What Do You Mean by Chasten?

by Gary Colley

Jesus dictated these words to the apostle John for the church in Laodicea: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (Revelation 3:19).

After this Bible reference appeared on a sign in the front of a church building, a phone call was received from a somewhat irate woman inquiring as to what was meant by this saying. It was evident that she did not know it was from the inspired Scriptures. When she was kindly informed that it was written to the church at Laodicea, with the further exhortation to "be zealous, therefore, and repent," she said, "Oh," and hung up. Supposing that she was against any and all chastening, especially of children, many more scripture references came to mind which could have shown the importance of the same thought. But she gave no time to mention these scriptures and indicated little regard to the one she had seen on the sign.

No Discipline Theory

So many of the liberal persuasion have "decided" against the Bible and rather to go along with the widely-read Dr. Spock of the 1960s, that children should receive no discipline. Dr. Spock later acknowledged that his anti-Bible advice had raised an entire nation of misguided rebels! But the harm to several generations was done, and many, both parents and children, suffered as the result.

If you are interested in seeing further references concerning this Bible teaching, see Deuteronomy 8:1-6; Job 5:17; Psalms 94:12; Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:6, 8-9, 11.

Parents Seeking Help

Today's parents should follow the Bible instead of the liberal talk shows' propaganda about raising children. They refuse to talk about spanking a child but rather refer to "beating" or "hitting." We do not condone either! No one could be more against the abuse of children than this writer! No one could have greater concern and interest in our young people. But, if we want children to grow up being responsible, we must teach, train, and discipline them with the proper thinking of reaping what you sow (Galatians 6:7-9) and that wrong acts bring swift punishment. And, we need to be aware of the fact that when a child is not disciplined he will bring shame to his mother (Proverbs 19:15). But the Proverbs also wisely say, "Correct thy son, and he will bring thee rest [peace]; yea, he will give delight unto thy soul" (Proverbs 29:17).

Show Them Love

Correct chastening shows our love for our young and their future, even their eternal future! Pity to the child that grows up not knowing the real meaning of the word "no." These children will not have the guidelines for living that will make them good law-abiding citizens or faithful members of the Lord's church. Without discipline and training, they will miss the structural principles that will help them throughout life (Proverbs 22:6). They will grow up in careless, irreligious, and scandalous actions like the two sons of Eli, who lacked parental authority with his children (I Samuel 2:21-26; 3:12-15). Neither, with the proper discipline, will they be so surprised when the eternal Judgment and punishment of God comes upon the ungodly and disobedient (Ecclessiastes 11:9-10; 12:13-14; Romans 1:18).

The parents who do not love their children enough to chasten them are described in Proverbs 13:24: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son." This teaches that those who withhold useful correction and discipline from their children act as if they do not love their children.

We should be thankful that God loves us, chastens us, and does all things, even chastening, well (Hebrews 12:5-13). Faithful and loving parents will strive to do the same.