We all need to avoid becoming the proud and haughty person who is such a know-it-all that she cannot be told anything. The person who will not listen to counsel. And before you say, “Not my child. . . “, yes your child, is capable and acts out and if you didn’t discipline her or discourage her little spoiled tactics, your child will disgrace you – at school, or worse in the criminal justice system. So many young people taking their cues from ignorant older people, disparagingly upset at the smallest inconvenience or slight. Quick to anger, slow to listen, ready for a violent opportunity.
Yet God, the inventor of the family, the inventor of the parent and the child is seemingly rarely consulted in the practice of child rearing. Yes, there are nods to Solomon’s proverbs, but as seen in many other places, the Bible tends to be regarded as a leopard pelt: inspired in places, just not overall. I have discussed the difficulty with literal interpretation of the Bible here (see The Word and Reality Exposed). I am astounded by Christians who want to believe the parts of the Bible that they like and disregard the parts they don’t like.
The foremost idea that Jesus himself provided was that we are to love God with all of our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. If we love our neighbors as we love ourselves, how much more should we love our children? The first requirement of parenting is to love
your children. Sadly, in 2014, in America and across the world this is not always the case.
Loving your children explicitly means that you regard their welfare as more important than how they regard you. Children will quickly learn to adjust their behavior to appease the parent that caters to them and/or allows them to do what they want. The writer of Proverbs has a specific statement for parents: Discipline your children. That is train them specifically in how to regard these teachings, wisdom, knowledge. He goes on to say that if you don’t discipline them, you don’t love them. Proverbs 13:24b [NLT]