Bringing Up Children Part 4By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, January 15, 2023.
I. Bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord includes training by punishment, which is the painful consequence of a misdeed. 1. Initial observations. a. This is an area of child-training which can be both a challenge to the wisdom of men and also of your faith. b. Dr. Benjamin Spock (pro-abortion pediatrician) integrated the philosophies of Sigmund Freud and John Dewey into his errant views on child-training: “John Dewey and Freud said that kids don’t have to be disciplined into adulthood but can direct themselves toward adulthood by following their own will.” c. Scripture is the ultimate child psychology book from the ultimate Parent, God. The wise will exalt its wisdom to the rejection of contrary wisdom of men. We are not wiser than God. PSA 119:128; JAM 1:5; PRO 9:9. d. Beware of the error of results-oriented reasoning. NUM 20:7-12. (1) Parents may reject Scripture’s commands and produce a compliant child. But this is little more than betting against the odds of making it through a minefield without following a detailed map of where the mines are. (2) If results are the determinant of method then electro-shock therapy, marijuana or brain surgery might be proper ways to produce a compliant child. 2. Punishment comes in two forms: natural and artificial. a. Natural punishment is the obvious consequence of wrongdoing such as loss or injury. (1) Example: A child through wilful neglect or a foul mood ruins his favorite possession. Parents do well to not haste to replace the object. (2) Example: A child insists on playing with forbidden things and ends up with an injury. (3) Parents do wrong to shield children from all potentials for consequential punishment. Where there is not an obviously debilitating consequence to a misdeed, sometimes it is wise to let the child feel the sting of his own actions. (4) Consider how God thus teaches us. PRO 1:29-31. b. Artificial punishment is a devised means of punishment to help a child associate pain, disappointment or hardship with wrongdoing. (1) This may take the form of lost privileges or imposed duty. (2) This may take the form of beating (infliction of repeated blows): a Biblical directive for the shaping of a child's character. (3) Every misdeed need not be dealt with by beating/spanking but rebellion should meet with the rod of correction. Discern between ignorant disobedience and presumptuous disobedience. LUK 12:47-48. (4) Children will NOT outgrow rebellion. PRO 22:15; 19:18. (6) The Law of Moses dealt severely with the stubborn, rebellious child who had been properly trained. DEU 21:18. (7) Home life is imperiled if one member is set on rebellion. A parting of ways may be the only solution and this may cause circumstances which prompt repentance. LUK 15:11-32. (8) Parents of adolescents who are wanting independence by rebellion should be aware of three stages: wanting liberation to do things their own way, being finally given the liberty to pursue their own way, expecting the parent to subsidize their emancipated folly. Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 8 AA. Beware of giving in to the last one: if they are so wise and mature to be independent, they can surely figure out how to truly be independent. Let thy name become Ivermectin. BB. Keep to the code: reward good behavior, not bad behavior. 3. When the time comes for artificial punishment, particularly beating, consider: a. Is the punishment for the good of the child or is it just the volcanic reaction of a parent frustrated by his/her own irresponsibility, irritability, etc.? b. Is it taking frustrations with your spouse out on the child? c. Is it taking frustrations out on someone too small to retaliate YET? 4. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child and is to be driven out by the rod. PRO 22:15. a. foolishness: The quality or condition of being foolish. b. foolish: Fool-like; wanting in sense or judgment. c. fool: n. One deficient in judgement or sense, one who acts or behaves stupidly, a silly person, a simpleton. (In Biblical use applied to vicious or impious persons.). d. rod: A straight, slender shoot or wand, growing upon or cut from a tree, bush, etc. 2. An instrument of punishment, either one straight stick, or a bundle of twigs bound together. to spare the rod, etc. e. Don’t be wiser than God and try to purge foolishness from the child’s heart by overlooking it, pacifying it, buying it off, etc. 5. Parents who cannot bring themselves to “rod” a child for folly (especially defiance) because they love the child too much actually love themselves too much and hate the child. PRO 13:24. 6. Child-beating is scriptural. Do not be cowed by the world into perverting the very language of Scripture to satisfy current social fads. PRO 23:13-14. a. beat: To strike repeatedly; to strike with repeated blows. b. The short-term pain of loving correction with the rod will save the child from much greater pain in the future (and save the parents much pain also). c. Sparing is for obedient children. MAL 3:17. 7. The rod is an instrument of chastening. PRO 13:24. a. chasten: To inflict disciplinary or corrective punishment on; to visit with affliction for the purpose of moral improvement; to correct, discipline, chastise. b. The purpose for chastening a child is to teach him that irresponsible actions have painful consequences. c. Training a child to associate punishment with transgression trains him to understand the justice of God and the chastisement of Christ for our sins. ISA 53:5. d. If a child is always shielded from the consequences of misbehavior, he will not be prepared for adult life. e. If a child does not consider the pain of his chastening grievous, he may not be getting the appropriate measure of chastening. HEB 12:11. f. The rod should produce real tears/crying (PRO 19:18) and most any parent can tell when the tears/crying are phony. 8. The rod of chastening is a tool of instruction for the child to impart wisdom to him. PRO 29:15. a. The object of training a child is to impart wisdom since wisdom will direct the child in the way which he should go and so bring his life to its fullest potential. PRO 4:7-13. b. Two things are needed to impart wisdom: the rod and reproof. (1) reprove: To reject. 2. To express disapproval of (conduct, actions, beliefs, etc.); to censure, condemn. 3. To reprehend, rebuke, blame, chide, or find Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 9 fault with (a person). (2) The application of the rod without a notion of disapproval of conduct being conveyed along with it leaves a child in bewildered pain, not wiser. 9. Establish sound disciplinary patterns when the child is young. PRO 13:24. a. betimes: At an early time, period, or season; early in the year; early in life. b. Early correction will likely see a gradual reduction of beatings, but late starters are likely to see the opposite (and likely never see the same positive results). c. Very small children will not understand verbal rebuke or reasoning, but they will understand physical pain. (1) Associating pain with dangerous behavior or misbehavior is the best way to help them know what is wrong. (2) Repeat the word “no” during the punishment which reinforces to the child what that word means. (3) Over time, verbal rebuke can be effective in warning about a wrong or a danger. 10. Do not resort to anger or shouting to get action. Use action to get action! a. Some parents repeat their instructions with increasing loudness until they reach an exploding point when they finally take action. This trains the child: (1) to recognize that point of action and obey only then. (2) that he has several chances to disobey. (3) to think that screaming is an acceptable way to enforce one's will. b. Parents err when they assume their explosive anger secured the obedience. c. On the contrary, what secured the obedience was the fact that the child had learned to recognize the point of action. d. While anger may be revealed in punishing a child, it should not be the punishment in and of itself and it should be controlled. e. Adult screaming and frustration produce a disrespect in the mind of the child because he perceives your inability to control him or yourself. (1) Children will test your leadership to see if it is worthy of respect. (2) Children respect strength and courage as is evident in the characters they select as heroes. (3) Children will test to see if the rules hold. (4) Children feel more secure in an environment where the rights of others and their rights are protected. f. Adult anger and frustration can also turn the event into a personal vendetta rather than training the child for his own good. g. If a child is allowed to harass a parent for a prolonged period of time, the result can be explosive. This is a major cause of child abuse. 11. Do not let the child's tears dissuade you from administering appropriate discipline. PRO 19:18. 12. Give consideration to sickness or fatigue when a child's conduct is less than sterling but avoid using those things as excuses for a child's intolerable behavior. 13. The chastening parent is to be reverenced (HEB 12:9). Do not allow a child to express contempt for your rule and discipline. It is just as important to train attitudes as it is to train actions. 14. Here are some guidelines for effective punishment. a. Don't lose control. EPH 6:4. b. Be consistent. This helps the child know exactly what behavior will not be tolerated. Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 10 c. Match the punishment to the person. The level of punishment appropriate to a nine-year-old would not be appropriate to a three-year-old. d. Match the punishment to the misdeed. Childish slip-ups are one thing. Rebellion is a different story. e. Do not let a child take advantage of your concerns about punishing in public. Promise the child that the rod will be administered upon returning home and then keep the promise. f. Be thorough. Make an impression upon the child. Make it hurt. g. Do not lose sight of the objective of chastening. (1) Chastisement should be for the benefit of the child rather than a venting of your frustrations. (2) The objective of discipline is to correct and direct the child, not to make him think that he cannot do anything right. COL 3:21. h. Have a beginning and an end. a. Begin by explaining the reason for the punishment. b. End with complete forgiveness and restoration. Affection after punishment shows that the behavior, not the child, was detested. You thus train the child to understand God's mercy. PSA 103:8-14. i. Remember, discipline of children and imposing restraints upon them can save them from hell in this life caused by their own folly or being unprepared for life in a real world of laws, civil powers, bosses, rules, rewards and punishments. PRO 23:13-14. j. Be careful to not allow a child to develop a pattern of always apologizing his way out of punishment. Know your child and be sensitive to trends. k. Parents should agree on their punishment policy and share in its application lest one parent be deemed the ogre. l. Do not be a pushover or your children will ignore what you say. GEN 19:14. m. The disciplined child brings rest and delight. PRO 29:17 c/w HEB 12:11. Recommended Reading Dare To Discipline by Dr. James Dobson The Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 11
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