"The key to understanding the Bible is to look for Jesus in the Bible. Jesus is the hero of the Bible. If you read the Bible and don't find Jesus, re-read it! The Bible has one hero, His name is Jesus; one villain, that is Satan; one problem, that is sin; one solution, that is salvation. That is what the Bible is all about." -Dr. Adrian Rogers

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Discipline Is Not a Verb: My Response to Ray Comfort’s “I Hate You…I’m Going to Kill You!”

"Research shows that: physical punishment is associated with an increase in delinquency, antisocial behavior, and aggression in children; and physical punishment is associated with a decrease in the quality of the parent-child relationship, mental health, and the child's capacity to internalize socially acceptable behavior. Adults who have been subject to physical punishment as children are more likely to abuse their own child or spouse and to manifest criminal behavior."
- Gershoff ET (2008). Report on Physical Punishment in the United States: What Research Tells Us About Its Effects on Children. Columbus OH: Center for Effective Discipline.

(Comment posted to "Atheist Central" by Downward Spiral)

I am sure it came as no surprise to most of you that I agree with Ray Comfort. However, I saw the above quote made to Ray’s blog post yesterday and I agree with it as well. The main reason for that is that discipline is not something you do; discipline is something you teach. That is something that is being made more clear to me as the years go by.

You see, although I am not a parent, I am not blind nor did I grow up in a cave. I went to high school just like most of you. I have also experienced college life. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that most parents “discipline” their children for all of the wrong reasons. Most parents, it seems, “discipline” their children out of selfish motives alone.

Allow me to illustrate my point. We have all seen the mom in Walmart with the young child who is grabbing everything in sight. Eventually, you will hear that child let out a bloodcurdling scream. Now, that mother did not just smack that child out of love; she did what should did out of utter frustration. Perhaps the above “research” was done at the local Walmart. That, my friend, is not proper, biblical discipline.

Speaking from a child’s point of view, I can tell you that, when I was growing up, I learned the most from my mistakes when my mother—or whoever was in charge at the time—took the time to explain to me exactly why what I did was wrong and why I ought never to do it again. And sometimes there is a physical correction needed there to show a child that there are serious consequences for sin. God allows no sin to go unpunished. Therefore we ought not to let our children’s sin go unpunished here on earth so they might not have to face a more serious, everlasting punishment in Hell.

Quite frankly, whether or not you see spanking a child as child abuse is based solely on where you get your information and what that information is based upon. I would venture to say that a parent who spanks their children without explaining why is practicing a form of child abuse, because that child has learned nothing from that experience besides the fact that he best not do whatever he did in the presence of that parent again. You see, I have learned that it is not the punishment in and of itself that helps to steer a child in the right direction, but it is a clear understanding of why what he has done is wrong. Parents today simply do not take the time to explain right from wrong.

If there is one main thing that I have learned about children, it is that children need and want guidance. If they cannot get it from their parents, they will find someone else who will give it to them; and it may not be the kind of guidance that they really need. There are four main things that I have learned from observation that parents ought to be. Moms and dads ought to be consistent, likeminded, narrow-minded, and grounded in the Word of God.

First of all, you must be consistent. If you tell your children something one time, you best back it up every time. And do not let one child do something that you just got onto the other child for doing. If you do not practice consistency, your children will play you like a harp. Understand?

Second of all, moms and dads must be likeminded. Sit down and decide together what you do and do not want your children to do. If one says don’t do something, the other one ought to back it up. If you are not careful here, your children will play you against one another.

The world will not like this one, but parents must be narrow-minded. Be discriminatory. Be cautious. Be careful what you let your children watch on television. Be careful what you let them read. Be careful what kind of music you allow them to listen to. And most importantly choose your children’s friends for them. Who your children hang out with will influence them more than you could ever imagine.

Lastly, if you are not grounded in the Word of God, you cannot be a successful parent. Know what God says about successful parenting. Know what He says about the dangers that are out there. Know that the devil is lurking in the shadows and that he wants nothing more than to steal your children’s lives away from them. Pray, pray, and pray again. And win their souls to Jesus Christ before it is eternally too late for them.

The most well-known narrow-minded parents in this world are bringing up all nineteen of their children to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have proven over and over again that they will not let anything stand in their way of raising a family that is pleasing in the sight of the Lord. They have proven Proverbs 22:6 to be true. That verse simply says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

You can choose to do nothing and therefore see your children follow after this world. Or you can be consistent, likeminded, narrow-minded, and grounded in the Word of God and therefore see your children be well rounded, well disciplined, and well equipped to live lives that are pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

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