3 Labors In Childrearing, Harvesting In Joy

“If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up.”

– Charles Spurgeon

See what Charles Spurgeon means when he writes that the hard work of today brings a harvest of joy in the future in the lives of children and their parents.

Reaping and Sowing

We all know that we always reap what we sow but we reap much later than we sow, so the labor we put into the harvest today will not produce a crop until much later. The greater the labor, the greater the harvest so the same principle applies with children; the more we invest in them, the more we and they will benefit later. What Charles Spurgeon was basically saying was that today’s headaches produce fewer heartaches later in life but the fewer the headaches today, the more heartaches we’ll have later in life when they get older and are grown. Do the hard work today and reap the joy later but slothfulness in disciplining children today will lead to society doing it for them when they’re older…but with far more serious consequences.

Love, Hate, and Apathy

The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy or indifference. If a child is left to themselves, then they’ll see that as hate because the child will see that they really didn’t care. The Bible equates no discipline with hating the child as we read in Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Love and discipline are joined at the hip. You can’t show love without discipline and if there is no love, there is usually little or no discipline. When my son was very young, I disciplined him for playing near the street because I loved him and didn’t want him to get hurt or killed. If I left him alone, then I’d be showing him that I really hate him in the sense that I don’t care what happens to him. Proverbs 29:16 says “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” The “rod” doesn’t refer to beating them with one but the rod represents discipline but a child left to themselves will bring shame to the parents.

Turning the Hearts, Saving the Land

In Malachi 4:6 he writes something very interesting “And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” Malachi associates turning the hearts of their children to their fathers but what must come first? Just as it says in the order of the sentence; the hearts of the fathers must first be turned to their children or their children’s hearts will never be turned to their fathers. What happens if the father’s hearts don’t turn to their children? The land will be destroyed. Why? Because families are the foundation of any nation and when fathers don’t turn to their children’s hearts, the children grow up with hearts of stone. These children bear children with the same tendencies and before you know it, the land has no heart for God and it is destroyed.


God knew that if we would love our children, we’d reap joy many years later but if we refuse to turn our hearts to them and discipline them when they need it, they’ll bring their parents shame, heartache, criminal activity and eventually destruction to the land. Putting in years of hard labor today with plenty of headaches produces less heartache in the years that follow because he or she who loves their children disciplines them but whoever spares the rod hates them.

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