No one likes to be disciplined, sometimes not even after it has accomplished its goal. (Hebrews 12:10) Yet, because of the nature of the human heart discipline is sometimes the only mechanism that will accomplish the goal. “…We have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” (Hebrews 12:9-10) God, who abundantly loves me is careful to discipline me. (24) Therefore, I endure hardships as God’s discipline. (Hebrews 12:7)
“Rod” here is a figure of speech for discipline of any kind. God-directed hardship is a rod of discipline. He has other rods too. So when human parents lovingly believe that their child needs to be disciplined they are not being instructed here that a physical rod is the only blessed means.
“Discipline” here in the original Hebrew is “musar” (a transliteration). It can also be translated as instructed, corrected, reproof, and chastened. Discipline thus has a clear goal. One goal is to lovingly and wisely correct folly that is bound to a child’s soul (22:15). Another goal is to keep one from the path of destruction and even death (19:18, 23:13-14). The rod imparts wisdom (29:15) when other forms of education do not or will not work. It even keeps a mother and father from disgrace and promotes a healthy and happy family (29:17).