Proverbs 29:21

Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir. 

Webster’s Dictionary defines pamper: "to cater excessively to someone or to his or her desires or feelings." To pamper is to gratify appetites, tastes, or desires—to indulge, spoil, coddle, mollycoddle (archaic), and baby. Indulgence suggests excessive lenience. Spoil, coddle and mollycoddle point to overprotective care that often leads to weakening of character. The point here is to “Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives (Proverbs 19:18 NLT)). The ESV says, “…or you will lead them to death.”

Our goal in caring for a “servant” is the same as if he were a son, daughter, or foster child. Parents are stewards of these precious gifts and are to love, nurture, and instruct them. The fruit of this disciplined effort is that they no longer depend on the parents, but on the Lord. “Train up a child in the way he should go….” 

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