Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE
10/11/2016 12:05:00 AM by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

 

EXCERPT

I PRAYED FOR PATIENCE GOD GAVE ME CHILDREN

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting
(Psalms 139:23-24)

 

 


“I know the government says I’m not supposed to spank my son,” she said.


While performing New York State child protective investigations, I often had to explain to parents the differences between disciplined spanking and physical abuse. “Spanking is allowed if done correctly,” I said. Then I spent the better part of an hour explaining the legal parameters of spanking as well as alternative methods of discipline.


She turned to her son while pointing at me. “Did you hear that? Mrs. Rondeau said I could crack you one.” Shirley was not abusive in her dispensing of punishment, but she failed to grasp the intent.


Unfortunately, the adage, “Spare the rod, and spoil the child,” has been misquoted from Proverbs 13:24: He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Those who wrongly repeat it, often use it as an excuse to inflict rather than lead.

The shepherd's staff, or rod, was a hooked piece of wood. It was also a symbol of royalty. When monarchy was established in Israel, the scepter was modeled after the shepherd’s crook to remind the king to lead the people as a shepherd tended his flock. Shepherds did not beat their sheep. Sheep were docile, tame creatures that needed only gentle prodding. Shepherds also used the rod to drive away predators. The crook at the end of the rod allowed the shepherd to gently pull back a wandering lamb. The sheep knew the shepherd and followed him wherever he led.

As long as they could see the shepherd’s staff, the sheep knew they were safe.


Paul said, Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Corinthians 7:10).


God disciplines us because He loves us. Sometimes He nudges gently. Other times, He takes a symbolic two-by-four and knocks us off our feet. Whatever He must do to keep us safely in the fold, He will do. God’s discipline has purpose and design. He does not relish in dealing harshly with His beloved children but will hedge us in for our own protection. There is neither fear nor disappointment in God’s chastening, only comfort and confidence.

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