Not only are parents not to provoke children to anger, which is Satan’s favorite tool to destroy relationships (Eph 4:26–-27), but parents must also “raise up” children, meaning to “bring to maturity, or educate.”
Two techniques are given as the means for helping a child to mature: “discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The word for discipline is the same from which we get the word pedagogy, or the training of a child, including the cultivation of mind and morals using correction and chastening. Such chastisement has moral instruction as its objective, not punishment for negative actions. The objective has everything to do with the means and motivation of discipline from the parents.
God gives His wisdom even though it may contradict popular psychology: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently” (Prov 13:24). Often a parent wants to be “loved” by his child, so he refuses to teach him the pain of disobedience.
By ignoring this command, parents guarantee that children will behave with the characteristics of a biblical fool: “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (22:15).
Not only are correction or discipline necessary to raise up wise children, but also “instruction,” or “admonition,” which means a “word of encouragement or reproof which leads to correct behavior.” The memory of the consequence of disobedience can be indelible.
God gave us the perfect model for the treatment of His children in Hebrews: “And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, ‘My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives’” (Heb 12:4–-6).
Love and disciple must go hand in hand, but the most important issue is that a parent never should communicate rejection, especially as a threat. When the chastisement is over, intimacy should be restored immediately.
“Dear Father, You have provided the perfect example of parenting. Help me follow You in raising my children in correct discipline and loving instruction.”