Monday, May 19, 2008

Proverb for the Week: May 19-23

Proverbs 19:18. Be aggressively teaching-disciplining your son while there is hope, and let not your soul spare for his crying.

There has never been a more spoiled and selfish generation than now in America. This of course is not true of all young men but enough to cause us to be terribly concerned. The verb "teach" is in an intensive form in Hebrew and really makes the matter urgent for fathers as they lead their sons. Unfortunately, today many mothers interfere with the spanking of the child. They come between the father and the son. Of course the son picks up on this and sees his protector to be a woman, his mother! Young men need to have a healthy fear of their fathers. They will be chastened if they play games with their dads and do not obey what he says! Boys are like wild colts and need to be reigned in!

The Bible is addressed to fathers who have a spiritual mandate to lead their sons. If you get under control early the son/boy, you bring peace and happiness to the future bride who will be protected by a godly young man and husband/father.

"While there is hope" implies that teaching and discipline must be carried out when the son is still a youth. The rabbis read this as "while there is still hope." As he gets older, his character and disposition hardens and change, and doing the right thing, comes more slowly and painfully. The "chastening" according to the orthodox Jewish rabbis is corporal punishment where the rod is not spared! Because of secular psychology, many of the yuppy parents today think it is terrible to spank but in reality, they are being rebellious as to what God commands them to do.

Note that the parents' very souls (nephesh) are disturbed by the sons crying when disciplined. But what God says comes before our own emotional wishes or feelings. It is painful to spank but not to will bring even more soulish pain in the future. On this verse the old Scottish pastor Lawson writes:

But your heart melts, and you are in pain to hear the cries of your poor child. Let him alone, then and leave him to the government of his own passions, unless you think that it would be still more grievous to have your gray hairs brought with sorrow to the grave, and to hear him curse you at the left hand of God your Judge, for allowing him to destroy himself, than to hear his groans for a few moments.