Yesterday while shopping at the local Christian bookstore there was a mom not watching her two young children as they proceeded to turn this spinning display around and around eventually causing the contents to spill to the floor. The mother missed a teaching moment. Did she correct her children? No! She simply checked out grabbed their hands and proceeded out of the store. Not an 'I'm sorry" and no attempt to clean up the mess her children made. It was their responsibility to pick up something they had dropped yet the little girl started to, then stopped when her mom grabbed her hand, seemingly not caring, and off they marched out of the store. I said to the clerk, "Now that mom missed a valuable teaching moment. She could have told her children it was them who caused the mess so pick it up " but instead this mom seemed immune to disciplinary action of any sort. I thought to myself how sad this was that these children apparently had no boundaries and probably did this in other stores, in school and in the home. The mom seems to not understand it is her job to correct them and train them and set limits on behavior. I told the clerk I would hate to see those children in high school or later in life after they have apparently gotten their way all the time. They were not taught personal responsibility. I wanted to say something to the mom so bad but kept my mouth shut. The mom would probably have defended her children and still left the store. This lady is going to have a bunch of brats on her hands some day and wonder why.
This reminded me of a Bible verse.Proverbs 29:15 says "The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother." The trouble is, modern society says 'do not lay a finger on your child' but let me tell you if children do not associate a little pat on the behind with bad behaviour it is going to be hard to train them and keep them from hurting themselves and others later. The Bible is full of wisdom on disciplining your children. These two children in the store were obviously used to getting their own way. Who is in control I say?
Another very familiar Bible verse pertaining to the spiritual raising of children is Proverbs 22:6 which says "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." It is a promise that even if they stray they will come back. A verse to go along with this one is 3 John 1:4 which says "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
If you are a young parent hopefully you are training your little ones both spiritually as well as setting boundaries on what is appropriate behaviour. Children who do not understand clearly right and wrong and going to have a difficult life. And if they are not taught responsibility it will be hard to be a productive member of society.
God also disciplines us for our own good. If we do not understand right and wrong we have a hard life as well. Proverbs 3:11-12 says "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." Proverbs 15:5 says "A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence." Hebrews 12:9-11 says "Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." And finally 1 Corinthians 11:32 says "But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world."
Be thankful for the Lord's discipline as it is through this we grow to be more like Him.
PRAYER: Thanks for your love and mercy and thanks for the discipline I receive when I need it. I thank you Lord for giving me a standard for right and wrong and that is The Holy Bible. Give me the desire daily to read it and if I have young children to teach it to them as well. In Jesus Name. Amen.
(Note:Thanks to my friend Robin Turner for always affectionately saying "simmer down now" and thus giving me an idea for the title of this devotion.)