Probing Proverbs 13:24 Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.
If you love someone, you will give them what they want…right? So if the individual is an addict then you will give them more cocaine?
Most, if all of us would think that is ridiculous! Yet, in the reality of what goes on, many parents, spouses and friends end up giving into sin thinking it is showing love. This Proverb addresses a very important Truth. If we love those in our life with an authentic love, sometimes we will have to make difficult choices, simply BECAUSE we do love them!
As we consider this passage let us look at it from two approaches, literally and the principle being taught.
Literally, this is speaking to how parents are to love their children in difficult times. Anytime parents discipline their child should be a difficult and emotional time for them, especially when the discipline has to be in the form of a spanking. Many have perverted what this discipline is by describing it as abuse or someone “beating” their child. Scriptural discipline will be painful, but never abusive! Any parent that enjoys spanking their child needs to Stop…and get some counseling.
There are several important issues that need to be brought to the surface here. First, discipline must never all be the same. You must have pre-set consequences for the different types of disobedience. If every mistake or rebellion a child does is restriction, or a spanking the form of discipline communicates nothing and in essence means nothing except pain to the child. If the infraction requires the most severe discipline, spanking, it should be done when the parent feels no anger, wishing that this did not have to be done, and explained to the child why it is happening. If the parent refuses to spend time seeking God for what types of discipline they need to develop that will help their child understand the difference between right and wrong, either the discipline will communicate the wrong message, or there will be no discipline at all. It is an act of love when you help your child understand the danger of sin and how damaging wrong living can be.
The principle being communicated here is for all other relationships. When spouses, or friends refuse to take a proper stand when their spouse or friend wants to do something wrong, they do not communicate an authentic love. A clear example would be when a spouse, or friend wants to drive drunk. To avoid conflict we stay quiet, which is not the loving thing to do. Tough love is not mean or vengeful, nor is it condemning, it is tough because the person showing it loves and does not desire to hurt, but knows that giving in to sin will hurt the other person more in the end. When you truly love someone it is difficult to be tough, but it is the loving thing to do.
The So What: Will you commit to loving those around you the way the Lord desires you to, even though it is hard and emotionally difficult to do? Have you ever enjoyed confronting someone for wrong…if you did, that was not love! If you leave a child to make all their own decisions, with no direction from you, you have just turned them over to the enemy.