A Lesson from Jack and His Mama

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Several years ago I bought an old copy of Jack and the Beanstalk. The book began: “Once upon a time, there lived a poor widow who had only one child named Jack. She spoiled him by giving him everything he asked for, so he grew up lazy and disobedient.”

Artist Aida McKenzie created this poster for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Art Project, c. 1938.

When her son traded their cow for a few beans, the mother found out the truth of this proverb:

The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:15

Of course you get frustrated sometimes. Sometimes discipline feels too hard, but hang in there, Mama. Be sweet and be loving while remembering that sweetness and love include loving discipline. For some reason the old American Express admonition comes to mind: “American Express–don’t leave home without it.” In effect, the lives of loving mothers say this to their children: “Discipline–I’m making sure that you don’t leave home without it.”

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;
yet to those who have been trained by it,
afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Hebrews 12:11

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