"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
American King James Version×). We are all desirous of having our children become successful in life. We all realize the need to give them assistance as they grow up and mature in life. God's Word speaks about correction and guidance and teaching from parents to their children.
When my wife and I had no children for five years of marriage (and thought we might never be blessed with them), we watched how others treated their children. We saw some wonderful examples and some, well, not so wonderful examples.
In the early years, we thought if we would just correct and discipline (spank, rebuke and punish is what that was taken to mean) our children, they would turn out to be loving, merciful, kind, caring obedient children. However, I saw one major area that was often missing along with correction— affection!
You see, if a child receives attention only when he or she does something wrong, then the negativity sets in. But, if a child is loved and appreciated for what he or she does right and is shown appropriate affection, then the correction (which will inevitably come because we are not perfect yet) will be more meaningful and will be in the context of a loving relationship.
Children who are regularly loved will take the correction in a way that will affect them more deeply. After all, the correction comes from a parent who loves them (Hebrews 12:6 Hebrews 12:6For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and whips every son whom he receives.
American King James Version×). They will not feel good to be out of sorts with the one who provides them the affection we all need in life.
So please remember that though we should correct and, yes, spank our children when they need it, we also need to show them the love and affection that will enable them to receive the correction more deeply. And we can teach our children mercy by sometimes not exacting the full punishment, especially when we discern that they are truly sorry. Let them know that you are showing them mercy as God shows mercy to us all.
Your children will benefit by correction with affection, and it will enhance their opportunity to become successes in life.