Will Our Children Trust In The Lord? Part 3 of 3
by Jason Jackson
Christian Courier: Penpoints
Monday, October 25, 2004
Continued from last week
How to Correct Our Children
Children need correction. At least, we used to think so.
“A major source of today’s parenting problem is the psychologizing of our culture. In Grandma and Grandpa’s time, misbehavior was viewed as a moral issue of right and wrong. . . The old solution would be punishment. The goal of the punishment was to teach accountability, self-control, the consequences of wrong choices, thinking before acting, and the important fact that they are obligated to respect the rules of authority. Then came the shrinks. The psychology community suggested that bad behavior is either the result of some psychological problem (low self-esteem is a favorite) or some biological problem (brain chemistry and food allergies are popular)” (Dr. Laura Schlessinger, STUPID THINGS PARENTS DO TO MESS UP THEIR KIDS, New York: Harper Collins, 2000, p. 160).
Society now suffers from this exodus out of the “bondage of authority.” Contrary to trends, children do not need a parent-pal. Children deserve someone who will do the hard work of parenting. They do not benefit from mom-girlfriend who never says “no,” avoids stress through permissiveness, and provides for the child-friend’s every desire. The idea that “a happy child” (i.e., a child without restraint) will not behave badly is erroneous. A lovingly disciplined child will be a genuinely happy child and will become a well-adjusted adult.
Discipline must involve fair expectations, reinforced by real consequences. Children need to have a clear understanding of parental requirements. Parental expectations must be reasonable and right. Even children can identify unfairness or favoritism. Fathers and mothers must remember to listen to their children, and they must communicate clearly what the consequences are for rebellion. This will not be very effective without consistent follow-through.
Punishment may come in various forms. It might be a spanking on the bottom. It might be, with teens, the withdrawal of privileges (not necessities like dinner, but dessert is not a necessity). Punishment is effective when it reinforces one’s love and concern for the child.
It is a must for the parents to be controlled and disciplined themselves. Otherwise, it may appear to children that they are the target of an adult temper-tantrum. Such a parent needs to repent.
Is not spanking, however, harmful to the child’s psyche? Do professionals now consider it abuse? Ken Wilson writes about corporal punishment:
“It strikes me as outright foolishness, for so-called ‘parenting experts,’ to say that time honored and biblically mandated corporal punishment is child abuse. God never condoned child abuse, but He never condoned parental permissiveness either” (THE CHRISTIAN HOME: BY GOD’S DESIGN, Fort Worth: Star, 2002, p. 67-68).
Ken Wilson offers the following principles for corporal punishment:
“Non-abusive spanking is most effective when: it is administered as a ‘last resort.’ It is administered with self-control. It is reserved for willful acts of defiance. It is administered in private (not on the face). It is always followed by love and acceptance” (p. 67).
This article is much too brief to deal with the broad subject of biblical parenting. But we have emphasized a couple of necessary principles. Children, who develop into adults who trust in the Lord, are those who learn to submit to authority. They learn to submit to God’s authority. These spiritually-nurtured individuals spend lots of time with loving parents. They benefit from a family in which the parents practice self-discipline while teaching their children about accountability, consequences, and the Bible. Reinforced with love and affection, the Lord will “make straight their paths.” Such individuals do not rely on their own understanding, nor are they self-absorbed. They have parents who trust in the Lord, and they will as well.
Previous portions of this article were carried in the bulletin on December 5th & 12th..
We are currently in the process of updating all the information, photos, etc. in our church directory.
Members are asked to turn in an attendance card with their current addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, etc. We will start taking new photos soon.
A new directory will be printed when completed. Also, all of this information and photos will be updated in our members only section on the church web-site.
Will resume after the holidays.
Wednesday Night Bible Class for High School
Mike Weber is teaching this new study on the topics of
“What Am I To God?” and “The Lure of Liar”
We would like to thank everyone who helped with the shower along with all who attended. We would also like to thank everyone for their cards and gifts.
Trevor Wheeler & Crystal LaFalce
January 14-16, 2005
Speaker: V. P. Black
Missionary to America
A number of years ago Norman Cousins wrote an editorial in Saturday Review in which he reported a conversation he had on a trip in India. He was talking with a Hindu priest named Satis Prasad. The man said he wanted to come to our country to work as a missionary among the Americans. Cousins assumed that he meant that he wanted to convert Americans to the Hindu religion, but when asked, Satis Prasad said,
“Oh no, I would like to convert them to the Christian religion. Christianity cannot survive in the abstract. It needs not membership, but believers. The people of your country may claim they believe in Christianity, but from what I read at this distance, Christianity is more a custom than anything else. I would ask that either you accept the teachings of Jesus in your everyday life and in your affairs as a nation, or stop invoking His name as sanction for everything you do. I want to help save Christianity for the Christian.”
B. Clayton Bell, in PREACHING, May-June, 1986
THINK ABOUT IT