“‘Train up a child in the way he should go’ is the injunction God lays on us. But it is, moreover, the principle on which He Himself is acting with His Church. He is training up His children here. This is the true character of His dealings with them. The education of His saints is the object He has in view. It is training for the kingdom; it is education for eternity.
How momentous, then, is the training! It is God who is carrying it on by the Holy Spirit. It is the Church, which is the Body of Christ, that is the subject of it. And it is to prepare her for an everlasting kingdom! In bringing many sons unto glory, it was needful that even the Captain of their through suffering. Surely, then, God lays vast stress upon this discipline. In His estimation it is no unimportant nor unmeaning exercise. Knowing this, the apostle exhorts us on this very point, ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord.’ It is too solemn to be despised, too education of God’s family is concerned with it. The preparation of an heir of glory depends on it.” (Horatius Bonar)
For more on the subject, visit the Pastoral Theology page.