WE MUST LOVE OUR CHILDREN THE 1 CORINTHIANS 13 WAY. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: (1 Cor. 13:4-8). We all have room to grow in our love for our children.
CHARITY (LOVE) SUFFERS LONG AND IS KIND: Suffers long: #3114. makrothumeo, mak-roth-oo-meh’-o; from the same as G3116; to be long-spirited, i.e. (obj.) forbearing or (subj.) patient. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11). . Anyone familiar with children knows there is a whole lot in a child to “suffer long” with. We need to remind ourselves daily that they are still children and be patient with the weaknesses and faults that are part of their immaturity. This does not mean to ignore a fault in a child as “just a stage that will pass,” but in our own hearts as we work with them, we should not be discouraged or angry when they behave like a child and must be taught better.
One of the things we know about a child is that foolishness is bound up in his heart. He needs the rod and reproof, applied in kindness (rather than the nastiest look I can muster while I scold). “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Tim 2:24-26).
- rod: 7626. shebet, shay’-bet; from an unused root prob. mean. to branch off, a scion, i.e. (lit.) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or (fig.) a clan
- correction: (a whole topic in itself)
- 8104. shamar, shaw-mar’; a prim. root; prop. to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; gen. to protect, attend to, etc
Do we get the idea from this word that if the child is foolish (and we’re doing our job right), he is inevitably going to feel a prick that will guard him, keep him and protect him from the foolishness? How consistent is a hedge of thorns? Is this meanness, or actually kindness? How consistent should we be in our discipline?
- “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Pro. 3:11-12).
- “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (#3809. paideia, pahee-di’-ah; from G3811; tutorage; i.e. education or training; by implication disciplinary correction) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed” (Heb. 12:4-13).
- “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:18).
First, a physical rod MUST do the keeping. Next, as the child begins to become wiser, the verbal instruction of wisdom can increasingly become the rod to do the keeping.
- A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool (Prov. 17:10). (to be continued)