The words “hate” and “love” in this verse are not to be seen as comparing love and hate in an emotional sense. In other words, to withhold a spanking is not a sign that “I love my child more than you do yours,” it could be a sign that “I am willing to sacrifice my child’s future well-being because I want him to like me,” or “I would rather have the approval of society than God,” or “I know of other children who were spanked and they did not end up so good.” We must always be cautious about whose approval we are seeking: our child’s, man’s or God’s.
Disciplining children is painful - especially corporal discipline which is clear from this passage of Scripture. But if the discipline is associated with breaking the teachings of God’s laws - lying, stealing, being disrespectful of others - then it is appropriate. Children must be informed that “If you lie to me, then you will be spanked” is in keeping with God’s laws. Discipline is to bring conformity to God’s ways.
Prayer: Father, help us to discipline our children when they disregard Your laws and willingly choose evil. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.