24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
You are no doubt familiar with the phrase “Spare the rod, spoil the child” and, like many, you may attribute that wisdom to the Bible. While I agree with the logic of the phrase, it does not occur anywhere in Scripture. The true verse is much more severe and is more a reflection on the heart of the parent; if you don’t incorporate physical discipline into your child’s upbringing, it is a sign that you do not care enough about them to do whatever is necessary to make sure they don’t turn into a misguided delinquent- a sign that you hate them. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own decisions, but our penal system is filled with examples of the results of negligent parenting; men and women who may have turned into productive members of society had they only been taught that their actions have consequences. Proverbs 19:18 says “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying“; it may be difficult at the time, but isn’t your child worth it?