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Friday, January 16, 2015

Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child/Nation/ World

            While preparing to write this I looked up the definition of Spare..according to Webster it means "Let Live"  It kinda gives a new perspective on whipping.  By that definition 80% of America would probably be dead.  If you include the observing the Sabbath and all the other old testament commandments. 

     Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child/Nation/ World

    Recently there has been a lot of talk in the media about what constitutes child abuse.  A professional football player is in the process of possibly losing his career over spanking his child with a switch.  Some argue that whipping a child is a horrible thing.  Some also hold the Bible view which says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

     When I compare those views to the attitude when I was growing up I almost laugh.  Corporal punishment was the standard back then.  When I was in the 2nd grade, on my 2nd time around, they found out I needed glasses and could not read the chalk board from the back of the room, but not till the end of the year on the first time through.  So they flunked me.  I still remember the humiliation of being held back. Suddenly I was the old kid in the class. I also learned what it feels like to be laughed at because you are different.

     One day I showed up for school and went to my classroom and instead of sitting down when everybody else did I remained standing.  The teacher told me to sit down and I told her I would rather not.  She then asked, “Why not?” I said, 
“Because I got a whipping from my dad and the whelps on my legs are oozing and my pants will stick to my legs and it hurts to pull them loose.”  She looked at me for a moment with a puzzled look on her face. Then she said, “Okay you may stand but move to the back of the room.”  That was the end of the matter.  There was no trip to the principal’s office. Those started in fourth grade.

     In the fourth grade I started getting whippings both at home and at school.  I was not a problem child.  I just did not listen well, today I know it was part of my dyslexia, but then it was just me being a problem.  In fifth grade they no longer whipped you in front of the class.  They had a special room that was situated so that all the students could listen to the whacks being administered with the “board of education.” The normal whipping was three whacks, the max supposedly was ten.  Tough kids refused to cry and it ticked the teachers off.  I had a friend who insulted a teacher. She called him a whop, which almost half the class were,  and he called her a pig. Gary got sixteen whacks and he came back in the room smiling.  I must admit that it was a forced smile.  He was my best friend and he was tough, he did not break.

   In my fifth grade year we got a new principal.  Mr. McKeever was tough as nails.  I went to his office several times and got my three whacks.  One day I went to his office.  He had a big cushioned chair that you sat in while he gave you your lecture.  First you would assume “the position” and bend forward with your hands on the arm of the chair. Then you got your whacks, sat down and received a lecture on how you needed to obey the teachers. 

     One day I entered his office and stood in front of his desk.  Originally the teacher would come with me.  I had to tell him what I did, or was accused of doing  and what punishment  I should get.  Then he would ask me if it was true and usually I was told to assume the position.  For some reason the teacher did not come with me this time.  She said I knew the way and was wasting her time.  Mr. McKeever sometimes gave you a choice between the board and a strap. This day he just looked at me and smiled.  He said, ”You know how this works right.”  I said, “Yes” He looked at me then told me to stand by the chair and that he was going to administer the punishment to the chair. He winked at me. My job was to yell at the appropriate moment.

      When he finished he told me to sit down and asked me what was wrong and why I didn’t listen.  We talked for quite a while and became secret friends.  We did this fairly often over the next couple years, but they got farther and farther apart as he helped me learn to deal with my emotions and to communicate with the teachers when I did not understand.    He realized spanking was not doing anything to change me and that I had some kind of learning disability.

     Later in life I had to raise my own kids and I tried to refrain from spanking and used the corner and other tactics, but not listening and flagrant disobedience would earn a whipping.  My weapon of choice was a belt.  The belt smarted, but it was not going to break anything like a hand might.  In our house whippings would come to be known as dancing lessons.  They are still called that in my family. Even my grandkids know what dancing lessons are.  My policy was if I told you, you were going to get a whipping, you were going to get it.  It might be deferred for a while, but it was going to happen.

      Dancing lessons came about when one of my children had a temper tantrum at the store.  I warned her that she was going to get a dancing lesson when we got home.  I grabbed her arm and led her in a circle around me. I looked at her very seriously and said do you understand me.  She realized what I meant and stopped fussing.  When we got home she got her whipping just like I told her she would. I see young parents threatening, and threatening, and threatening their children and then never following through.

     That is the worst thing a parent can do. It undermines their own authority as it tells the child that you do not mean what you say. If you say it, you should mean it. Whippings are not for fun, they are not for when you are having a bad day and don’t want to hear it.  They are for teaching that there is a price for not obeying. Letting the child meditate on the matter and then making them bring you the belt establishes who is in charge.  It also establishes that there are consequences for disobedience.  That final part is a big part of what is wrong with America today.
Children are no longer taught morals or values. That there are things that are right and wrong.

    Our society no longer has the lines between good and bad behavior.  The new rule is, “If it feels good, do it.”  No one should be condemned for anything they do.
Unfortunately the ones who have that mindset are much more vocal than the ones who don’t agree with it.  We are quickly becoming a non-Christian nation because Christians no longer stand up for what believe, or state what they believe. 

    That is not the example Jesus taught to his followers.  When the money changers were violating the temple Jesus threw them out. Today Jesus is all about love, peace and not making waves.  If you make waves you’re a trouble maker.  Jesus made waves and he made them big enough to get himself killed.  Not because he was wrong, but because he stood up for what he believed in.

    Jesus healing ministry offended the church leaders of his day. They said he could not heal on the Sabbath.  Jesus explained to them that if they had an animal in a situation it would die if not attended to, they would tend to it. Even on the Sabbath.  In essence he said to them doing good is never wrong, but they did not see it in that light. The law was the law from their point of view.  That is where they got their authority from.  If someone broke the law they were challenging their authority.  That is exactly what the Taliban and the extremists believe.  That they are enforcing God’s Word.  The problem is they have never read God’s Word.

   Muslims believe a man who lived almost 2000 years after Abraham.  He lived six hundred years after Christ.   Yet he is an authority on The Word of God.  He is a man that developed a faith system which made him superior to Jews.  He accomplished that feat by simply leaving out things written by the earlier prophets that contradict or do not agree with the program he desired to create.

    So how did we get from whippings to this point?  It is pretty simple really. The Bible teaches the need for discipline.  Discipline requires understanding and obedience to what it teaches.  Today we argue over what day the Sabbath falls on.  The answer can only be understood by reading and understanding the Bible.  That is something that does not happen very often in this day and age.  Having done away with the Bible as authority, Islam and the rest of the secular world can make rules to uphold any system they like.  They are going to create and uphold one that makes them right and others wrong.

It is time for Christians to come together and do what Christ commanded them to do and spread His Word throughout the whole world.  That may not make you popular, but you will plant the seed of truth in their lives.  Once they know the Truth they will continue to seek the Truth.  Slowly their eyes will be opened to the false teachings that are passed off as Truth and Lord willing they will seek to follow the Truth.  If they don’t they are lost.  Then they will come to know the price and cost of not having discipline in their lives.

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