Reading my column, one would think I lived in pre-historic times. Before the modern term of “Children’s Rights” there were “Parents’ rights”. They understood it was the parents’ right, yea, their responsibilities to train them as they grew up. Consistency is the key.
Growing up at home is not easy. My parents did not believe in ‘water-boarding’ – or other forms of torture, but they did believe in DISCIPLINE. The center of discipline is obedience.
We were taught to sit, stand, walk, run, stay, heel, go, fetch, and do. These nine factors were taken straight out of the book, “How to Teach Your Dog Obedience”. Paul wrote, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord; FOR THIS IS RIGHT. Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with you, that you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-2). They believed that the reward for obeying is WHAT MAKES YOU RIGHT. Nothing else makes a child right but by doing right. A new bike doesn’t make him right. The gift of a neighborhood sleepover doesn’t make him right. The new swimming pool or even the gift of a beginner car doesn’t make him right. DOING WHAT’S RIGHT MAKES ONE RIGHT!! It gives him a right feeling, a good conscience, and a right direction.
Paul continues, “And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). When a parent says, “I told you and told you, and told you, and told you” someone in this (?)conversation is dumb. Either the one telling or the one being told has a low I.Q. So I was brought up on the solid principle of a “ONE TIME TELL“. If what you say is understood, It should then be followed and obeyed. If it is wrong for your child to disobey you, it is equally wrong for you, as a parent to allow it. When you allow a little disobedience to continue and you end up by saying, “You’re going to get it one of these days, you’re building up for a big one.”
The writer of Hebrews offers some sound advice. “My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loves he chastens (disciplines) and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure discipline, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? If you are without chastisement, whereof we are all partakers, then are you bastards (Illegitimate) and not sons at all” (Hebrews 12:5-8). The writer is saying, “This is the way God deals with his spiritual children, strictly out of a motive of (Agape) love. Now he speaks of us as fathers. “Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected (disciplined) us, and we gave them reverence (respect). Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of spirits, and live? (Hebrews 12:9).
When your child disobeys you, he dishonors you. This is always wrong. When you discipline him in his disobedience, he will renew that honor he lost and give you his respect. Simple clear teaching of the word.
The silliest thing dad ever said to me and he said it often, was, “Do you want a whipping?”. (Answer: “Yes, oh yes, daddy, I’ve been waiting all day for you to come home and just whip up on me – whee!!) I lived in the day when whipping was not brutal but was legal. The writer continues. “Now no chastening (discipline, correction) for the present seems to be joyous; but grievous (painful, hurtful, unpleasant); nevertheless, AFTERWARD it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).
The keep word is ‘AFTERWARD‘ in mind. No one wants a whipping, a correction, an unpleasant time . . . Nevertheless . . . Afterward comes and with it, respect and honor and forgiveness. The memories of the whippings I got (daddy used a switch) now become the faithfulness of my days, the love and respect of my parents and the beauty and marvel of foundation called “Obedience”.
Consistency is the key. Dare to discipline and do it consistently and then just sit back and enjoy the AFTERWARD TO COME.
Giving some of these thoughts in a lecture, a frustrated woman hustled by me as if she was a bit angry. I said, “Whoa, what’s your hurry?” She retorted, “I’m going to rush home and whip my kids. They have been lying, and cheating and disobeying and treating me like dirt”.
“How long has this been going on,” I asked.
“A long time”, she gasped.
“By all means, go home to your children. Sit them on the sofa. Tell them what they have been doing. Don’t ask – Tell. Then ask them to forgive you.” Make each one say, “I forgive you, Mama”, Now you say to them (through tears), “I forgive you” – name them one by one.
“All is forgiven, now this is the way we are going to live from now on.” That’s better than whipping ’em.