The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
My dearest children:
I pray that the consistency and standard of discipline by which you were raised has afforded you wisdom by God's grace.
If left to yourself, you would shame your mother and yourself. Not because you are worse than any other, but because you are just as bad as all who have come before you - including your mom and dad.
If we go where we want to, do what we want to, and live how we want to, we will bring shame upon ourselves and others. Our hearts are broken, deceptive, wicked, and incapable of desiring the best things. We cling to the better things and the good becomes the enemy of the best. We brandish the better as a weapon against the best. Common sense wars against faith in Christ. Our default is to go down swinging or go down drowning; but either way, down we go.
Unless God sheds light into our darkness, speaks words into our silence, softens our hardness, makes alive our deadness, makes visible our blindness; we languish.
Do not withhold Your discipline from me, my wife, or my children O God. Do not let us enjoy that which is done without You in mind. Do not let the deceptive joys and thrills of sin capture our hearts. May You be swift to smack our hand and patient to counsel us in Your Spirit. Regenerate us to both want what You want and hate what You hate. Be a good Parent and guide us, train us, instruct us, and spank us. But give the spank the supernatural ability to go further than the sting of flesh that it may transform our soul in conformity to Your will as living sacrifices. Do not leave us to ourselves even when by prayer it is our request. Do not answer our prayers for things that lead us astray. Do not leave us alone. Do not leave us to ourselves.