The “commands” of father (:20) and the “teaching” of mother (:20) are a “lamp” and a “light” to illuminate “the way to life” for their son in this verse. Their words give direction and offer understanding about life – like the well-known “lamp” and “light” of God’s Word (Ps 119:105).
But, while the phrase “the corrections of discipline” sounds like punishment, it actually suggests so much more. “Corrections” are designed to put us back on course. “Discipline” comes from the same root as “disciple” and speaks of voluntarily submitting to a “way of life.” Its all about being willing to make changes and commit to a new way of life.
At first glance this verse has a pretty negative feel. Other people telling me what to do and punishment every time I do wrong.
Yet I suggest it is actually offering some pretty optimistic stuff. All who are willing to receive direction from those who care for them and accept discipline as being for their own good are on the road to a pretty exciting and meaningful “way to life.”