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Before You Use the Rod of Reproof
If parents consistently and biblically implement the rod of reproof, God will reward their efforts.
Family Counseling Ministries -
The writer of Proverbs 22:6 explains, Rebellion is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of reproof will drive it far from him. Christian parents often employ interesting interpretations of this verse.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find the concept of time out as a disciplinary measure.
Gods promise to parents who choose to implement the rod, as identified in Proverbs 22, is the peaceable fruit of righteousness. The rod of reproof is effective only when parents apply it in a biblical manner. We should not use the rod thoughtlessly or carelessly. We should take several definitive steps when our children disobey. Before we correct disobedient children, we should ask ourselves the following questions:
1. Was my child being childish, or rebellious? (There is a difference.)
Were my instructions clear? Was my childs disobedience the result of a misunderstanding? Was my child overly tired or physically unable to carry out my command? Tiredness is no excuse for disobedience. However, if we have kept a child up past his or her bedtime or naptime, for example, we should consider that fact in our disciplinary decision. However, parents should not tolerate rudeness or disrespect under any circumstances.
2. Was my child reacting to me personally?
Did I provoke my child to wrath by wronging him or her? Have I been inconsistent in fulfilling my God-given responsibilities to him or her? Is my child reflecting my sinful attitudes back to me? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we should confess our sin to the child and ask for forgiveness before disciplining him or her.
When we neglect this step, we cause our children to miss the convicting, cleansing power of Gods rod of reproof, because they are angry and bitter toward us. After we have repented of our sinful attitudes and/or behavior, our children are more emotionally and spiritually receptive to us as Gods instruments of correction in their lives.