At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! Proverbs 5:11-12 NIV

Hindsight is 2020. Wow, doesn’t that phrase have a different meaning for this Calendar year of 2020. For many, Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda are poured into our cup of reflections as we look back over the years of our lives. King Solomon’s proverbs are intended to help us navigate the best pathways through life. These will be consistent with God’s ways.

In this chapter, Solomon addresses the dispair that arrives at the end of a life that has gone after sexual relationships outside of the marriage commitment. Whether these affairs are before marriage or after being married, they will eventually end up with a handful of nothing. 

The key to corrective, life giving behavior is found in verse 12 by doing the opposite of the revelation of hating discipline and spurning correction. Instead would should love discipline and lean forward toward correction.

Discipline is mū·sār, it is translated as chastisement, correction, instructions, reproof and warnings. When referring to discipline of God,  Brown Drivers Briggs has this statement –discipline of ׳י (of Y.’s (God’s) wonders, as exercising a disciplinary, educating influence upon Israel, compare Dr). Educating influence, don’t you just love that term for discipline. Makes me want to inscribe the name on my paddle “The educating influence”. I digress.

Corrections  is towkachath {to-kakh’-ath}. This is the verbal part of warning, reproof and correction. In training children this is the warning with the reasoning. Don’t touch the stove because it is hot is the reproof. Ignoring the instruction and receiving a burnt finger is the discipline of musar.

Are we just stubborn and rebellious so that we reject discipline and reproof? Is there a way to help our children, especially our teens become more pliable to instructions for godliness? Is there still hope for you, if you have led a life of rejecting God’s warnings? Yes and Yes!

The key to the verse is addressing the heart. We default quickly to the mind receiving facts for transformation. Facts are necessary, but the heart leads in the transforming process. Your best logical dialogue will do little to convince your teen to follow your advice if their heart is rebellious. “I told you so…” proves the point that information alone did not convince the heart to accept the advice.

So, how do you get the heart involved in the disciplining process? I will give an answer to parents, but these ideas are helpful for your own behavior

  • Salvation is so helpful. Pray that your child becomes a Jesus follower early in their lives. Salvation provides a bent toward instruction and softens the heart toward the commands of God for obedience.
  • Listen to your child. To help unwind some of the wrong thoughts that led to the wrong behavior, you will need to listen to what they were thinking and feeling. I know that you don’t have time to do this with every disciplinary action. But build in listening skills for understanding your child. “Aha” is the revelation necessary to begin to move toward right behavior.
  • Don’t “save” your child from every problem. God has built-in training of life. Let your children receive the effects of wrong conduct. Don’t do the school project for them so they will not receive a bad grade. If they spend money unwisely, wait the full time before giving them more allowance. If they skip a meal, wait to the next meal to feed them. All of these “helps” train the heart to think they can escape discipline.
  • Share your heart about your own struggles. You may find some judgments operating negatively in your life that are impacting your child’s. Don’t be surprised to see your children struggling with some of the same issues that you have battled with. If you have been telling partial truths, it may very well show up in your children. God can stop generational judgments, but you have to do it His way.
  • Teach your children how dialoguing prayer with God helps bring clarity. Your children will learn by example in the ways that you include God in your learning and forgiveness. Pray touches hearts like no other activity.
  • Lead by example how to listen and follow the Holy Spirit. He has the ability to shed light on the darkness of our understanding and ways, and lead us to a way more perfect.

We all mess up. We will make rebellious mistakes. We will choose wrong. But God forgives. Learn how to integrate forgiveness for yourself into the patterns of life. Then may the Lord give you understanding with wisdom. Ask God today to guide your heart to love discipline and reproof. Ask God to reveal rebellious tendencies. May your heart love God and all of His ways.

Blessings Love y’all