Wise discipline imparts wisdom;
spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents.
Discipline your children;
you'll be glad you did -
they'll turn out delightful to live with.
Proverbs 29:15, 17 (MSG)
These two verses give us three end results of wisely disciplining our children: we parents won't be embarrassed by them, they'll gain wisdom, and they will be delightful to live with (whether with us or with a spouse). Isn't that reason enough to lovingly discipline them?
But sandwiched between these two verses is verse 16, which leads me to believe it's about discipline as well:
When degenerates take charge,
crime runs wild,
but the righteous will eventually
observe their collapse.
The dictionary defines a degenerate as "a person who has declined, as in morals or character" and as "a person that reverts to an earlier stage of development."
Do we want our grown, adult children to be involved in crime, acting like spoiled self-willed toddlers, all because we didn't discipline them?
Adults and adolescents certainly have a choice...to obey God or not, to do right or wrong, to live by the law or break it. But let's make sure that as parents, we don't fail to do our duty as well.