Please Don’t Tell Me to Hate My Child

When good is called evil and evil is called good, what will be next?

Good people will be considered evil for doing what had once been considered good. Then it is just a matter of time before the new “good” people will try to stop the new “evil” people from doing what used to be considered good. What would a good person do when told to hate his child? Would he go along with it?

These are the perilous times the apostle Paul said were coming, times when children would be disobedient to parents, among other terrible things.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (2 Timothy 3:1-4)  See also 1 Timothy 3:1-5, Romans 1:18-32(vs 30)

No wonder children will be disobedient to parents, when the good of spanking your child for his disobedience is being called evil. How could it be that good would be called evil and evil would be called good?

Why is it that people’s views on very significant moral issues have changed so much over the past 50 years? If what people called good 50 years ago is really evil, then what should we think about the people of times gone by? Were they evil, too?

Why is there so much disrespect from young people these days towards the elderly? Is it their righteous response to the barbaric practice of those old people who used to spank unruly, disrespectful, disobedient children? “Just desserts,” you might say.

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but it really would be wise to consider the effects of that opinion. After a thousands of years, the universally accepted practice of parents spanking their children has come into question. Why?

Maybe you are alarmed at that question because it seems so blatantly obvious that to hit a child is a terrible thing. But why was it so universally accepted and practiced just 50 years ago? Were the human inhabitants of Planet Earth just uncivilized barbarians who liked to inflict pain on little people? We are not talking about a tiny minority that the rest of society finally found a way to clamp down on. The use of corporal punishment was a universally accepted and promoted practice in the home and in schools. What changed? What was the motive behind the change? What are the consequences of that change?

Does it seem odd to you that if even the best of parents 50 years ago were parenting today they could face criminal charges in many countries for their parenting practices? Did parents then just do it because everyone else did it? Did they just spank because they were more short-tempered than folks today? Was the average person a barbaric advocate of child abuse? Or was there something sound behind the practice?

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15)

There is a foolishness that is prevalent in these times. It is not what you might think. It is the foolishness of avoiding the truth that there are consequences for our actions. Immediate gratification and the avoidance of discomfort rule people’s lives. The grave consequences are becoming more and more apparent as time passes.

Discipline is a provision to teach a child that there is a consequence to straying from the loving care and direction of their parents. It unbinds the folly that is an intrinsic part of their nature before it becomes the set, permanent, and dominant aspect of their character. Discipline is applied by parents who love their child as the proverb says.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24)

The one who loves his child disciplines him diligently. In doing so, he repeatedly and clearly teaches his child that there are boundaries in life. Better to find out early, before the more serious consequences come. What if a child is running into the road after his ball and has not been trained to obey his parents’ voice?

It is so wonderful that a child can listen and obey the voice of someone who loves him and has his best interests in mind. It is essential to his future. It is so critical that human beings learn early in life to obey simple commands without hesitation. It is a foundation for gaining wisdom from those who have gone ahead of them. Without authority, you cannot set a child on the way he should go.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

It is love to put your child on a good path, the way he should go. What if you don’t put him on the way he should go? These days people assume that he will find it himself. Is that what we see? Are children born with the wisdom necessary? And if they had it, would they use it? What does experience tell you?

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Proverbs 29:15)

The rod and reproof give the wisdom a child needs to not bring shame to his mother. Everyone has seen an out-of-control child bring shame to his mother. It’s really not wise to kick and scream and throw yourself on the ground because you cannot get what you want. The greater foolishness, though, is to let a child think that there is no consequence for such behavior. That foolishness will convince the child that his foolishness is really quite clever, especially when he realizes his ability to get his own way. He learns to manipulate others by his success at manipulating his parents.

The proverb says that a child left to himself brings shame because there is an inclination in all human beings to do evil, to be self-centered. If that developing human being is left to be guided by that inclination, then self-centeredness grows to be the dominant aspect of his personality. He will develop into a person who is enslaved by his selfish desires. That is why it says that you hate your child if you spare the rod. You let him be enslaved by his self-centeredness. Enslaved means that he is not free to function by higher motives. People do have them, though. They are the higher motives that make good people good.

In the garden of human life, selfishness is the most prevalent and dominant weed, choking the growth of anything good. Children are not capable, on their own, of weeding their garden. Left to themselves, selfishness chokes out virtue.

Many parents in previous generations really cared about how their children would turn out. They were concerned about more than just their physical welfare. They saw it as their responsibility to make sure their children grew up straight, that they weren’t destructive to society, but actually contributed to it, and that they would treat others the way they wanted to be treated. This is everywhere and through all time the Golden Rule. It’s golden because its value endures unchanging.

Parents knew that one day the little child that they loved would have to stand before the One who made him and be judged for how he had lived his life. They wanted their child to be well prepared to make good choices in life. They did not want him to be whimsically and arbitrarily led by anything that blew through his mind or his emotions. They knew that their child would reap what he had sown, and they “gave a damn” about their future. Their conscience would not let them stand by and watch their child grow up in the way he should not go — a way that contradicted what they instinctively knew about right and wrong. They knew full well that left unchecked their child’s selfish nature would cause him to do just that.

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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