The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
I. LOOK AT THE CHILD LEFT TO HIMSELF. That is, without reproof, and that grave advice which gives wisdom. The original term is applied to the unbridled impetuosity of an animal. The child, if not held in by the bit and bridle of a religious education — if left to the impetuosity of his own passions — will be ruined. Appeal to the nature of things. What is there left to itself that comes to any good? What is land without inclosure and cultivation? Appeal to experience as to the effect of a neglected education. Who are the pests of society? Appeal to Scripture.
II. THE EFFECT OF THIS NEGLECT. Look at the parent. "Bringeth his mother to shame." This is only one result. Other things follow. Ruin to the child's principles. All the consequences of his conduct to a neighbourhood. Tendencies to sap the foundations of morality and justice between man and man. In all this there seems to be a remarkable feature of the retributive justice of God in His moral government. The education of children in the fear of God is one of the first and self-evident duties, the foundation of all moral good. But it is implied that a child carefully trained for God and religion shall not bring his mother to shame.
III. THE MOTIVES FLOWING FROM THESE CONSIDERATIONS.
1. Enforce this duty on our own hearts.
2. See it in reference to the children of the poor.
3. The need of guarding children against the evil influence of the press. Show what religion you possess by your endeavours to educate your children religiously.
(Daniel Wilson, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.