain the reward, many times it is sufficient punishment for them simply not to get what was promised. Not to get what was promised. Failure to meet conditions then forfeits the reward, and that is oftentimes sufficient punishment.
CG 249 Ellen White liked to use the rewards system. “Instead of punishing them”, she’s talking about in this case, some of the children that she raised in her home. “Instead of punishing them when they did wrong, I would hold out inducements to them to do right. One” an adopted child, “was in the habit of throwing herself onto the floor if she could not have her own way. I said to her, ‘If you will not lose your temper once today, your uncle White and I will take you in the carriage, and we will have a happy day in the country. But if you throw yourself on the floor once, you will forfeit your right to the pleasure.” That forfeiture upon disobedience is oftentimes sufficient punishment, and that would come under the heading of circumstantial disciplinary measures.
Brothers and sisters, we’ve considered together how we can use the rod and reproof correctly. My challenge to you and my challenge to myself now, is that we would take these principles and practice them. Please recognize that the right use of the rod has tremendous potential to be a blessing to your children. But recognize as well that the wrong use of the rod, can have devastating consequences. Also recognize with me that FAILURE to use the rod, can have devastating consequences as well. May God help us to know when to use it and how to use it, for the sake of our children, that He in them might be glorified. Shall we pray?
Father in heaven, I thank You that Your Word and the Spirit of Prophecy are full of guide lines, precious insights that will help us from making terrible mistakes. Lord, it is one thing to know these principles, these guidelines, it is another to practice them. Help us I pray now, as parents to incorporate these principles into our practice, for the sake of our children, both now and for eternity. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. AMEN.