Because God is our heavenly Father and we (Christians) are his adopted sons and daughters, he disciplines us when we sin and disobey (Prov. 3:11, Heb. 12:5-6). However, in Christ we understand this discipline to be full of love, not hate; we view the rod as evidence of God’s care, not his curse. God disciplines his children to keep them away from danger and close to himself. I like how Charles Bridges discussed this in his commentary on Proverbs 3:11-12.
“Nowhere, indeed, are our corruptions so manifest, or our graces so shining as under the rod. We need it as much as our daily bread. Children of God are still children of Adam; with Adam’s will, pride, independence, and waywardness. And nothing more distinctly requires Divine teaching and grace, than how to persevere in behavior the just mean (middle) between hardness and despondency; ‘neither despising the chastening of the Lord, nor being weary of his correction.’”
“Let it be a solemn remembrance to thee, that thou art under thy Father’s correction (Lam 3:28, 29; Mic. 7:9). Receive it then in good part. Instead of being weary of it, hang upon his chastening hand, and pour thy very soul into his bosom (1 Sam. 1:10-15). Kiss the rod (Job 34:31, 32; 1 Pet. 5:6). Acknowledge its humbling, but enriching benefit (Ps. 119:67-71). Expect a richer blessing from sustaining grace than from the removal of the deprecated (belittling) affliction (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
“After all we must add, that chastening is a trial to the flesh (Heb. 12:11), yet (it is) overruled by wonder-working wisdom and faithfulness to an end above and contrary to its nature. This very rod was sent in love to the soul. Perhaps we were living at ease, or in heartless backsliding. The awakening voice called us to our Bible and to prayer. Thus eyeing God in it, we see it to be love, not wrath; receiving (us), not casting (us) out. We might perhaps have wished it a little altered; that the weight had been shifted, and the cross a little smoothed, where it pressed upon the shoulder. But now that our views are cleared, we discern blessing enough to swallow up the most poignant smart” (p. 27-29).
These selections were taken from Charles Bridges, Proverbs (Edinburg: Banner of Truth, 1846).