I am of an age, being 66 years old as of this writing, that I was raised still in the era of discipline. An era which I believe my generation was the last to experience, which is more than sad or relegated to nostalgia, and is at the root of much of the troubles, travails and ills we now endure as a people. I grew up at a time where the children did not rule the parents, but the parents ruled the children.
My mother did not shy away from corporal discipline and took it to extremes. She did not understand at all what the Holy Bible meant to instruct parents with regard to;
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24 — English Standard Version
My mother, who passed from this fleshly life in 1997 never bothered to learn or understand the context of that bible verse, nor come to understand anything of what shepherding of sheep and the tools of a shepherd were used for, and how to rightly use them. She never learned accurately, factually how to properly use a shepherd’s rod and staff in herding. She grew up in an era of even stricter standards of discipline than I was born into. Thus, a further example of the constant, non-stop slow erosion I continue to write about continually that has gone unnoticed for the most part, or so it seems.
When I was a child I feared my mother, who was the disciplinarian in our family. She would quote, without understanding Proverbs 13:24 by rote and probably spoke that verse aloud to me more than any other in the Holy Scriptures. I endured corporal discipline daily. At the time it was how it was. I didn’t like it, no child would, but it was how it was and I did not grow up needing counseling, therapy, or to sit on some psychologists chair for years, or to be pitied or treated in a certain manner, and the corporal discipline did not scar me, inhibit my creativity, my innate sense of humor, or how God Almighty had formed and made me. I got through it all without demanding a legal separation from my parents, from filing litigation against them, from calling the police or having our family appear on the local news at 6 and 11.
And I wasn’t a bad kid. I didn’t commit acts of vandalism. I didn’t cuss and swear. I didn’t get into fights or trouble at school or at home. With the passage of time I realized, as did others, that my mother had some serious problems in how to raise me (I was the only one of the three children to receive this corporal discipline) but I also, in my adult years, let her know I came to understand her and to not harbor any ill will towards her at all. On her death bed in the hospital, after sustaining multiple heart attacks at the age of 67, as I sat beside her and she was so gentle and calm, as she was being read Holy Scripture, and I she cried and told me how sorry she was for how she was with me — I was the oldest of three children and the only boy — and she wished she would have been different had she known — I brushed the hair from her forehead, leaned over, kissed her forehead and told her, “Mom, nothing from the past matters or is held in my heart, and just know I love you. I love you mom.”
And I meant every word. And all the others I shared with her before she died later that day.
What occurred in the past when I was a child didn’t matter. As adults we both came to know, respect love and care about each other and what was most important. And this occurred due to having good foundations laid early in life for both of us. Biblical foundations. Foundations in God, Jesus and the Holy Scriptures.
My mother may have not been aware of how a shepherd’s rod and staff are truly used and understood then the context of her most spoken verse from the Bible, but it was better to discipline than to not discipline. I am a better adult as a result of it. And I am the one who endured what I did for many, many years. And I can still say that the discipline I received was better than what passes for parenting these days. Because of the results. All the psycho-babble adopted and believed and used today is in error and opposed to the inerrant Word of God.
Provide first and foremost a rock solid foundation in Biblical teachings and practices in the home. By the parents and then the children in turn.
While my example might be one extreme we’ve swung far, far, FAR to the opposite extreme in which there is almost zero discipline, zero accountability and parents never say “no” to their offspring, never guide them, shepherd them as they ought.
If you opened the link above about learning accurately and factually how to use a shepherd’s rod and staff, and the other links provided here you will have read that the rod was used to keep predators at bay from attacking and devouring the sheep. From harming the cherished flock the shepherd was given responsibility of protecting, rearing and keeping from harms way. It also was used, and still is used to this day in places where shepherding hasn’t changed in 5,000 years to keep stray sheep from straying and entering into harms way, going their own way, separated from the protection of the shepherd and the flock.
Our current society is so twisted in knots, so confused, so errant, so deceived, so extreme one ay or the other — so lost and devoid of the foundations — the spiritual instruction, understanding and knowledge needed! Is anyone paying attention at the decline, the erosion of everything?
I have heard so many people say we only think these times are worse than what preceded because of all the media and information available today. RUBBISH! UTTER RUBBISH!
When I was a boy growing up people, CHILDREN did not act or do the things so readily done today and on a daily basis.
Because there was discipline which is sorely lacking and almost extinct in our present days.
We are not only living in the Biblical time of Romans 1 we are living the words of the prophet Isaiah;
“I will make mere youths their officials;
children will rule over them.”
People will oppress each other—
man against man, neighbor against neighbor.
The young will rise up against the old,
the nobody against the honored.
Isaiah 3:4-5 — New International Version
And I will make boys their princes,
and infants shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another,
every one his fellow
and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
and the despised to the honorable.
Isaiah 3:4-5 — English Standard Version
all because of the removal, the erosion, the perverting of Biblical foundations. Turning from God, Jesus and the Word of God. Turning instead to worldly teachings. Straying as disobedient and foolish sheep from the Shepherd, from the flock and in need of having the Shepherd use His rod and staff to keep us from the Evil One, from the death and sin of this world, from danger in being disobedient — to discipline us out of LOVE and COMPASSION — which we may not understand or like while being disciplined but without such we will fall prey to predators, go our own way and be forever removed from the Shepherd.
A far greater pain and punishment than anything met out in this temporal fleeting life.
Do not now go and misunderstand what appears here. I am not advocating the physical beating of children — but wise, intelligent, Biblical discipline. As a shepherd of your family. To keep the children who do not know what they should, that need instruction, that need discipline, that need a good strong, caring grounded in the Holy Bible shepherd to keep them.
Use the rod and staff well and daily and according to how it ought to be used based on your individual child — and do not spare it. Do not spare being a good shepherd to your children because each of us will be held accountable and each is responsible without excuse.
Do not permit the weight of the world to crush or scare the foundations you ought to hold, keep and teach from you that you are to impart into your children.
This life is fleeting. whatever happens here passes. All things no matter how kept in our memories, our pains, our sufferings — whatever they might be? All things here are so fleeting and will pass away.
But eternity lasts a long, long time.
We are to live and work and do according to our pending eternities. What we do, or do not do here in this fleeting temporal life determines each of our eternities.
May each turn to God and Jesus, turn to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures in utter deep sincere faith and not permit this world to determine our paths, but the ways of the Lord to determine our path knowing it is for our good, our eternities at risk or reward.
May each be richly blessed in the Lord and in the Holy Scriptures. May each pray fervently, diligently, humbly on these matters and take all things before the Lord our God and may all learn the proper use of the shepherd’s rod and staff and be good shepherd’s of their families. Not fearing to use the rod and staff, not fearing to follow the Word of the Lord.
Discipline good and necessary.
Lack of discipline bad and against the Word of God.
Plain and simple.
Do we follow the world’s ways and instructions? Or God’s?
There are more “experts” declaring why everything is happening as it is, all in error, and myriad studies, surveys, research conducted and the news, the Internet, libraries, agencies and institutions chock full of explanations and reasons why everything is happening as it is — all in error — because it all begins in the child, in the home, in the adult who has brought a child into this world. It all begins with what foundations OR LACK OF FOUNDATIONS are taught. It all begins in the heart, in the mind, of each individual.
It all begins with God. With Jesus. With the Holy Scriptures.
It all begins with instruction and discipline and obedience.
We either turn to God and Jesus, turn to the Holy Scriptures, turn to learning and taking instruction, discipline and thusly being obedient. Or we do not. And the results, the consequences can bee seen, felt, smelt, known wherever we look and are in these last of the last days.
And no one will have any excuses. No one can say, “I didn’t know.”
Regrets for an eternity are not the way to live our daily lives now.
ACP — A Crooked Path
Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
“Go Pull a Switch” and the Decline of Society
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
By Dr. Robert Youngblood
Reprinted from: American Family Association
When I broke the rules, when I crossed the line, it didn’t take me long to figure it out at Grandmother’s house. I think I only did that once (or got caught once).
Slightly stooped in the shoulders, frail, and with laugh-line wrinkles cemented deep on her face, I guess I thought I was immune to any disciplinary consequence. But I failed to realize when my parents told me Listen to your grandmother they had bestowed to her the authority to keep me in line.
Google dictionary describes corporal punishment as “physical punishment, such as caning or flogging,” and “punishment under law that includes imprisonment and death.” Flogging is defined as “a punishment in which the victim is hit repeatedly with a whip or stick.”
I don’t like the word victim in that definition. Not one bit.
Victim? The rules were spelled out. I was told to follow. I chose not to follow. Then suddenly, by this definition, the consequences of my actions made me a victim? I don’t buy it, and anyone who says you should is trying to dupe you.
When Grandmother told me, “Go pull a switch; you’re going to get a whipping,” I knew immediately why. I knew I wish I could rewind time so I could make a different choice. But her patience, her warnings, her other admonitions for me to behave crossed with the many responsibilities she had at the time, and I pushed the limits – and lost. I wasn’t a victim. And I was only a boy.
Grandmother added, “Don’t be gone too long or it will mean more whippings.” Already in trouble, I knew she meant it. I had to try to find that perfect balance of time for her to cool off, but not so much time she got mad because I delayed.
Always looking for the loophole, even at a young age, as I looked at the brush and trees along the fence line of the cow pasture, I finally decided on one which I thought, “This wouldn’t be too bad.” I toted it to the back porch where Grandmother was waiting and showed it to her.
Nope, I wasn’t going to get off that easy apparently.
Too small. Not sturdy enough. Something. I knew it when I picked it, hoping to hope it would be used. She sent me back out with another warning, “Choose a good one. You don’t want me to come out there and pick one.”
Whupped boy walking.
Yes, I was a boy, but it was a moment to grow into a man, into an adult, where breaking rules meant having consequences which I didn’t like.
I didn’t realize it until later when a teacher shared another teacher’s insight: The problem today is these kids live without consequence when they break rules, then they become adults thinking they can continue to do as they please. They suffer more as adults because no one’s enforced action and consequence. Sometimes it’s so bad that they go to jail.
Or worse, sweet teachers, or worse.
Society breaks down.
It’s the Jussie Smollett who gets off relatively scot-free. It’s the government employees or leaders who abuse their powers of and with the law to harass and hound others by applying or ignoring law according to their personal desires. It’s the self-indulgent scratches and tears at the boundaries created by the laws instead of changing them or following already just laws. It’s the incessant creation of Swiss-cheese laws and Swiss-cheese borders where illegal immigrants flow through, but rather than say they’ve broken laws they call them “undocumented immigrants.” They’re the victims? Please, we know better. We’ve let people spoil like milk, and like spoiled milk the stench makes us retch at how wretched we’ve become.
Oddly enough victim is defined on google as “a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.” It also says “a person who is tricked or duped.” These aren’t victims. They are trying to make America the victim by duping us and playing our laws against us, by ignoring the consequence of their actions.
Strange isn’t it, that failure to connect action and consequence is duping a whole nation? Have we truly become victims to our own overindulgence of having never appropriately hearing or saying “No”? It’s part of the discipline and adherence to the rule of law.
Discipline. Some will call it barbaric and archaic. Actually, it is Hebraic, or relating to the characteristic of the Hebrews. “Five Characteristics of Biblical Discipline,” found on the Focus on the Family site, points out one result of discipline which society needs: short-term pain for long-term gain. Discipline and reproof are discussed throughout the Bible along with the consequences of not applying it.
Society experiences this consequence when we want what we want without thought of the long-term gain (or pain), whether it’s Medicare-for-all, free college, ultra-high taxes on the ultra-rich, degrading religious liberties by forcing reverse discrimination, or a variety of things. We act like grown children with powers we don’t know how to use and the lack of logical thought. By failing here with discipline, we truly create victims because we’ve duped them. We’ve tricked them to think there is no connection between action and consequence.
Are there other ways to discipline children? Sure, and they can work. For the longest time, I thought one relative’s girl was going to grow up with a head shaped like a cut piece of pie, triangular from being put in the corner so much.
Brain research says emotions create hormones which make it easier for us to remember or learn. Coaches of women’s and men’s teams say they have to coach each differently or face the fact of demoralizing their female team or having a completely undisciplined male team. Boys and girls are different (hard to believe some people can’t even get this simple biological fact right).
I had lots of emotions from that experience which connected action and consequence. Perhaps this prevented me from turning into a hoodlum or a son who didn’t give a hoot. It gave me a lot more emotion than a corner would have ever given me.
Do I hate my Grandmother? No, and I laugh now thinking about how she held me by the wrist with one hand and whipped me with the switch in the other. Together we were like a merry-go-round with her at the center and propelling me around her with a switch motor. That was a merry-go-round without merriment which I knew I didn’t want to ride again.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:11, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
For parents who have great expectations for their children, like I guess my Grandmother did for me, I feel led to share, “We don’t rise to our levels of expectations, but fall to our level of training.” The Bible makes a strong connection between many types of discipline (and self-discipline) and training, along with the short-term pain of it which leads to long-term benefits. May God bless you with wisdom to know what to do, the courage to do it, and the ability to do so in the most loving way possible. May you be a blessing to your children, may they be a blessing to you, and may you all be blessed by God.