“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
Children gain wisdom by listening to wise parents and teachers, and by submitting to their discipline. Parental scolding, reinforced with some punishment or deprivation for which the “rod” serves as the symbol, will result in their firm and loving counsels being etched in the memory of children.
Without parents’ words and actions of reproof, children will wander into foolish and shameful paths. Without the “bit and bridle” of proper parental supervision, coupled with timely instruction and discipline, children will be drawn into a life of sin and shame. It is almost certain that children will not develop godly discipline in their lives without strong correction.
“A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” What a dreadful warning to parents who neglect the close supervision and instruction of their children! Here mothers are particularly mentioned. Mothers, who are to “guide the house” (1 Timothy 5:14) as “keepers at home” (Titus 2:5), are expected to teach their children with authority (cf. Proverbs 1:8; 6:20; 31:1). Needless to say, mothers who fail in their duty concerning the supervision and correction of their children will feel the hurt most when their children go astray.