The Rod of Love

I first would say it doth depend
Upon the foolish heart,
Whether correction he'll receive,
Or from the law depart.
If in humility he will 
Accept chastising stroke,
Great freedom he will gain, and thus
Obedience provoke.
The rod that will but lose success
And harm instead of build
Is that which comes from angry hand;
To this, one will not yield.
Though grave and sober is the time
One takes a punishment,
If love and care cannot be felt,
He'll run and not repent.
It's not how hard, how many strokes,
Or if his tears you see,
But clear instruction, calm reproof,
And firm consistency.
As here I speak about the rod,
There's one thing I must say,
That anywhere the rod may be
The staff must also stay.
The staff of gentle guidance and
Retrieving from a fall,
The sweet assurance that I'm loved 
And will be my life all.
If you're a child learning how
To walk obediently,
Embrace correction and reproof
And walk submissively.
And to the guardians of young souls,
I urge you to take care
That, above all, you teach them by 
Your life of godly fear.
For vain will be the rod by which
You raise your little ones,
If in your life there are battles that
By God have not been won.
O rod and staff, they comfort me
And help me not to stray,
But more than all it is the life
That shows me Jesus' way!

Copyright © Elisabeth Linzey 2014

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