Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                                                February 26, 2012                                                                                                                                                                                NO. 5


 Today's Child Experts:

"Punishment Does Not Help"


Journalist Betsy Flagler writes the syndicated “Parent to Parent” column that asks readers to write in with parenting problems and then tries to get expert help to those troubles. A mother in California recently wrote in that her first-grader has been pushing and hitting, been kicked out of the library, and all attempts to take away privileges and toys to discipline him have failed.  “His problem seems to be a lack of self-control” she writes. Flagler’s response well illustrates the destructive psychology of today that destroys children rather than helping them.

She notes that “instead of thinking you must control your child’s behavior, help your child learn to control himself. Set limits, give reminders, be his advocate.” Okay, that all sounds great. What happens, however, when little Johnny breaks the limits and won’t listen to reminders? Some might think that would be the time to discipline Johnny. Oh, no! We must not do that! “External controls such as taking a bike away do not teach self-control” says child expert Jane Nelsen (who of course has written a book on child rearing).  Ms. Nelsen goes on to analyze why the child pushes and hits others and notes that discipline is not the answer: “It’s a crazy idea that to help children do better, first we have to make them feel worse . . . A misbehaving child is a discouraged child. Punishment doesn’t help him feel he belongs.” A Dallas school teacher, June Humphreys, says misbehavior comes because kids can’t communicate their feelings, and punishment just stifles that all the more. “Instead, these children need to be taught vocabulary to use to express feelings at the first sign of discomfort.”

Amazing stuff, isn’t it? One hundred years ago parents knew how to handle children who hit and kicked others. Now, in our sophisticated age, we “know better” than to discipline like grandma and grandpa did but kids are more unruly than ever! All these experts write book after book on child rearing but everyone seems to have forgotten The Expert’s book on child raising, the Bible. The Bible notes that these parents who are so worried Johnny will feel “left out” or “that he doesn’t belong” actually hate their child: “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly”  (Proverbs 13:24). A parent who is more concerned with the child’s immediate feelings than long-range character growth is a parent who is failing that child! Further, the experts can say all they want about punishment not being helpful but God says “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Talking and learning communication skills aren’t the issue: selfishness is. Johnny doesn’t have a communication problem – he is very good at letting everyone know that he wants his way now. Instead of being paralyzed with a fear that for even a moment Johnny might not feel great about himself Johnny must learn that if he acts badly he will feel badly – because he should feel badly about acting badly! “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Today we have far too much analysis of why children misbehave and not nearly enough decisive action to stop it. There is too much concern about Johnny’s self-esteem and not nearly enough interest in his actions and making wrong behavior extremely unpleasant and undesirable. 

May God bless every parent to seek His wisdom and not the foolishness of today’s self-proclaimed parenting experts.

---Mark Roberts

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3 "R's" For The Young

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” (Eccl. 11:9)

If you follow the lusts of your heart to do any and every thing you desire, you better know that you will be judged for it! There are some who dare to tell the young to go ahead and sow their wild oats. But if you follow that advice, it will be to your destruction, because you will reap what you sow. (Gal. 6:7, 8).

So just remember young person, don't let your sinful pleasure condemn you at the judgment day! Is there one pleasure worth it?

Remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.” (Eccl. 11:10)

The world says to rejoice by doing whatever feels best. God shows the way to truly rejoice is to "remove sorrow from thy heart". 

This is how to truly rejoice and is contrasted with the empty and worthless carousing of a rebellious youngster. And the best way to remove sorrow from your heart is to remove the evil from your body. If you follow whatever your heart desires, it will bring you pain, sorrow and grief.

  Youth is fleeting, so use it wisely. 

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” (Eccl. 12:1)

Young person, you can be so useful for the Lord. Don't live your life for sinful pleasures, but live your life for God. If you have your pleasure now, you won't have pleasure remembering how much valuable time, enthusiasm, and energy was wasted to futility. As much as you might not like to think about it, the "evil days" of old age and loss of bodily functions will come. So remember God now, while there is time!

---Andrew Mitchell 

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"What Do You Do For Fun?"

A young man tried to talk a young lady into sexual intercourse but she wouldn’t hear tell of it. Then he offered her booze she wouldn’t touch. A little later he wanted to share some marijuana with her but she turned that down, too. By this time he was thoroughly disgusted and sulkily demanded to know what she did for fun.  She said:


“I never have to worry about being diseased or pregnant. And that’s fun!  That means I don’t have to wrestle with a decision to abort an unwanted baby; and that’s fun. And I don’t have to wonder if I’m being pawed over by someone who might not want to know me a couple of months from now. And that’s fun. I never have any difficulty remembering what I did the night before and who I did it with; and that’s fun, too. And I’m looking forward to the day when I can give myself totally to my husband rather than give a panicky fraction of me in the back seat of some car. And that’s fun. I can hardly wait, but I will. I won’t ever have to worry about getting a blood test that tells me I have AIDS or some other venereal disease; and believe me, that’s fun. My parents love me more than I can say and if I were to get into trouble, of any kind, they’d be right there with me. But I never have to worry about seeing them crushed and shamed by some disgraceful behavior of mine, and believe me, as much as I love them - that’s really fun.”

---Jim McGuiggan, In The Irish Papers

Additional Note: Regardless of all reasons we can cite, the one, overriding reason for not engaging in premarital sex is that God said not to do it. But the reasons cited above help us to see God’s wisdom in telling us not to engage in this sin.

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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