Monday, November 16, 2009

Proverbs, chapter 23

One of the main points that the book of Proverbs tries to drive home is that we should have wise hearts. Proverbs provides plenty of solid advice on how to gain wisdom, but what does it mean to have a wise heart? It is not an easy commitment. Because of the unfortunate nature of sin, we already have two strikes against us. That means it is our natural inclination to turn from god and work only for ourselves.

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod
and save his soul from death.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad; -- Proverbs 23:13-15

A wise heart is rooted in discipline. Discipline is rooted in our upbringing. If we do not have a solid foundation of discipline laid down when we are young it is even more difficult to overcome our sinful natures and commit ourselves to God’s plan. Parents, this is a critically important step in your child’s development. Proper discipline, even saying the word no to children, has fallen out of favor. It is not cool to deny our kids anything, but if we take that attitude they will grow up without a necessary sense of discipline.

That is why I am thankful for my father. He wasn’t afraid to tell me no. He wasn’t afraid to make me earn certain rights and privileges. As a result, I had fewer restrictions, rather than more. He instilled discipline in me and then trusted me to make up my own mind when it came to living my life. As a result, I hope I am an example of today’s final verse to him.

24 The father of a righteous man has great joy;
he who has a wise son delights in him. – Proverbs 23:15

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