Discipline is necessary
Proverbs 13:24 (NIV) states that, ‘He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.’
This is probably one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Bible. The rod is meant to describe how firm a parent should be, when trying to lovingly discipline a child as they correct their mistakes. It doesn’t mean that parents should get a hold of a big stick and beat the hell out of their children when they make mistakes.
The statement, ‘careful to discipline’ says it all. Parents, guardians and those in authority such as teachers should learn to impart a level of strictness when dealing with any child. Without this kind of discipline children fail to get groomed and become spoilt children.
We must remember that loving our children doesn’t mean that we should not correct their thoughtlessness. Parents need to discipline children so that they can learn how to be responsible. Disciplining a child does not mean beating them.
For instance, badly behaved children in most cases do not respect anyone. I happened to witness an incident where a 14-year-old was girl roaming around town in her school uniform during school hours. A caring and responsible woman, most likely she a mother, approached this girl and asked her why she was not at school. The girl arrogantly replied that it was none of her business. Everyone who heard this response was shocked and they probably wondered what was amiss with her.
If I was the parent of that girl I would have been disgraced with the kind of attitude she portrayed. All her innocence tarnished in a moment and everyone looked at her in despair.
This act greatly affirmed the common saying that, ‘charity begins at home’. It meant that her parents had probably not trained her to respect her elders.
Disciplining a child makes them better people. Every child is the responsibility of a nation. It makes them know the difference between right and wrong. If they are not trained at a tender age, they will face a lot of trouble in the future.
The process of discipline is continuous and involves a great deal of talking and listening. It creates trust between parents and children. For instance, teenagers fully trust their parents when they can talk to them about the different issues they face.