Wise people accept God’s discipline in their lives. As Christians, we want to keep soft hearts that are sensitive to correction and instruction. For you now, that primarily means obeying your parents. When they tell you do something, you do it. When they tell you not to do something, then you don’t do it. When your mom or dad is explaining something to you, then you listen. And when they punish you as they see best, you accept the consequences and do your best to learn from your mistakes. The command “Children obey your parents in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1) is not hard to understand, but it is hard to do. Obedience is especially tough in your teenage years, as you are entering young adulthood and wanting more responsibility and freedom. Yet there is no statute of limitations (time limit) on the fifth commandment, the call to “Honor your father and mother…that it may be well with you, and your days may be long upon this earth” (originally from Exodus 20 and quoted in Ephesians 6:2-3). To obey your parents is to enjoy God’s blessing and favor, and to disobey is to suffer the consequences of your sin.
More than three different verses in Proverbs 29 remind young readers that discipline is God’s tool for teaching us to live rightly. Failure to accept discipline can lead to many sorrows, hardships, and even total disasters in our lives. As adults, you will be accountable to bosses and/or customers. You will likely have a spouse, and you should be part of a church where you are under the leadership of pastors. By learning now how to accept counsel and correction with a humble, teachable spirit, you are being trained to be a successful adult. Even as a grown man with a career and my own children, I am still reminded by today’s verses that I need to stay humble and teachable at work, in my home, and in my church. Ultimately, I have realized that learning how to listen to other people can be one of God’s best ways of teaching me to listen to Him. That is a lesson that will not end until I reach heaven.
God is always teaching you. But are you learning?
The Text (Proverbs 29:1, 15, 17)
1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.
Questions to Think About
- Do you have a humble and teachable spirit as encouraged in today’s verses? How can you tell?
- When your parents discipline or correct you, how do you respond? Are you learning when they are trying to teach you life lessons?