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What to Expect

Scripture Memory Meditation | Proverbs 19:18

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Discipline your son while there is hope; don’t set your heart on being the cause of his death.
Proverbs 19:18 (CSB)

The book of Proverbs imparts wisdom through pithy sayings and careful instruction. This proverb instructs parents to take their responsibility of training their children seriously. This task must not be neglected, especially during the formative years of a child’s moral development.

Parents must spend time to love, know, and shape each of their children so that they can discipline their children with wisdom. Discipline contains both formative and corrective elements. Discipline includes instruction—teaching them about God, his Word, and his world, as well as chastisement—penalties for foolish or sinful behavior with the goal of restoration. By mentoring their children, parents build a godly foundation that carries the potential to save them from destructive ways of living. In this way, wise and godly parents are the means by which God expresses his fatherly love and wisdom to children.

In Scripture, God pictures his work of shaping His people as a loving act of discipline. Moses reminded Israel that God humbled and tested them because he was disciplining them like a father (Deut. 8). This idea is developed further in the New Testament with the reminder in Hebrews 12 that God loves his children and allows them to endure seasons of suffering to cultivate holiness and participation in the life of God (vv. 3-11). In this way, discipline subverts death and replaces it with an abundance of life.

Christian parents must recognize and respond to God’s formative and corrective discipline, whether through the circumstances of life or the action of the church, not only for their own good but also for the good of their children. Parents have the opportunity to model not only proper responses to discipline but also to demonstrate to children that discipline is a life-giving mechanism of God that promotes wisdom, holiness, and growth for the entirety of a person’s life.

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