Day 23 – Proverbs 23


This post is written by Pat Rowland a staff member at my friend Pete Wilson’s church, Cross Point.

I’ve read this chapter multiple times over the last couple of days, and there is a verse that I can’t help but read over and over again.  It’s like a Giant Bill Board you can see from miles a way! It’s like my Grandma’s passive aggressive comment about my haircut!  It’s waking me up faster than a Metallica ballad blasting through the speakers of my morning alarm clock! Okay God you have my attention!

and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony. (23:2)

WOW! Proverbs is full of transferable principles on relationships, life, marriage, parenting, leadership and apparently diet tips.  Call it the Solomon Diet, however, pushing the plate away might be a safer approach.  I sure could have used this advice at lunch Thursday before downing a basket of chips and salsa.

Seriously, in reading Proverbs 23, as a parent of three girls,  I was captured by these verses.

Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
Punish him with the rod
and save his soul from death. (23:13-14)

There have been millions of blogs, articles, books, training videos, and TV shows all with various and contradicting methods of discipline.  Why?  Because, in my opinion, (meaning I have no research to back it up) discipline is the #1 issue parents struggle with, and we need help!  As long as there have been kids, there have been discipline issues because kids are kids, and they need adults to help them navigate their journey to adulthood.

Discipline is not the responsibility of the government, schools, teachers, youth pastors, or counselors.   According to Proverbs and the rest of scripture, discipline of a child rests in the hands of parents.  It’s up to parents to choose their methods of discipline, and there are PLENTY of methods to choose from.   The problem with most of these methods is that they don’t focus on the one thing that is central to discipline.  In my efforts to raise and discipline my children I often blow this…
12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.

Too often the focus of discipline by parents is on the behavior and not on the heart.  With my daughters, I know how to get the behavior I desire from them.  I’ve raised my voice.  I’ve taken away their phone, and they’ve lost privileges.  It may have seemed like a victory, but I was only modifying their behavior.  The goal of discipline should never be behavior modification.  The goal should always be heart transformation which will always be the joy of a parent.

My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right. (23:15-16)

How are you impacting the hearts of the next generation?

What were your insights on Proverbs 23?

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2 comments

  1. “for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

    This chapter immediately reminded me of a patient that has been coming to the ED as long as I have been a nurse there…. He is an alcholic and has also been homeless for as long as I have worked there (11 years) I will call him “Bob”. Often in the ED we see a LOT of people that have addictions… some self created and sad to say, some have been healthcare created…. none the less we have a duty to treat each of them as people and not those below us…. Bob has come in more times than I can count in my 11 years. He is almost always under the influence, dirty, head hung down… He use to be very mean to the nurses… but after one visit that changed… Bob came in stone cold sober… He had really injured himself somehow and needed us… and this time, not for just somewhere warm to stay for an hour or two… One of our doctors and myself spoke to Bob, just sat there and spoke with him… turns out he was VERY well spoken, obviously very intellegent… we were blown away. He told us his story…. He had a normal life… wife, kids, nice home, car, etc…and before he could stop it alcohol took over his life… He said he “never in a million years imagined it would be like this”. Can you imagine? From the american dream to sleeping in a box?

    I don’t know why but after than day Bob has never been mean to me. When he comes in now he is always plesant. He is still homeless, still and alcholic and still dirty, but I am able to be humbled by the vision of his life. Sometimes I fell like we are all just one crisis away from crazy…. It is a reminder that staying on my path is essential to my survival.

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