21 September 2021

Proverbs 22:15

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

This proverb presents a premise that corrects the idea that a child merely needs to be educated as to what is right. Education is necessary, and much of the time children do merely need to be instructed as to what is right, and they will then do it. But children are also like adults in that they are sinners. Much of their folly comes from their sinful desires. And so, oftentimes without any instruction that something is wrong to do, they will nevertheless act in secret. They have a conscience, just as adults, and like adults will violate it.

This is where discipline comes in, which is necessary for children and adults. The essential difference is that discipline has a greater chance of driving out the folly in the child than the adult. If discipline is exercised wisely and consistently, the child is likely to learn his lesson and become a wiser person.

Even so, as much good that discipline can do regarding folly, it still cannot cleanse the heart. A child may grow into a mature adult with a good head on his shoulders through the help of proper discipline. But he cannot be disciplined to love the Lord; he cannot be disciplined to see his need for a Savior, nor given the desire to follow his Lord. That is the work of the Spirit.

And so as parents, we need to exercise wise, consistent discipline to drive out the folly that is naturally inherent in our children. We are to instruct them in the Word of God and teach them the gospel. And we are to pray for the Holy Spirit to blow into them the breath of God that they may have life.


Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us—[b]
so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you rule the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;
    God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.