Key Verse: Verse 39 – “Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?”
Key Words: punishment of his sins
All of our lives we learn from the penalties of our mistakes. A child who breaks his favorite toy while having a temper tantrum learns that he has punished himself. A child who is denied a privilege because of disobedience will think twice before disobeying again. Children must learn that there are consequences for misbehavior.
Bible teaching makes it clear that misbehavior must be dealt with (Leviticus 26:41, Lamentations 3:39). Why, even God chastens those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6). Dads are exhorted not to spare the rod; but at the same time, the Christian home is pictured as a happy place with children as the crowning joy of the parents. How can parents discipline so that their children are really their crowning joy? Let me suggest the following.
First of all, parents should guard against a permissive lifestyle in their children; but on the other hand, it is equally as dangerous for parents to be overly strict (all law and no grace). Too severe a punishment will lead to your child’s lying, produce ungodly fear, and cause your child to develop nervous habits. Discipline that is too strict may make your child compliant, yet he may not be happy. Mom and Dad, respect is earned, not legislated. It is cruel to threaten your children. Remember, Dad, we are not to provoke our children to wrath (Ephesians 6:4).
Secondly, as a parent, I would not only concern myself with punishing my child, but I should also consider what punishment does not achieve.
It does not identify the cause of misbehavior, and
It does not show or teach a better way.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train our children. Punishment within itself is not training.
Thirdly, after you have disciplined your child, he need to know that you love him. A reassuring hug and an “I love you and you are my crowning joy” would not hurt. May God bless you as you raise your children for God’s glory.