(Proverbs 19:18 KJV) Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Does this imply that if we don’t “chasten” (discipline NASB) (3256) it means we do not care about our children? The short answer is, “Yes.” The long answer is, “Yes, it does!!!!” Do you see the difference?
We may not like it but discipline is a part of love. Years ago James Dobson wrote a book, Dare to Discipline. It has been reprinted many times and an updated edition is available. People laughed at it when it came out. I recommend it, the world still laughs at it. As I talk to parents at school, I can almost see this. They talk about love and say they care, but they do nothing to teach their children. They do nothing to enforce standards. Worse, they do not live as models.
My children are now independent adults. I stay in their homes on vacation and let them pick up the check when we go out to eat. I am proud of them but I am not sanguine about the future. I can’t do much in the way of enforcing discipline. I can’t put my son on a chair for fifteen minutes or take away his computer. But because I live in “hope” (8615) I continue to exert the types of discipline still available to me: Teaching and example.
So? No matter how old your children, you are an influence in their lives. If they follow the Lord, reinforce all the investment you have made. If they have not embrace Jesus, then live in hope. The final chapter has not been written yet.