Do you want to become a better dad or mom? Are you tired of getting parenting advice from so-called gurus or experts? Do you want to know parenting methods that truly work? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you definitely need to read this post. Here’s a list of effective and wise parenting verses straight from the Book of Proverbs!
Child-rearing can be a controversial and big topic. In this day and age, it seems that everyone has their opinion. In midst of this noisy and distracted world, where do you get sound and wise parenting advice?
Thankfully, God didn’t leave us in the dark. There is much practical advice that you can glean from Bible. However, for this particular post, I just want us to focus on the book of Proverbs.
Solomon, with God’s help, is considered to be the wisest man on Earth during his time and he wrote these proverbs. There’s no doubt that the Bible is an authority on child-rearing. Thus, let me share with you at least 7 passages from the book of Proverbs about child-rearing.
1. Proverbs 13:24
“Whoever does not discipline his son hates him, but whoever loves him is diligent to correct him.”
From this verse we can learn the following points:
God equates discipline with loving. Even God Himself chastens whom he loves (Hebrews 12:6).
Soft love isn’t enough. You also need to use tough love. Sometimes, parents think that if they use tough love, they are showing hate. But in reality, proper discipline is a sign of true love.
Disciplining a child isn’t a one-time time. Proverbs 13:24 tells us that parents should be diligent in correcting their children.
It’s a hands-on approach.
You can’t expect to simply just discipline your child only once. Chastening your child reinforces in his mind which behavior is proper and which is not.
Child-rearing is a primary role of the parents. Some parents are too busy in their work that they simply hire someone to take care of their children.
In the New King James Version (NKJV), you will read, “He who spares his rod.” Notice who owns the rod. It is the parents. It is not the rod of other people. This is telling us that it us, parents, who are truly given the responsibility to discipline our children and this duty should not be delegated to other people.
Discipline guides a child. If a child doesn’t know that what he is doing is wrong, it will become a habit. If not corrected, it will ultimately lead to the destruction of the child.
If you really love your child, it would be better to hurt him with loving discipline, rather than see him suffer because of your failure to provide guidance.
2. Proverbs 19:18
“Discipline your son while there is still hope—but don’t set your heart on his destruction.”
The best time to discipline your child is now.
Don’t think that there will be a better time.
The soonest you see a corrupt behavior or tendency, check it immediately. Let the child know that it isn’t right and good. By doing so, you won’t let a bad behavior take root and prevent it from eventually budding like a troublesome plant.
It is easier to pluck out weeds rather than cut down a tree.
If you can correct a behavior with just a simple talk, then well and good. However, don’t let your emotion get the best of you. If you refuse to correct your child because he will cry and you can’t take it, you will eventually reap what you sow.
Giving a warning is good if it works. However, if tolerance emboldens your child to commit the same mistake, then take action.
As Henry Matthew wrote:
“It is better that he should cry under thy rod than under the sword of the magistrate, or, which is more fearful, that of divine vengeance.”
You need to remember that there will come a time when disciplining a child can be very difficult or worse, impossible. Waiting too long can let the habit take its root on the child’s inner being. When you fail to guide your child in the right direction, it is the same as setting your heart on his destruction.
Without discipline, your child is on the surest way towards destruction.
3. Proverbs 20:7
The righteous person lives a life of integrity; happy are his children who follow him!
There’s no doubt that the example of the parents plays a vital role in child-rearing.
Parents can’t teach something while he is doing the opposite.
Parents can’t effectively teach their children not to smoke while puffing a cigar.
Parents can’t effectively teach children not to be a drunkard while they themselves habitually drink alcoholic drinks.
Parents can’t effectively teach children how to respect others when they can’t even use kind and courteous words.
You get the point: your actions speak louder than your words.
Integrity includes telling the truth. If you promise your child something, be SURE to follow through. Thus, you need to be careful with what you say to your child.
If you say you will spank them after giving a warning, make SURE that you really spank them. Don’t use lies just to scare your children or make them feel good.
As parents, when you uphold your integrity, you become a person of veracity, credibility, and reliability – values that children can emulate from their parents.
4. Proverbs 20:11
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”
Though a child, you can already see his or her dispositions and tendencies. What the child does can be a living prophecy of what he or she will do in the future.
A child hasn’t developed yet the skill to conceal his temperament and disposition. Unlike adults, children are innocent and will show their attitude. This is an attribute of children that every parent should take advantage of.
Parents should not assume that a bad behavior will change as they grow up unless it is corrected.
Children are also capable of doing the right thing. When the child does a good thing, it is imperative for the parents to praise and notice their right actions. This will reinforce in their minds that a particular right behavior brings positive effects and rewards.
Constantly just concentrating on the negative actions of your child will lead to remorse and lack of self-confidence.
You need to capitalize on your child’s strength and good attitude while managing or eliminating your child’s bad behavior.
5. Proverbs 22:6
“Train a child in the way appropriate for him, and when he becomes older, he will not turn from it.”
A person is only a child once in his or her lifetime.
Once childhood is gone, it will be gone forever. A child is like quick-drying cement. It can only be molded while it is wet. The longer you wait, the harder it gets.
The formative years of a child are really crucial. Thus, it is only wise to discipline a child while his mind is still receptive to corrections and behavioral modification.
Laying a strong and biblical foundation for your child will help him know which way to go. Even if you left him all by himself, you can have the confidence that he will still do what he is taught.
Knowing what is good and evil in the child’s life tremendously place him in a position of great advantage over other children who haven’t been taught properly.
A child who has been guided by his parents can be more effective in avoiding pain and suffering in the future compared to those who are only learning right from wrong during the later years.
6. Proverbs 23:13-14
“Don’t withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with a rod, he won’t die. Punish him with a rod, and you will rescue his soul from Sheol.”
While modern thinkers might disagree, the Bible encourages corporal punishment. However, this should NOT lead to child abuse or physical damage. This Proverb even says that punishing your child won’t lead to death, but in fact save him from it!
According to the Bible, physical discipline must be coupled with restraint and the parent should not do it out of anger or frustration. It should be done with love.
Yes, for the moment, the process of disciplining your child is not a joyous moment. Sometimes, it can even be grievous. Thus, I always hear my parents say, “This will hurt me more than you do.” At that time, I don’t believe my parents, but now that I’m a parent myself, I could see how hard it is to spank your child and see him cry.
However, if you discipline your child with wisdom, love, and care, you can be confident that it will be for his own good. You will ultimately “rescue his soul from Sheol or hell.”
7. Proverbs 29:15
“The rod and rebuke bestow wisdom, but an undisciplined child brings shame to his mother.”
There’s no doubt, disciplining a child bestows wisdom.
An undisciplined child is more likely to grow rebellious, have no respect for the authority, and even become a problem to the society.
Corporal punishment should also not be purely about physical spanking. It should be coupled with love and care.
It is vital that along with spanking is the explanation why the child receives such punishment. Make sure that the child understands why he is being corrected and what will happen if you withhold such correction.
A disciplined child will have the wisdom and understanding the rod and rebuke produce. A child left to himself, without reprove or restraint, will just follow his natural inclination and will do whatever it is that seems right to himself.
Notice the consequences of an undisciplined child. Solomon wrote that he will bring shame to his mother. You see, what your child will become speaks volume to how you rear him.
Children reflect his parents.
What your child achieves will become either a shame or an honor to you. Whether you like it or not, your child is a product of who you are and how you disciplined him.
These are just some of the most effective child-rearing or parenting principles from the Book of Proverbs, a book written by the wisest king.
If there are principles you want to use when raising your children, wouldn’t it be great to use Biblical principles, which are tested and proven throughout the generation?
I hope you learned more about how to become a better parent through the Book of Proverbs. We need to remember that the foundation of knowledge and wisdom is still the Bible. It is the ultimate authority on how to live this life to the fullest, which include instructions on how to rear a child.
So keep in mind these verses along with other scriptural references when dealing with your child. Don’t forget to pray to God that He gives you the wisdom to rear your child in a way that ultimately brings Glory to Him!