What is it and what is it for?
While the rod may be looked at as a
means of punishment that is not it's primary purpose. A rod is
nothing more than a straight slender stick. There is nothing
intrinsically good or bad in it. But while it can be used to
cause harm, the scriptures teach us how to bring much good from it.
A rod is the only biblically authorized instrument for
correcting a child's behavior. That is not to say there are
not other ways to correct behavior such as instruction or teaching
but the rod is a divinely authorized instrument to correct
improper behavior and to instruct in proper behavior.
While there are various means for correcting a child's behavior
such as instruction or teaching the rod is not considered by the
scriptures to be an optional means for correcting behavior. Pr
19:18 says, Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy
soul spare for his crying.
What then is the purpose of the rod? According to Pr 29:15,
One purpose of the rod is to give wisdom! The appropriate use
of the rod makes a child wise in determining right from wrong.
Wisdom is more than knowledge though. Wisdom is the ability to
apply that knowledge to life's situations. By early training
with a rod, a child quickly learns there are consequences for sin.
He learns to identify sin on his own and avoid it because he has the
wisdom to know there are penalties for sin.
To Use the Rod or Not to Use the Rod
To train with a rod or not to train
with a rod. That is the next question before us. This
remainder of this lesson
will focus on what the Bible says about using the rod.
First, we must settle ourselves with the question of whether or
not to use the rod. In our modern feminist, atheist, secular
humanist, Freudian psychoanalyst, God hating culture, the use of the
rod is considered somewhere between passť and outright barbarism.
The use of the rod is looked upon as being inferior because we are
much smarter today than people where a thousand years ago. In
other words God is not as smart as we are. But the Bible tells us
that "... the foolishness of God is wiser than men."
1Co 1:25 With that in mind, I'll take the wisdom of God over
the wisdom of men any day!
The Bible identifies the number one reason why fathers and
mothers will not correct their children with a rod in Pr 13:24.
To put it simply, He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he
that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. I know a lot of
parents think they love their children but never chasten them with a
rod. Well I have bad news for them. He that spares his rod does not, according to
Biblical standards, love his own children. But the parents who
love their children, chasten them betimes (early).
Proverbs 13:24 teaches unequivocally that all people regardless
of their religious beliefs, regardless of their social standing,
regardless of how they feel about it, are responsible to God to use
the rod for chastening their children.
Not only does Proverbs 13:24 teach the use of the rod but the
following three verse likewise teach it's use.
Pr 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not
thy soul spare for his crying.
Pr 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but
the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Pr 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou
beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
No one can deny the scriptures teach the use of the rod but let's
look deeper into Proverbs 13:24. It teaches more than just the fact that we
are to use a rod. In fact this passage of scripture assumes
it. With the assumption that the reader will be using the rod,
the Bible here teaches the consistent use of the rod. When the
passage says "spareth" it not only means it should be used early but
"spareth" also means
to keep back, withhold, refrain. In other words this is
instruction against keeping back the rod when it is deserved, or
withholding the rod when it is deserved or refraining from using the
rod when it needs to be used.
Too many parents try the rod once or twice way to long after it
is due and then when they don't get any results they give up and say
it doesn't work. But Pr 13:24 teaches that it is to be used
early (betimes). The Hebrew word translated "betimes" means to
seek or seek early. In other words a parent is supposed to
seek the early use of the rod in training children. Doesn't
this challenge the norm which is to wait and wait and wait while the
problem grows worse and worse and the child becomes completely
unmanageable. The point is you are going to have to start
early in a child's life, even while they are infants, and be
consistent in order to be inline with Pr 13:24.
Pr 29:17 states, Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest;
yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. The appropriate
use of the rod when consistently used to reinforce the instruction
of the parents, is a great blessing. The correct behavior of
your children will give you rest and bring delight to your soul.
Elder James Taylor