“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).
Chastening is one of the most valuable occurrences in the growth of a child of God. Admonitions to chasten our children teach us much about this aspect of our relationship with our heavenly Father.
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13,14). The word “beat” does not mean to club someone, as perhaps is the present-day usage. Rather, it carries the idea of a small, slender switch, and the goal is not that its sting should harm, or cause physical damage, but that it should divert from the dangerous direction in which the chastised one is heading.
Not only is chastening a mark of sonship (“But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” [Hebrews 12:8]), it is a testimony that the one who chastises us cares enough to spend time to change our direction when we are headed into trouble. “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest” him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity“ (Psalm 94:12,13).
When we “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), we are following in the footsteps of the one who has trained us in the way we should go. All parents know beyond a shadow of a doubt that “foolishness is bound in the heart of a child,” but thankfully “the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).
We, as adults, are no less foolish than children! Thankfully our heavenly Father has infinite patience in our training and infinite wisdom regarding the way we should go. CJH