The book of Proverbs is full of parental advice. One of the better known passages is Proverbs 13:24. It says, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

In a Navajo puberty ceremony, the child lies on blankets placed on the ground. He has his legs and arms pulled straight, to grow tall. Then his mouth is slapped four times so he will not talk too much. Each culture has its own approach to child rearing. Hurley writes, “The permissive American approach is shocking to many other cultures. Having bombastic, know-it-all kids on our television programs has only exacerbated that perception.”

The scriptures are solid instruction for training and discipline, not only for children, but for all of us. We are valued by God. That means we’re loved. God’s discipline in our life is evidence of His love for us. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament say this. We all face discipline when we disobey and we should train our children accordingly. Hurley goes on to say, “Hardly any child-behavior expert denies that parents need to clearly define and enforce rules for children. Parents who refuse to discipline their children and punish them when discipline fails, stifle their learning skills. Only children who learn accountability and who suffer for irresponsibility can constructively handle pain, disappointment, and failure as they mature. In responding to parental penalties, children learn how to manage greater rejections later. Children will grow older naturally but will mature only as parents prepare them for adulthood by training them with Godly discipline.”

“The proud speech of a fool brings a rod of discipline, but the lips of the wise protect them.” Proverbs 14:3