As I read this scripture I immediately thought “the writer certainly never saw the 20th century parenting in America. There are so many children who live without discipline. Parents are busy being the friends of their children, or busy with their own lives instead of being the parent. Society has said it is not okay to discipline your child. All correction is seen as punitive.
As a parent I can not imagine not disciplining my child. Yes, it changes with their understanding. As an infant and toddler, my correction is going to be redirection. As they get older, time out is more appropriate. When they are old enough to reason, talking things out. As teenagers, restrictions and taking things away is helpful discipline. When necessary, a spanking may be needed.
God is the same way. He doesn’t have a blanket discipline for his children. He disciplines us as the level we are. As new Christians, I think He does a lot of redirecting. He reveals new things as an alternative to our old way of life. As we mature, he may pull us away from activities that we previously enjoyed. He may start to talk with us during our quiet time, or have someone share about why certain things are not beneficial to the Christian walk. At times, He may physically remove things from our life because we are unwilling to learn what we should. and yes, when necessary God will spank us, and the sting can be just as impactful as a switch or belt.
God is our example and He disciplines us. If we are not willing to accept His discipline, then we can not be His children. He loves us, wants what is best for us, but He will still correct us. His desire is to keep us in right relationship with Him, draw us into a deeper relationship, and continue to further His Kingdom.