"Love and Discipline Are Not Mutually Exclusive"

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him. - Proverbs 22:15

Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell. - Proverbs 23:13-14

The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. - Proverbs 29:15


Love and discipline go hand in hand. God Himself gives us the best example of this. He loves us so much that He gave us the Bible to live by. He doesn't want us to be led astray by the temptations of this world. He provides the Ten Commandments and a wide variety of other instructions and guidelines throughout the Bible. Does he give us those instructions to try to ruin our lives or keep us from having fun? Of course not! On the contrary, He knows what the consequences are of those actions. In addition to sinning against God which is bad enough in itself, basically all of the things He tells us not to do also have other consequences in this world.

Similarly, children need to be disciplined. Even though it may be difficult for you to do (as it probably would be for me as well), the occasional spanking accompanied by a good talk is beneficial for a child. If that weren't the case, would this advice appear three distinct times in the book of Proverbs? Solomon wrote Proverbs after God granted his request for incredible wisdom, which means that these ideas came directly from God Himself. But even if you absolutely cannot bring yourself to spank your child, other forms of discipline are essential. Parents are not here to be their child's friend. It's good to have a good relationship with your child, but it is even better to provide a steady, guiding hand, directing your child and disciplining him or her when necessary.

God disciplines us out of love. Likewise, if you love your child (which I'm sure you do if you have one or more), discipline, when necessary, should be an integral part of that love.