Friday, May 2, 2008

The Rod of Correction

I recall, as a first grader, being taken to get inoculated from some disease or another. The shot was with a four-pronged device that was scary-looking and very painful. One of my classmates was so upset at the teacher for taking us to get shots, he stabbed her with a pencil. He was strongly disciplined.

Flash forward to today’s society where teachers practically need bodyguards to go to and from the classroom.

For example, there was the situation in Waycross, Georgia where eleven third-graders conspired to murder their teacher. Each of the eleven students at Center Elementary School had a job to do, including one assigned to wipe up the blood after the teacher had been killed. Fortunately, the police were tipped and the murder was prevented.


3rd graders conspiring to commit murder?

Eight year olds?

In Seattle, Washington, roving gangs of youths as young as eleven have been attacking innocent bystanders... according to CBS News, at least one attack resulted in a fatality.

Part of the problem in our modern society can be attributed to our own societal foolishness. Remember the old verse from the song “School Days” that went:

and writing
and ‘rithmetic,

Taught by the rule
of a hickory switch

My parents experienced corporal punishment (e.g., getting spanked by a teacher or a school administrator). That went away with my generation. However, when my group began cutting up, the ringleader’s dad was invited for show and tell. He showed how he used his belt to whip his son’s posterior anatomies... and started to tell his son to straighten up or else! But that could not happen in today’s litigious society. Today, even parents are held back from spanking their own children.

Years ago, a mother in Georgia slapped her son for mouthing off to her in a department store. Someone saw that and called the police. The woman was arrested, even though the boy admitted that he deserved punishment for his behavior. Even across the pond, a mother in the UK was arrested for smacking her son.

As Marvin Gaye would ask, What’s going on?

Now, this is not to advocate child abuse, but just to make note of an ancient truth:

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 22:15 [Jewish Publication Society; Tanakh]

It is a child’s role to do crazy things. That is simply the nature of a child. That is who God gives us parents... to teach us the correct way to behave.

Think about the 8-year-old who assaulted his teacher in Fort Myers, Florida. The parent (grandmother) blames the teacher. WRONG! It is the job of the parent to correct bad behavior. But when the law says you can’t discipline your child and school officials are also powerless... then what is the alternative?

You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol.
Proverbs 23:14 [NASB ©1995]

Think about that. A simple spanking can keep a child from going to hell. How so? Well... if you don’t set boundaries for your children (and enforce them), then someone will. They may grow up in your house without restrictions... but then society will impose restrictions... like stopping for a red light or not murdering someone. But if the child rebels there, then the penal system will impose the restrictions. And, if the child still doesn’t learn... eventually he or she will exit this planet and stand before the Throne of Judgment.

Pause and think about that...

He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Proverbs 13:24
Again, we are not talking abuse... we are talking about teaching them while they are young and pliable that life has boundaries. If you don't spank them... the police officer or state trooper will do so. And the longer it goes on... the more severe matters get. There is the case of the 14-year-old boy in Washington, DC who was shot by police officers after their vehicle was hit by a bullet. There is question as to whether or not the 14-year-old fired the shot. Still, shouldn’t a child of that age have been at home and not on the mean streets in the evening hours?

A group of youth we recently started working with would say no. It’s boring being in the house... outside is where the excitement is. One young man confessed he was in trouble for sleeping in class. When asked why, he stated he didn’t want to go to bed when his mother told him to... he had better things to do. Funny, when my mom told me to go to bed, the only alternative I had was to have a high-heel shoe wedged into an orifice.

Our youth pastor asked the youth if they saw their teachers as authority figures. The unanimous answer was no. One young man explained, “They’re just people in school who talk to you.”

You get that?

It is important for us to come to grips with the idea that our youth are rapidly going downhill. You see on TV the kids in the middle east with rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons. Kids in urban America are almost as well equipped... and how long before gangs in the USA roll down the streets in M1 Abrams tanks?

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame.
Proverbs 29:14-16 [Amplified Bible]

My parents knew the importance of taking the rod of correction and placing it against the seat of understanding. Is it too late for this generation?

For the next?

One of our more recent podcasts, The Rod of Correction, goes into this topic.

You can find more details at Powerhouse Podcasts, or download it at our iTunes podcast page.

Pearls of wisdom to brighten your day, strengthen your walk, and enlighten your path as only The Powerhouse Ministry can do it...

Most podcasts are “Seven Minutes of Wisdom” that provide milk for the babies and meat for those more mature.

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