I’m often reminded of an old saying, to paraphrase: If you want to make God laugh, make plans. Interestingly enough, most people make many plans throughout their lives. Some to marry and have a family, some to have a career, etc. Plans kind of change as we get further into them, don’t they? Growing up, I never thought about getting married or having children. Wasn’t in the plan. Then, as I got to my late 20s, I feared I wouldn’t be able to get married, and married the wrong man because people told me he would be a good provider. I found out in the first week of that marriage, that wasn’t the case. I try to stick it out, talked about children with the now ex because that was one of the reasons he supposedly wanted to marry me. God was looking out for me, because suddenly, he didn’t want children. I finally came to my senses, left him, and went out on my own. I’m now very happily married, with children, and yeah, it wasn’t in the plan.
So, Proverbs takes us down some different paths. This next set brings us down a few, to end with our plan.
18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
do not be a willing party to their death.
Discipline your children, for in that there is hope. Think about that. How many children do you come across that are not disciplined for fear that their children might hate them or even dislike them? These children, most of the time are obnoxious. I don’t see hope in that. This verse is reminding us that it’s ok to be parents, and discipline our children. It’s our job. We’re not their friends, we are their mothers and fathers. In the end, your children will be thankful for the discipline. And yes, I realize that may take a few decades, or you may be lucky and it could be when they start having children of their own. So, we are warned to not willingly take part in their downfall.
19 A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
rescue them, and you will have to do it again.
A hot-tempered person, hot headed, angry person must pay the penalty. If we rescue then from the penalty, we must go back over and over again. They will never learn that way.
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
However, if we listen to advice, and accept the discipline, in the end, we will be counted as wiser, since we have learned from our errors. After all, isn’t that part of life and growing up? Learning from mistakes and moving on, not repeating them over and over.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
So, many plans are in our hearts, but it is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail, always. Make a plan? See God laugh. He has His own plan for us. And no matter what, his plan will be fulfilled.
So, what’s your plan?