Wednesday, June 29, 2005

This Hurts Me More Than You

“You’ll never teach in this school again!” These are the last words I heard from a high school senior a few years ago as I told him to leave class. He had been rude and disrespectful, and then confronted me face to face (literally) when I tried to discipline him. Fortunately no punches were thrown, and I did teach there again.

Having this experience of teaching in today’s school systems, and also having worked with youth even in the church, I have witnessed clearly the results of failing to heed the instruction of Proverbs 29:15 (“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”). Had I ever acted the way this young man did, I would have received the rod at school and then again at home from Dad! This is because when I was growing up, the school system, and my father, took biblical instruction seriously.

Regardless of the ideas of modern child psychology, the Bible teaches discipline and corrective instruction as a necessity, even though it may be difficult.

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

Many times prior to spanking me, my father would try to convince me that it would somehow be more painful for him than for me! Though a child may not understand this statement, the parents know that it is not enjoyable to discipline their children. But it must be done.

Without oversight, a child is like a horse with its reigns removed. He is allowed to do anything he pleases and is bound to foolishness (Proverbs 22:15). Learning by experience can be effective at times, but isn’t always necessary. A child should never have to learn that a stove is hot. Proper instruction from his parents and obedience on his part will prevent him from experiencing the pain of finding out the hard way.

Children have the responsibility to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1). When they refuse, proper discipline must be administered. Failure to do so can be devastating. Our society, and even the church, is suffering due to lack of discipline. It’s up to each parent to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), not sparing the rod.

Written By David Ray

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