The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
The Rod of Correction
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
+ Child Training +
The Scriptures have much to say about the use of the rod in child training. It is being abandoned in our modern society and the consequences are rebellion and unruly children. The rod has been a standard for the home and school in years gone by, but now is frowned upon. The neglect of it by parents today shows a lack of Biblical understanding of their sacred duty. The rod is only a small part of the training process, but an essential part. Please understand that misuse of the rod by some does not violate the proper use of it. There are many benefits and blessings of discipline.
Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said to a lady who asked him to pray for her son, “My praying won’t take the place of your whipping.”
This article will list seven reasons for using the rod in training children (Proverbs 22:6). Most of our text will be taken from the book of Proverbs, which is not out of date, but is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). When reproof fails, there is no substitute for the rod. The rod is a symbol of authority and through its application the fear of God is taught. The woods are full of rods which come in all sizes, shapes and colors (stick, hickory, switch or limb). The following verses are just a few that refer to the rod: Psalms 23:4, Isaiah 10:5, and 24, Psalm 89:32, 2 Samuel 7:14, Proverbs 10:13.
Mrs. Susannah Wesley, mother of seventeen said, “When turned a year (and some before), they were taught to fear the rod and cry softly. . .the crying of children was rarely heard in the house; but the family lived in much quietness as if there had not been a child among them.”
1. The Rod Drives Foolishness away
Proverbs 22:15, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
According to Scripture, every child is born with a sinful nature. They automatically know how to lie, be selfish, and go the wrong way. These things come naturally because of this lower nature (Psalm 51:5, Ephesians 2:1-3, Romans 5:12-14, Job 14:1, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 7:9). Children have no sense of responsibility and are ignorant of duties. They have no temperance and are driven by self-gratification. In other words, they live for pleasure and entertainment. Many think that their little ones are angels. As one man said, “Maybe they are, that is, fallen angels.” The point I am making is that foolishness is bound in the heart of a child and it must be dealt with. The rod brings soberness and submission while driving away silliness.
2. The Rod Proves the Parent’s Love
Proverbs 13:24, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
The rod of correction assures the child of being loved. It is a token of love that they will learn to appreciate. This is one of the ways that God proves His love to us who are His children, Hebrews 12:6, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” In Revelation 3:19, God says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” From Proverbs 13:24 comes the old adage, “spare the rod and spoil the child.” I have heard parents say, “I love my child too much to spank them.” The problem is that they love themselves more than their children for the verse says that, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son.” The word hate here is not used in the extreme sense as we might use it today but means to love less. That is, we do not love them as we should. Also, we find that many parents neglect to discipline their children because they are away from them most of the day. No matter how much a parent is away from their child they should never neglect discipline. A child left to himself will not only bring heartache to himself but to his parents also, Proverbs:19:26, “He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.” Consider the following verses where the words hate and love are used: Genesis 29:30-31, Matthew 10:37, Luke 14:26.
3. The Rod Gives Hope to the Child
Proverbs 19:18, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”
The rod is a means of hope for the child. If the child is neglected, undisciplined and always getting his way, rest assured that he will become rebellious; and, the older he becomes the more hardened he will be. This verse shows the appropriate time to begin discipline, when they are young. The verse says, “not to spare for their crying” for when you do, they will win with their tears before they are spanked; and, discipline will not be carried out. The child’s will must be conquered or there will be no hope for them.
4. The Rod Delivers the Soul From Hell
Proverbs 23:13-14, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
The rod teaches the child of God’s judgment and the need of a Savior later in life. If the child is undisciplined, there will be no respect for the parents and ultimately no respect for God and His Word. Susannah Wesley said, “Heaven or Hell depend upon this along. So that the parent who studies to subdue it in his child, works together with God in the renewing and saving of a soul. The parent who indulges it, does the devil’s work, makes religion impractical, salvation unattainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body forever.
5. The Rod Gives Wisdom and Prevents Shame
Proverbs 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
The rod not only drives away foolishness as in Proverbs 22:15, but it brings wisdom to the child. God’s children also grow wiser under divine chastisement (Hebrews 12:6-11). If parents desire for their children to be wise, they must not neglect the application of the rod. The child that is left to himself will bring his parents to shame and especially the mother for she is the primary superintendent of the early discipline ( Proverbs 17:21, 25). There are many parents today who spend sleepless nights worrying over their sons and daughters who have brought disgrace to their name.
6. The Rod Gives Rest
Proverbs 29:17, “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”
It is the rod that “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” according to Hebrews 12:11. As so well put by someone else, “Ground well tilled and trees carefully and regularly pruned brings forth more fruit.” If you desire peace and harmony in the home and want to enjoy your children, the rod is a must. A spirit of unrest and discontent show a lack of discipline. Does your child give you rest at home, church or in public? If not, begin training them now to sit still for a period of time without anything to play with or to eat. Even make an infant sit quietly in your lap without moving around. You will be glad you did.
7. The Rod Is A Means of Cleansing
Proverbs 20:30, “The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.”
The rod will purge children of their guilt. It actually meets a physiological need in that it releases them from their guilt and brings repentance. It assures them that the debt has been paid, all is satisfied, and they are no longer a law breaker. The issue can be put behind them. They can start over with joy, knowing all accounts are settled.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523