“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).
Are some people born foolish? Yes! As a matter of fact, all of us are. The wise teacher who wrote the Book of Proverbs made that clear. The teacher was also quick to give us the remedy. Discipline and experience are what give us wisdom.
It’s OK for a child to act irresponsibly at times; in fact, it’s normal and sometimes even endearing. However, if these irresponsible actions continue into adulthood, they’re no longer charming or funny. They’re foolish. It is the parents’ job to prayerfully mold a child’s actions into careful, considerate, responsible behavior that is suitable
for an adult.
I have an acquaintance whose five children are now almost grown. They hated school when they were younger and didn’t go much of the time, because their parents did not force them to attend. Now, none of them
can read well enough to go to trade school. All of them are lazy. Not one of them works.
If we ignore our children’s unwise choices, they won’t learn wisdom just because they get older. The Bible says discipline is what changes a child’s heart from being filled with foolishness to being filled with wisdom.
If you aren’t accustomed to disciplining your children and they are not used to receiving it, go slowly. You can’t expect an overnight change. Also, get some good advice. Read what the Bible says about disciplining
children, starting with Proverbs. Find a Christian family with children whose behavior and manners you admire. Ask the parents for some tips.
Child rearing is a task high on God’s priority list. If you ask Him to send you teachers, He will!
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2005 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.