Exodus 20 v 12. Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
We pick up our train of thought from yesterday, and continue to reflect on the duty of parenting.
At this point we need to bear in mind the political correctness of our age and the tendency of secular authorities to interfere in the lives of Christian believers. What should we watch out for?
First don’t believe the secular descriptions that are used for what we Christians would have called “spanking”. Today our secular society loads these actions with words vested with emotional meanings – violence, abuse, etc. Christians do not believe in violence and abuse. This is a total misconstruction and misconception of the biblical point of view. The true Christian parent knows spanking is rarely required in a home where order and discipline is regularly maintained. The bible’s references to discipline is not to be understood as violent thrashing, but rather as on going and loving discipline in a well ordered family structure. Jewish children were considered to be gifts from the Lord. In fact evidence from the bible indicates that they were sometimes spoiled and overly protected. Thus discipline refers to suitable correction which would be taken seriously by any good Jewish parent, who would exercise such discipline in a loving and protective environment.
Notice how – broadly speaking – in the general society, children from disciplined and structured homes are much better behaved and have more manners than the young thugs who curse teachers and beat them up in the classrooms. In homes where there is little discipline and authority disrespect and violence is born.
Of course it is possible even in Christian circles for abuse to sometimes occur. But all conscientious Christians would condemn it and expose it. Christians consider all forms of abuse as deplorable and unacceptable.
Loving, consistent and moderate discipline in the home is necessary for the well-being of all children. In fact they are wired to receive it. There are of course the exceptions among children when perversity takes over and they reject all forms of correction, and go on to live lives that break the hearts of the parents. Christians do not claim that everything they do always works. But they do claim that a Christian lifestyle and value system are better options to the permissive philosophy of the day, and produce better results in the long term.
Down with the parents who abuse, hurt, maim or even kill their children. Shame on the courts for often taking so long to bring the culprits to justice and punishing them adequately. Shame too, on those who formulate our civil and social policies, methodologies and philosophies that just do not work. Our land has many abused children as a result of poverty drugs and lack of role models. Leave the Christians alone to raise their families and judge them by the results.
Ask God for grace and strength to stand against that part of our national culture that opposes God’s Word. Remember to do so humbly and courteously in all your dealings with those who disagree with you.