There is enough blame to go around:
There is enough blame to go around when some say that it is liberalism that has caused the violence. Others say that it is the removal of prayer from our schools. Some say it is the steady stream of violence we see in the movies, on the nightly news cast, on all sorts of TV programs and especially the video games.
There are still others who blame the government for overtaxing us, and forcing parents to have to abandon their children for the workplace. When it comes to youth using guns to settle their differences, there are those who would blame the gun manufacturers and the gun dealers. But no where do we see anyone taking responsibility for what has happened. Not the parents, schools, churches, business, government or the youth themselves. No, everyone wants to place the blame on someone else. It is time that we as parents begin to accept the major portion of responsibility and take control of our children’s lives and get the government out of our homes and bedrooms. We as parents are responsible for raising our youth and it does take the whole community to be involved and always willing to lend a helping hand.
When I was a youth living in a small town, everyone knew everyone and no one was ever afraid to correct us if they saw us doing something wrong. Today, if you correct a child when you see them doing wrong, you will have the parents knocking at your door for chastising their child. You might even have the police come calling on you, if you are lucky that the child has not shot and killed you. There is something badly wrong with this picture, but it is a true one today.
I can recall a time when I was in a vacation bible school; my wife at the time was teaching a Bible study class with one of our Associate Pastors. I had been called outside to break up a disturbance. When I came back into the church, this young man’s sister was standing in the middle of the church cursing my wife and the pastor out using all sorts of foul language. I escorted her outside and attempted to talk with her to no avail. She left and within a few minutes, just after things had gotten back to normal within the church class, the doors swung open with a loud bang and a loud voice began to roar from the rear of the church. It was the mother of the two teenagers yelling and screaming at me with language worst than her children had used, telling me what she was going to do to me if I ever put my hands on her children again.
Now this mother was the chairman of the usher board within the church. Not only were her children wrong, but she was wrong for the way she handled the situation. Her children went home and lied to her about what had taken place at the church. She was willing to believe the worst from them, and instead of coming to find out what was going on, she came in accusing me and others of striking her children when no such thing had taken place. If this had happened when I was a youth, I would have gotten my butt whipped before I left the church, then I would have been taken home to my parents and they would have whipped my butt again. But you see, in today’s political correctness society, there are too many parents who refuse to correct their own children and will not allow anyone in the churches, schools or the community to do so. Therefore, the youth’s attitude is you are not my parents and you can’t tell me what to do. This is a sad commentary for our youth and it is a factor that is contributing to the youth violence in America today.
Another part of this problem of correcting children is some of the abuse that some parents have perpetuated upon their children that has caused the government to get more involved in our daily lives. We parents are responsible for our children and we must shoulder that responsibility with love, understanding and patience. Children can be a problem. There is much peer pressure on them. They want to fit in with their friends, therefore as a parent, we must try to understand their changing life style, and the growth hormones as they experienced adulthood. We must treat them with respect, try and understand that they too do have problems and they may not always share those problems with us. But we must always be willing to put our arms around them and daily tell them that we love them, even though we may not be having the kind of conversation we would like to have with them. But I tell you that there is power in love. When our youth can feel within themselves that they are loved, it brings a much different kind of respect from them.
We must stop abusing our children at home as well as in public. They have feelings too, and when we disrespect them in front of their peers with words and deeds, it brings out in them a disrespect for us as their parents. I am not advocating not punishing your children. But there is a right way and a wrong way to punish them when they do wrong. I see some parents slapping their children in the face when they think they are in the wrong. No matter whether they are home or in the general public, this shows disrespect for your children. To me, there is never a reason to slap a child in the face. This only shows your anger and lack of self control. When you do this you are abusing your child. You should never hit your child when you are angry, this only satisfies your anger and does nothing to correct the child’s behavior. When your child does wrong, you should chastise them no matter where you are, but when they are teenagers, you should have so trained them in such a way, that you could let them know of your displeasure, and your child should respond for whatever they have done wrong until such a time you can speak to them about it, and punish them for the act, if punishment is call for.
The Bible tells us that, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:1-2). Let us parents learn to become wise in dealing with our children, because our children are much wiser today than we were when we were youth. Therefore, we must deal with them with a wise heart and the spirit of the Lord dwelling within us.
Correcting a child when they do wrong make you become a strong authority figure in that child’s life, and correct him or her you must. If you don’t then the child sooner or later is going to control you. Listen to what God tells us, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” (Proverb 22:15).
It further goes on to say, “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverb 23:13-14). You see God is telling us that we must use the rod of correction to keep our children on a straight path. We must use whatever means are at our disposal to correct their behavior and snatch them from the jaws of Satan. The violence within our youth has gotten out of control and we as parents have allowed it by advocating the non use of the rod for correcting our children when they do wrong.
I can recall as a child, one of my greatest fears that kept me out of trouble and from doing wrong was having to get a beating from my father. Now my father very seldom ever had to beat me, but when he did, I received no more than five or six licks from him. But those few licks seemed to last for eternity, when they were being administered to me. Many times my mother would use the threat of my father’s beating to keep the rest of us in line. The mere threat of a beating from my father could cause me to break out in a cold sweat, and no, I did not die from the beating or was I harmed in any way because I am writing about it today. The beatings that my mother and father administered to me, and my brothers and sisters were their way of teaching us to do the right thing and when we would do wrong, we would know the price we would have to pay. The beating was also a way of showing how much they loved us and wanted us to grow up being obedient children and having love and respect for our fellowman.
On one occasion I was out with my father and my two youngest sons and my father was discussing the rearing of his children with some other parents. And at that moment, I could see how proud my father felt about the way in which he had raised his six boys and three girls, when he told the other parents “that of all his eight children, none of them had ever been in jail or was on drugs.” You see my father had no remorse for having beaten our butts when we did wrong. However, since that day about four years ago, one of my brothers has become addicted to drugs. But I will discuss this in another topic, dealing with drugs. My father was and still is the authority figure in my life today. I have the greatest respect for my father and have never spoken back to him or disrespected him in any way ever. How many of you today can truthfully make this same statement? This is a testimony of the way my parents raised me and the way parents are raising their children today. I have attempted to raise my children with the same moral standards as my parents did with me. I have used the rod on them and now uses that same rod on my grandchildren with their approval to help keep them in line and become a productive citizen within the community. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to raise wonderful children. The older ones have turned out great and have children of their own.
The Bible instructs us as parents to, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverb 29:17). Let us as parents begin to move away from the way of the world in its teaching and get into the teaching of God. When we do, it will bring a much greater joy into our hearts for if we follow God’s way in correcting and instructing our children, listen to what he tells us about the reward we will have. God says, “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” (Proverb 29:17).
Now to you children, you must learn to be obedient and have respect for your parents, teachers and other elders. Your lack of respect for authority is a hard thing to accept. If you don’t do these things, you are only going to wind up in prison or be killed and neither one of these is an acceptable alternative. Listen to what God instructs you to do, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is Right.” “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-4).
May we all grow to become better parents, study and learn from previous generations their ways and incorporate this into your knowledge today and together we can bring about change of attitudes for all and help to change the world and its way of doing things.
May the grace of God richly abound within you, keeping you strong and productive as you move forward in helping to meet the needs of all our children.
Today, I minister to you from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity in Jesus name. I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.