Pr. 13:18: “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”
I’m sure it’s just the unconscious “I’m 5 now and it’s time to push all the boundaries” type of situation, but we have noticed a pattern of behavior in our little Levi lately.
It may seem unfair or shocking to you, but yesterday we felt it was necessary to have him pack away his toys and put them away until he can correct this issue within himself. Because of our great love for Levi, we feel it’s very important to correct his disrespectful behavior while he is still young. We understand, even if he doesn’t, that hitting, lying, and purposefully disobeying will not bring good to him throughout his life.
Truly poverty has come upon this little guy as his room is void of any toys and actually has an echo to it when you walk in. He has been shamed in front of his sister who is making wiser choices and has a room full of toys. He has the choice now to either disregard our newest correction, or to regard this rebuke and receive honor.
If he doesn’t receive our correction, things could stay that way for a while. Certainly, however, as we see that his heart is receiving the message, he will begin to receive his toys back.
He is a little young for the in-depth conversations of cause and effect, consequences, and the laws of reaping what you sow, although I do counsel them both on these truths in ways they can understand. He can, however, see the truth of cause and effect before his eyes when his intentional behavior causes him to lose privilege after privilege.
Poor guy. I don’t like it, but we are told in the word that we must correct him now to save his soul, and that if he will honor his parents his life will go well. There is more at stake than just behavior and compliance.
Naturally we want to train him in a way to prevent him from going to prison or being fired from a job in his later years. More importantly, though, is that in order to receive eternal life, he must humble himself before the Lord. If he is to humble himself before a God he cannot see, he must be able to be humble. Disrespect, selfishness, and lying are not attributes of a humble heart. He must be taught and trained, and we love him too much not to try.
Just like him, sometimes we need correction to reveal to us that our heart is becoming hardened in sin or we are slipping into patterns of behavior that will drive us away from the Lord. When correction comes our way, we can be thankful that God loves us enough to take the time to correct us. He is slow to anger and rich in love. Correction is not meant to be tyranny or manipulation, but point us back toward His loving arms.