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“Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won’t kill them. A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death.” Proverbs 23:13-14

There are 26 words in this passage of scripture and I have a feeling if I opened up this verse to a discussion with a group of parents, this verse would easily and quickly explode into a heated debate over three of the 26 words: spanking.young.ones.

Lord knows I’m no parent whiz, but there’s this guy, Tedd Tripp, who wrote an incredible book – Shepherding a Child’s Heart – about this very thing.

While digesting his book last year, Tedd wrote something that greatly challenged me.

“The focal point of your discipline and correction must be your children seeing their utter inability to do the things that God requires unless they know the help and strength of God. Your correction must hold the standard of righteousness as high as God holds it. God’s standard is correct behaviour flowing from a heart that loves God and has God’s glory as the sole purpose of life.”

That’s when it occurred to me.

I cannot expect my children to go places I myself am unwilling to go.
I cannot impart wisdom if my own heart isn’t willing to seek it.
I cannot lovingly correct if I myself am unwilling to stand corrected.

And I especially cannot expect them to submit to me if I am unwilling to submit to Him.

It’s easy to fixate on three controversial words and dive head first into the realm of Captain obvious. But wisdom occurs when, rather, we choose to embrace the subtle – that maybe, just maybe, this scripture has less to do with the spanking of disobedient little bums and more to do with the correcting of our own childish perspectives, our own tantrum-y wants and our own irrationally immature desires.

Wisdom resolution, therefore, draws out three entirely different words: to.correct.your.

Talk about a harsh spanking, right?

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