Deeper Day 286: Spare the rod, spoil the child

This morning as I read my Bible, I came across these verses in Proverbs…

My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life. Proverbs 6:20-23

As I read those words, I saw a generation that is walking in darkness because they don’t have the light of their parents teaching and guidance. I have seen parents forsake the importance of leading, teaching and correcting their children. I see mothers who disapprove of the strong hand that God desires the father to lead with, and fathers who disapprove of the gentle rebuff that a mother offers. When both used in balance, create a healthy family environment. I see a world where discipline has been called abuse and self-control is absent. I see a world where taking responsibility for yourself is out of fashion but blaming everyone else for everything is normal. I see us devolving, and it begins at home.

I see there is far too much at stake for us to continue down this path, and family must be restored. Family must be favored. Our private lives should far exceed the importance of our social media lives. Instead of searching out that Instagram worthy moment, we should be creating real moments with real commitment. Instead of staging our every outing to make it picture perfect and blog worthy, we should really invest in the hearts of those who so desperately need us, our children. They need to see our eyes, not the lens of our cell phone camera. They need to have their moments protected, not used to promote the popularity and “likes” of their parents. What have we come to?

I know I am guilty of this, just like the rest of you. Today I repent. Today, I break all soul ties that I have made with the inanimate object that is social media. I’m not saying I’m closing down all accounts, but I am saying I won’t let them have such a hold on me anymore, and who knows, I just may lay them down completely if God leads me to do so. What do I have to lose? Fake influence? I’d rather have real influence.

When I read those verses in Proverbs, I could see the young rioters on the streets threatening to burn down the very country that provides them the freedom and privilege to have such strong opinions. They are mistaken if they think any other country in the entire world would allow such a thing. In their ignorance they rage against the only country that operates in this much freedom. It’s insanity.

We must educate ourselves and our children. Their lives depend on it.

(I am sorry if this devotional feels too heavy, but when I began writing these, I committed to write anything God led me to write. This is the stirring I have today. This is the hard line I feel forming. We must lead our children, lest in their youth they lead themselves into the fire.)

Prayer Moment: God, I repent of every moment wasted or constructed to appear social media perfect. I repent for every time I have forsaken a true intimate moment with my family, just to share it with the world. God, forgive me. Reset my focus. Anoint me for the task of motherhood. Restore innocence and simple fun within my family. Show us how to embrace our family life more and more every day. I surrender to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24