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Raising Up Righteous Children

The trend in our modern western society is not to chastise our children, for the modernist liberal says “it is barbarous”. But the Bible is totally against that.
Indeed we see all around what kind of rebellious and disrespectful children this modern democratic society is raising up, and one day these kids will be unrighteous adults.

These are the commands that God gives in His Holy Book for raising up upright children, fit for a just society:

“For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Pro 3:12 )

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him chastens him early.” (Pro 13:24)

“Chasten your son while there is hope, and let not your soul spare for his crying.” (Pro 19:18)

“Foolishness [is] bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Pro 22:15)

“Do not withhold correction from a child, for [if] you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with the rod, and you shall deliver him from Sheol.” (Pro 23:13-14)

“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” (Pro 29:15)

“Correct your child, and you will get rest, and it will give delight to your soul.” (Pro 29:17)

Have you ever been in a restaurant when a young couple comes in with a couple children?  The room is tranquil, the clients are dining and conversing with low voice and no mobile is heard. All of a sudden the room becomes an inferno. The couple’s kids begin to run madly around the floor, screaming with toys brought from home, then sneaking under the tables of the other clients pulling this and that, and yet these parents pretend that nothing is happening and say nothing to their kids. Even the owner says nothing for if he protests the parents will insult him and he has lost customers.

Now let us take another venue, school - the bullies there are flourishing. They are terrible kids that study little or nothing, brawling in class and outside, they make fun of the teachers (and sometimes even threatening them) and often strike the weaker children. Incredibly when the school reports arrive, full of miserable grades, some mothers even go vehemently protesting with the teachers defending with a “drawn sword” their kids saying they do not deserve those negative judgements. And they do that with a frightening energy. A teacher even said that “the parents have become their children’s syndicalists”.

Third scene: the streets of a large city. In the evening they become the battle field of baby gangs. The youth hooliganism overflows. There is no difference between local kids and immigrants, their attacks do not know any limits. Often the leaders of the gangs film them in action and then post these vile activities on YouTube and Facebook to show that their gangs are unbeatable.

These 3 examples are only some of the diabolic processes that have their origin in the family. This can be traced to: inexistent education, absolute absence of discipline at home together with the renunciation of parental authority because they are too involved (and interested) in their careers and they are hardly at home. It is said that one will reap what he has sown, it is really the case here. Have you sown badly or none at all? well then nothing good will grow. Your children will grow empty, crooked, indifferent to any ethical form and be impervious to any type of Law.

To be honest we must admit that the job of parenthood is the most difficult one in the world, especially today when children are continually exposed to all type of negative influences such as what is shown on TV and all around them. There is the case of 4 young boys that have massacred (killed) 2 policemen whilst in duty. We do not blame their families out rightly but surely they would have asked themselves the reason for this cowardly action but only after the attack. They must have asked why 3 underage kids and one 19 were free to attend all night a rave party, get drunk, take drugs for then attacking two policeman that stopped them at 10 AM.

No doubt I will be considered an old Dinosaur, or even a Martian in this world of 2011. Today most parents do not ask themselves what their children are doing. They have thrown the sponge, they could not care less. All they do is to finance them in order to avoid the rage at home. The word “chastisement” has become a blasphemy, a no-no word, a troglodyte expression. The modern society refuses to chastise, punish, and repress those who make mistakes. If the offenders are the young people, then the acquittal is guaranteed, the lament is: “poor children they behave so because they have no work and consequently not even a future”.

It is quite annoying when the media and TV say that one third of young people are without jobs as though it were society’s fault, but it is not true. Never it is said the truth that work is there albeit hard and even ungrateful, but it is there for those who want to work and adapt. These jobs are the same that gave a living to our parents and not long ago. Together with chastisement today we miss the capacity to inform out children to share the experience of the past generation and our kids grow up very ignorant. But no, our task is to make our kids feel satisfied , happy, assisted and fully convinced that everything is due to them and it must be given. But the bible says: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2Th 3:10)

Today children are the clients of a free market, where everything is obtained without work and without money. “Dear son, do you want a motorbike?” “Sure i want it”, and pronto, it is given. Afterwards there will be requested a car, the latest electronic gadgets, the latest fashion in dressing and shoes, vacations, long weekends, much sex, liquors to get drunk, and drugs to be deluded that the world is made up of old stupid goons to be fleeced to make the young people happy.

This is the world today with young people refusing work and living on the shoulder of their grandparents sucking their pensions, relying also on the parents that do work hard to allow their kids to live a leisurely life without slogging.

But what will happen to them when the grandparents and parents die, will their golden supply run dry, or the government will supply them meal tickets gratis? “I will go stealing” say some. Well it is happening already. But our decadent society is on a frail “Titanic” about to sink.  Have the parents explained this to their kids?  Methinks not.  Today’s parents have a lot of explaining to do when in front of the Lord, and as they are now completely useless because they have abandoned the precepts of God.

ON CHASTISING

Chastising our children is supported and required by the Bible, but also it warns fathers not to overdo it, least the children be discouraged:

“And, you fathers, do not make your children angry: but give them training in the teaching and fear of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4)

“Fathers, do not be hard on your children, so that their spirit may not be broken.” (Col 3:21)

Fathers do not be fooled by your children because in our liberal society they will quickly accuse you of provoking them even for the smallest chastening. If in your conscience you are convinced they have done a wrong, then you chastise them regardless of their protestations:

“Do not withhold correction from a child, ……………………..” (Pro 23:13)

“Chasten your son while there is hope, and let not your soul spare for his crying.” (Pro 19:18)

Fathers do remember that physical punishment has to be the last resource to be applied and only when all else to correct the child has failed. You must first reason with the child why punishment is being meted explaining clearly that this is for their good and that it hurts you more than it hurts them. Also do not use the rod on the child in rage, the Jewish fathers before belting the child they strike their forearms first to see how enraged they are. God accepts that the corrections of the fathers are not always perfect nevertheless reverence is due to them: “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: ……………….” (Heb 12:9). Clearly it is better to chastise the child, even if not perfectly, than no chastisement at all, as done in this decadent society.

Fathers make sure that the punishment meets the crime and do not chastise the child just for the sake of punishing. Belting should be rare and only on the most rebellious children. For the small children a gentle smack on the bottom should suffice for receiving a punishment from a person in authority over them is punishment enough, and teaches them who is in charge. For sensible children a withholding of a benefit may be sufficient, or even a stern rebuke may do the job.

Absolutely be coherent with the punishment, the child must be punished considtently and at the moment of the wrong doing, do not say: "when we go home you will get it" and then forget about it. Or you punish him for a misdeed but another time for the same misdeed you punish him not. Moreover NEVER and NEVER let it be disaccord between the parents on the punishment in front of the children. If necessary do discuss the matter privately because the children are opportunistic and very quick to put their parents against each other in order to avoid a belting.

Incidentally, the greatest American theologian, Jonathan Edwards once said the children are born as little vipers and it is true, just look at when a baby is brought home, who will be ruling the family, that baby naturally. By the way Jonathan Edwards and his wife in full accord had 11 children and all grew up as righteous citizens and they did not withheld chastisement. Moreover at that time there was an unrighteous businessman who also had many children. Someone follow the future generation of both, well Jonathan’s progeny was made up of law obeying citizen, but the other line was made up of crooks and robbers.

It is important to establish who has authority in the family from the first day of the baby’s coming home. If the parents have not established their authority over the children by the time they are 7, then they have missed the bus and have delinquents in their hands. If they have established their authority by 7, then the future is only maintenance. If not, then it is hell. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Pro 22:6)

Finally we must follow God’s way and what He does with us, His children: “For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and whips every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.” (Heb 12:6-8)

See God chastise those He loves and if He chastises not our crooked ways then we are not His children but bastards. Similarly if we do not chastise the crooked ways of our children then we love them not and they are not part of us, but children without parents i.e. bastards:

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him chastens him early.” (Pro 13:24)

“For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Pro 3:12)

HOW TO DISCIPLINE

There is no doubt whatsoever that a child left to himself will most likely grow up all bent, selfish and unfit for a righteous society as confirmed by Scripture: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” (Pro 29:15)

Therefore it behoves the parents do discipline their children, it is their duty commanded by God, “laissez-faire” parents are disobedient to God and both them and their children will pay the consequences in the flesh.

There are many ways to discipline the children and the discipline applied differs from child to child, depending on their disposition to obey and adapt to the godly rules.

What is important is not the discipline but the end product to raise up proper children fit for a just society.

Do remember that in ALL cases an explanation as to why the application of discipline has to be given first to the child and the discipline must be suitable to the crime.

 Discipline methods:

  1. If the child adapts himself to the rules (unlikely) then discipline is not necessary because he is already in line to what is required,

  2.  For few children a mild verbal rebuke is all that is needed,

  3.  Some require stern rebukes,

  4.  Others require rebukes and withdrawal of benefits,

  5.  After that there is no alternative to physical punishment,

  6.  If they do not respond even to that, a visit by the local policeman would be appropriate,

  7.  Absolutely NEVER discipline in anger or in hate, the child must perceive that even though he is punished he is still part of the family and within its love,.

  8. Discipline must be coherent with itself, that is: same punishment for same crime, always,

  9. Finally discipline must be applied immediately, not promised and then never applied,

  10.  Never but never parents should show disagreement between themselves on discipline in front of the children. The children must see a united front between parents, otherwise they will play one against the other and the efficiency of any discipline will be compromised. Also if one parent has dished out punishment, the other must not nullify it. It is best for the father to dispense discipline and the mother only when father is not present. The mother can play the role of an oasis of refuge, but NEVER speak against the punishment given by the father, indeed she should reinforce it. (if necessary the parents can discuss it in private).