Timely Chastening of Children

Proverbs 19:18

“Chasten thy son while there is hope, And let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

Scripture here advises parents to discipline their children because a time will soon come when it is too late to shape their character. Childhood and early teenage years are precious times that God has given to parents to correct and train their children. A handful of years during which the parents have “hope” of moulding godly children should never be missed. Parents’ opportunity to nurture godly children gets whittled away all too quickly. We dare not waste an hour of it!

Without close supervision and regular correction and instruction, children will become set in their sinful and foolish habits and conduct. Parents’ greatest God-given duty is to lead their children away from sinful and unwholesome ways into paths of salvation, righteousness and blessing. Lax parenting will destroy the hope of having godly children.

Children often respond to parental discipline with much crying, protests and pleas. The divine advice to parents is: “let not thy soul spare for his crying”. While parents are never allowed to discipline cruelly and viciously, they should not show foolish pity and tenderness when the child sheds tears and makes undue noise to keep off the rod.

While parents give their full attention to shape their children with God’s Word, prayer and the “rod”, children should obediently submit to them. Children must pay attention to the instruction and correction of their parents, and make the necessary changes to their habits with repentance and prayer for help from the Lord. “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right” (Proverbs 20:11).

Prabhudas Koshy