“Too many parents try to reason with little individuals in whom ‘foolishness is bound,’ then in vain try to ‘drive it far from them’ with timeouts. I propose that a loving, biblical approach to parenting would serve themselves, their children, and the world much better.” – A. Baker
Tag Archives: discipline
A couple of weeks ago I started reading a new devotional every morning. It is a compilation of writings from A.W. Tozer, and it is meant for the Christian leader.
To be honest, I have been convicted by some of the things that I have read. Today’s entry alone gave me reason to pause and consider my own carnality. In the devotion entitled Faith Dares to Fail, Tozer says:
“The man who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it.” Believe me, there are times when I get down.
But it was yesterday’s devontion that stood out the most out of all the ones I have read recently. In Greatness Has Its Price, Tozer uses painful analogy to point out one reason why most Christians (and churches) are pitifully inadequate and effective, the power of the Holy Spirit aside:
“The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the career of a big-league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men and easy chairs. Success is costly.”
Yet, even though we are told to “be ye holy, even as I am holy,” we treat our faith like a weekend leisure activity, never caring much about the eternal outcome, only the present pleasure of half-hearted activity and even less commitment. Need proof?
- How many verses of scripture have you memorized “that [you] might not sin against God”?
- Is your commitment level to a local sports facility more than your commitment level to a local assembly of believers?
- Do you brag more about your child’s batting average than his boldness to tell others about Jesus?
- When’s the last time you ever voluntarily did any Bible study outside of what was spoonfed to you in church?
Is there any wonder the church, along with most of its members, is weak? We’ve forgotten what it means to “be sober and vigilant.” We’ve become lazy and insubordinate soldiers in the army of our God, yet spend millions in research to determine why we’ve lost ground to the Enemy. We’ve even traded our powerful pulpits for motivational ministries that adjust our “easy chairs.”
Maybe it’s time we take our faith seriously – because the One to whom we will answer to does.
Just doing some scrolling through Facebook, that’s when I came across the following video by a wonderful couple, the wife now gone on to be with the Lord. I think it’s worth watching.
You see, I am from a different time…a different era…a different generation. I came along before “seeker friendly” was a thing, and when “time out” was only something you took between work …or between rounds.
We look at our communities these days and wonder what to do. As I drove my school bus this afternoon I can’t tell you how many gang signs and hand shakes I saw exchanged. There wasn’t a single respectful word returned in exchange for anything I said, not even when I said, “Good morning.” And all I hear talk about is more programs and tax dollars.
We’ve got a victim-minded society that is rearing self-indulgent, over-entitled, spoiled, angry, unloved, snotty-nosed brats with no moral compass and a hatred for anything wholesome. Then, when one of the little darlings doesn’t get his way we blame the gun he uses in the crime he commits and attack the cop who arrested him.
What’s wrong? Maybe we should quit depending on the village to raise our kids and get back to using a Bible and a belt. It worked for my generation. It’ll work for this one.
“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” – Proverbs 19:18
Mouths of Babes
Around 9 or 10 years ago, when I was vice president of a local Kiwanis Club, I would go read to young children at a Head Start day care program. These children were around 4 or 5 years of age.
One day I took my two young daughters with me. They observed the unruliness of several children in the class and later commented. Haley, who was only around 5 or 6 herself, asked, “Daddy, why won’t that teacher just spank those kids?”
“Because that’s against the law, Haley. Teachers can’t do that,” I replied.
“Well,” Haley huffed, “those children need a whipp’n, so somebody needs to change the rules!” Out of the mouths of babes, people. Out of the mouths of babes.
I know that many of you reading this will disagree – some vehemently – but there is really only one way this verse can be interpreted – and it has nothing to do with “time outs” or being grounded. For example, consider these other verses…
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” – Proverbs 22:15
“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” – Proverbs 29:15
“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” – Hebrews 12:7
Spanking is something that is frowned on, if not illegal in today’s society. Child psychologists, with all their worldly wisdom (and that’s key), urge parents to never physically discipline their children. Government agencies even control parents with the threat of prosecution. But what is biblical? What is wise?
While There Is Hope
As one who works with children of all ages, I can testify that a lack of discipline is at the root of most unruly behavior. Our school systems are completely helpless in the face of youth who have no fear of punishment.
Solomon says, however, that chastening a child is one way to ensure a better future, even if the child, at the moment, cries out in protest. The great Matthew Henry said, “It is better that he should cry under thy rod than under the sword of the magistrate, or, which is more fearful, that of divine vengeance.”*
How many teens are in jail today because parents were too timid to use the “rod of correction?” How many instead have fallen under the “sword of the magistrate?”
While there is hope, learn to say “NO!” While there is still hope, take away the phone and video games. While there is still hope, take away the keys. While there is still hope, don’t buy those designer clothes. While there is still hope, don’t be afraid to chasten.
As we watch the news these days, the NIV translation of Proverbs 19:18 really hits home: “Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.”
Be the parent and chasten when necessary – while there is still hope.
*Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), Pr 19:18.
This post was adapted from a post previously published on ProverbialThought.com.
If all you can do is all you can do, then do all you can do to do all you can do.
But if you’re not doing all you can do to do all you can do, then how much do you really want what it is you do the thing you do for?
It’s not all about do, do, do; it’s about “whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men” (Col. 3:23).
Now, go do the thing that you do!
Time for a random picture taken by my daughter, Katie. 🙂 Enjoy!
In case you are from a liberal society or background which prohibits whoop’ns, you might not know what I am talking about. Therefore, let me tell you what a “whoop’n” is.
A whoop’n (the abbreviated form of “whipping”) is a spanking, a tail thrashing, a belt to the rear, a switch’n, a “rod of instruction to the seat of discipline.”
Whoop’ns are not abuse. I survived many, and I’m thankful for every one my mom and dad gave me. They administered them in love.
Holy Wood Shed
The reason I am telling you all about “whoop’ns” is because God gave me one four years ago today. Yes, the Lord took me to His heavenly wood shed all because I acted like a hypocrite.
You see, four years ago a group called Building 429 came through town and I made of fool of myself in front of God and everybody, including my family and a bunch of guys who love Jesus. I judged them based on what they looked like – the very thing I preached and wrote against on this very website.
If you’d like to read the original story, just click on the link below. You’ll get a laugh out of it.
But even though I learned a lesson, there are still times when I have to “check myself,” as my wife says. That’s why I call myself a “recovering” legalist.
BTW, they accepted my apology.
Continuing in the theme of the last couple of days, I read something last night that hit me like a brick regarding preaching. You see, I have been reading a little book by Andrew Murray (1828-1917), Living a Prayerful Life. I should have read it years ago.
In one paragraph Murray sums up what is probably the single-most devastating reason why our/my preaching is not more powerful and effective than it is.
I pray that each minister of the gospel might understand that he has received this precious space of time from God in order to wait on Him! God must have for fellowship with himself the first and the best of our time. Without this, our preaching and our service will have little power. Here on earth I may expend my time in exchange for money or learning. The minister exchanges his time for divine power and the spiritual blessing to be obtained from heaven. That, and nothing else, makes him a man of God and ensures that his preaching will be in the demonstration of the Spirit and power.*
We are only given so much time. Like currency, we can use it to purchase for ourselves many things, like pleasure, satisfaction, wealth, knowledge, etc. But how much of it do we use to purchase power from the Holy Spirit? How much time to we spend in prayer?
Oh, this is so convicting, is it not? Why is there not more power from the pulpit? Because we are wasting time, flittering it away, spending too much of it on things which we, as ministers, need not. What we need MOST is a “demonstration of the Spirit and power!”
It’s past time we exchange our time in prayer. Pastors, the Church (in America, at least) is weak, and it’s our fault!
* Murray, Andrew. Living a Prayerful Life. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2002, p. 96.
As a matter of fact, did you know that there is even a proverb that deals with animal ownership? It describes the contrast between a person who takes care of an animal and a person who is cruel and mean.
A righteous [man] regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked [are] cruel. – Proverbs 12:10
Put another way, godly people are nice to animals; wicked heathen are not. Is it any wonder many people abusers have also been animal abusers?
Why do I bring up pets? Because pets, specifically their behavior, can tell something about their owners (or “parents,” as one dog food company calls them).
Train Up a “Child”
You are probably familiar with the verse that says, “train up a child in the way he should go.” For your children’s sake, I hope you do, because children need constant instruction and discipline. Otherwise, they will end up like Brittany Spears, Snookie, or a character from South Park.
We have done our best to train our children. They are respectful, obedient (mostly), and even manage money well. More importantly, each has an individual desire to follow Jesus. Yes, we’ve have made mistakes, but overall I have been encouraged by the results.
But the other day I noticed something about our dog that encouraged me. Nugget has manners!
I first noticed this when I began down the stairs. Nugget was in front of me, but as soon as he saw me behind him, he stepped aside and waited for me to go first. I said, “Thank you Nuggie, what a good boy!”
Later, it became obvious that every time I would walk to a door, go down stairs, or even drive through Hardees for a Saturday chicken biscuit, Nugget would wait his turn without being asked (yes, he gets one).
Why a mannerly dog? Why mannerly children? I believe I have the answer. It’s pretty simple, really.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15 KJV
Christian Home – Christian Pets
It may sound totally crazy, at first, but bear with me. If your home reflects Christ, then you, and others, should even be able to see it in your pets. Yes, I am serious. (Go ahead, write hate mail.)
Pets (except cats – they think they’re gods) are known to take on the characteristics of their owners. Mean dogs usually have mean owners. Talkative birds are usually owned by women (did I say that?). Disciplined and mannerly pets reflect owners who care.
Sooooo….if you need any help coming up with a doggie devotional, just let me know. Nugget might be able to help.