Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24 ESV
This verse is not so much about what method of discipline to use, and is certainly not saying that we should physically strike or abuse our children. It does highlight the fact that righteous discipline is not an act of hate, but of love. God, our Father in Heaven, disciplines us not to destroy us, but to temper and refine us.
A blacksmith takes a raw hunk of metal and turns it into something useful, a tool, a weapon, or even a horseshoe. Turning the metal from its native state into something useful, however, requires a great amount of heat and many strong strokes from the blacksmith’s hammer to shape it. The impurities are burned away and what was hard and unyielding becomes pliable so that it can be reshaped. The blacksmith does not despise the metal he is trying to shape, and only subjects it to these conditions in order to improve it.
In the same way, our Father in Heaven puts us through the heat of trials and the hammer blows of corrections to mold us into something better than we could ever hope to be on our own.
Question: In what way does righteous discipline help shape people’s lives? How can you make sure you are disciplining your children in the right way?