The Child and Folly

In the past post we mentioned the rod being something that gives understanding and directs a way for someone (much like a bridle and whip for horses and mules).

Prov. 10:13 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.

One might read this verse and think that it is ridiculous to put a rod to the back of a fool just because he does not have understanding. However, it is a kindness to correct someone. In essence, the reason you put a rod to the back is because verbal reason will not register. I get a picture of the couple who is angry with each other. The man is yelling, the woman is yelling…then all of a sudden the woman slaps the man. What is supposed to happen is the man is supposed to shut up and listen and become sensible enough to have a conversation. Thus, the idiom “knock some sense into you” comes to be.

One might even think it barbaric to hit a child in any manner. But notice Prov. 22:15:

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

The child does not have understanding, nor is he able to follow sound arguments all the way through – thus, the incessant “why” questions. The word “bound” literally means to have something confined with or bound (as with a rope). Therefore, the rod is used to shake loose the folly that is tied up in the child’s heart. It is not unloving.

Prov. 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

That is, if you love your son, you will correct him with the rod. Yes, he is cute and seems harmless. But as has been said, a baby would be a murderer or thief or liar if he only had the strength. Doubt this? Who has to teach a toddler to take from another kid or not share or hit? No one. Folly and rebellion is bound up in their heart due to the fall.

This is the connection we have been looking for…There is a rod of authority and correction that the parent wields. If you love your child, you will use the rod to drive the folly from him. We will deal with this tomorrow.

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Filed under Family | Parenting, Interpretation, Theology

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