God and discipline
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
In our 21st century certain countries of the world prohibit corporal punishment as a means of disciplining children in schools. They even prohibit parents from physical discipline at home.
What results do we find in such countries? South Africa is a good example: news reports abound that some schools have become battle fields: teachers are threatened, pupils attacked with knives, some shot dead and girls raped; drugs and alcohol are becoming an increasing problem.
Why is society becoming more and more dysfunctional? The reason is found in the Bible. God is a Father, and He says that a father who loves his children will discipline them, just as He disciplines those He loves. (Proverbs 13:24: “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Hebrews 12:7: “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you a sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined, [and everyone undergoes discipline], then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”)
Do academic standards improve when there is no corporal discipline in schools? Not according to statistics. The Bible gives the reason for this: “To learn, you must love discipline. It is stupid to hate correction” (Proverbs 12:1). How many children have the self discipline to learn without disciplinary measures? Not that many, and that is exactly what the enemies of our children want: undisciplined, uncouth and illiterate people.
Another result is also clear: very few people like or love undisciplined children. In schools, as well as in families, the plan is to sow discord and animosity between parent and child, authority and pupil. So who are the losers? The children lose because they are not carefully trained with discipline to acquire skills and are therefore not equipped for life. Parents and teachers ‘give up’ on rude, selfish, abusive and unmannered children, because they are not allowed to discipline them in a way that the child understands and respects. The courts of law have their hands full with cases that result from undisciplined children who become juvenile delinquents and criminal adults and the jails are filled to capacity.
There are even people advocating neutral values in educating children. Look at this statistic: 99% of Hollywood’s influential people reckon that TV should be more critical of Judeo-Christian values (R Luce, The Battle Cry for a generation, NexGen, 2005, p 38). In general Judeo-Christian values lead to a moral lifestyle of integrity, honesty, hard work, loyalty towards family members and neighbors, et cetera. Is that a threat to society? Listen to this: before the ban on Christian teaching and prayer in American schools was replaced by ‘value-free’ education, the top school offenses were: talking, chewing gum, making noise, running in the halls, getting out of turn in line, wearing of improper clothing, not putting paper in wastebaskets. Many, many schoolteachers would welcome such ‘problems’ today. Instead, the top offenses in public schools in our time are: rape, robbery, assault, burglary, arson, bombings, murder, suicide, absenteeism, et cetera (D Barton, To Pray or not to Pray - a statistical look at what happened when religious principles were separated from public affairs ; WallBuilder Press, 1981, p 69).
Lesson: the pressure against God/Jesus Christ/the Bible will never diminish. It will be expedient for parents who care for their children, to see that they love them by educating them in the principles of the Bible. It is profitable not only for the present, but also for the future, coming Kingdom of God. Discipline is still a powerful tool for inculcating love and respect in children and giving them the opportunity of achieving success, not only in this life, but also in the one to come.