A Parent’s Biggest Mistake
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
Trying to raise godly children in an ungodly world is no easy task. We often fall for the trap that we live in the most ungodly times of history; thus, it is more difficult to raise godly children than it has ever been. This mentality is nothing more than a crutch that parents accept to give them an excuse for not being the parent they should be to their children. If you want your children to turn out for God, you must practice godly parenting techniques to give yourself the best chance of your children serving God when they leave your home.
The verse above is a key parenting technique that many fail to follow. Several words in this verse are critical to understanding what God is trying to get across to the believer. The first word is the word, “betimes,” which means early. This is the keyword to this verse.
The second word is “chasteneth.” This word is often easily misunderstood, but it carries a deeper meaning than what most parents realize. This word means to punish so that you can purify a child from errors or faults. Chastening means that you punish a child so that you can reclaim them. In other words, you must punish a child when they do wrong because they have already started to wander away. Chastening has a way of bringing the child back. Moreover, chastening comes from the word “chaste.” In other words, God is saying when you chasten a child betimes; you are doing your best as a parent to raise your child to be self-disciplined because it takes discipline to stay chaste or pure.
The third word is “loveth.” In other words, love must be at the core of parenting. Love is at the core of chastening a child betimes. The parent who is willing to chasten their child betimes is the parent who loves their child the most. These three words give a couple of reminders about parenting that will help you in being a loving parent to your children.
First, true parental love will consist of chastening. You cannot say that you love your children if you don’t punish them when they do wrong. Punishing or chastening a child because they do wrong is keeping them from going further down a wayward pathway that leads to greater punishment.
Second, true parental love and proper parenting punishes the child as soon as they do wrong. God admonishes the parent to chasten their child betimes, which means you must punish them as soon as they do wrong. The biggest mistake that most parents make is that they wait until their child is out-of-control to punish them instead of punishing them when they take the first step onto a wayward pathway. It is much easier to punish a child when they first do wrong than it is to wait until they are engrossed in their wrong actions.
Third, the purpose of chastening is to keep your child chaste. The reason you punish a child when they take the first step of doing wrong is to keep them from taking the second step of wrong. If you keep your children from taking the second step on the wrong pathway, you will keep them from the end of the pathway which is destruction.
Fourth, the key to parenting is love. True love chastens a child early because they don’t want the child to experience the heartache of where their actions will eventually take them. If you let true love guide you in parenting your child, you will chasten them betimes.