Teaching Kids the Fear of the Lord
By Patricia Backora, author of the book
Tough Love in Christ's Millennium
Which you can order online from: http://www.publishamerica.com
I turned on a TV series about correcting child behavioral problems the other day, but I was so intrigued by it I didn't change the channel. In the program, this woman goes from house to house to teach parents how to tame their children's wild behavior. Most of the time she works with toddlers and small children. I just can't believe today's small children are capable of such vile language as was bleeped out by the program! The woman would teach the parents a few pointers about handling kids in a positive manner, rather than a negative one. She went to reform this little boy and girl, and they couldn't have been any older than four or five years old. They were trashing the house, cursing their parents, biting them, refusing to obey. Once the child trainer left the home for a trial period, the little boy and girl went absolutely wild! They bit and hit and kicked their parents and cursed them out, threw things around. Time and again the mother and father had to pick the children up and put them in the Time Out corner, and they didn't want to stay in it. The dad was left with the kids while the lucky mother escaped to go to her job. He got so flustered he took both kids to their rooms and locked the door while they continued screaming.
When she got back, the child trainer chided the dad for standing over the kid and yelling at him. She said: "you're a big fellow. What are you trying to do, put the fear of God in him?" Plainly this lady is missing part of the solution. Kids are not being taught the fear of the Lord. In many places the Bible teaches that God is to be feared (treated with reverence and respect) as well as loved. The fear of the Lord is the beginning (foundation) of all wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). To build a child's character on something other than sound Biblical principles and the knowledge of the Lord is to build on shifting sand.
This TV child trainer advises parents to "ignore bad behavior." But that amounts to a surrender of authority. Policemen don't (usually) ignore the bad behavior of adults, and parents aren't supposed to turn a blind eye to the dirty deeds of their own children. We live in a decadent post-Christian society where the Bible has been chucked out and humanism rules supreme. Some day those kids will be bigger than their parents, and the parents will then be physically unable to carry them to the Time Out room. If a child knows no real discipline will follow for kicking and cursing parents, what will that child act like when fully grown? Will the tiny terror grow up to be a 300-pound brute who hits his wife because he knows he can get away with hurting others? Far better to train children according to the Word of God now than regret not doing so later when that child grows up to be a violent offender.
I'm a relic of a bygone age. I would have got in trouble just for saying "hell" when I was a kid. My family wasn't particularly religious, but I was taught clear standards of right and wrong. And we weren't spoiled either. I remember my mother making me and my brother scrub the woodwork to keep us from getting bored in the summer. We worked for our allowance, cleaning up the yard and watching my little brother to earn a dime or a quarter. Today so many kids are pampered. Candy was an occasional treat for us. I hardly ever got folding money of my own, except maybe on my birthday. Today's generation of kids has much more money at their disposal than we ever dreamed of. They've got their own telephones and some even have their own private TV in their bedroom. Whatever they want is handed to them on a silver platter. And the timid teachers had better turn a blind eye to their deviltry and back off from them.
One family friend used to love to teach, but classroom discipline is in such an atrocious condition these days that he has gone back to driving a truck instead. In the UK school kids are not afraid to insult, harass, or even assault their teachers because "they know their rights."
Isaiah 3:12 speaks of a society which has fallen away from God and His Word: "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths (KJV). Unless children are properly led by example in learning the ways of the Lord they will be the blind who are being led by the blind, and both end up falling into the same ditch.
In I Samuel Chapter 2 we encounter a case of poor parenting and its consequences for the nation of Israel. Eli the High Priest would gently reprove his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, whenever they would lay around with the women who assembled at the entrance to Tabernacle (I Sam.2:22-25). Using the most diplomatic language possible, the old man tried to warn his sons. But they "hearkened not unto the voice of their father".
Nor did it escape Eli's eye when his two boys stole the offerings out of people's cooking pots, just so they could have raw flesh to consume instead of boiled, contrary to God's explicit command. In I Samuel 2:12 the two guys were called "sons of Belial who feared not the Lord". It was bad enough they had no morals, but their beastly conduct caused worshippers to despise the offering of the Lord (I Samuel 2:12-17).
In Chapter 3 young Samuel is woken up by the Lord and told that Eli and his sons are about to be judged.
Verse 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel.
Verse 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
Verse 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all the things which I have spoken, concerning his house: which I begin, I shall also make an end.
Verse 13 For I have told him that I would judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth, because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
Verse 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
That, to me, is one of the scariest Scriptures I have ever read! That it is possible for God to determine that He will never, ever allow someone's sins to be atoned for, even by sacrifice! What a dreadful judgment! The sons of Eli made themselves so contemptible in the sight of the Lord that He determined to cut them off. Treating His sacrifices with contempt was evidently the last straw in the sight of the Lord, for it is only through blood sacrifice that we can be reconciled to God, and those Old Testament sacrifices served as tokens of faith pointing to Christ, God's true Sacrifice for sin. Eli's sons had been trained in the offering of sacrifices and their significance. Leviticus 17:11 says that it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Phinehas and Hophni effectively cut off their lifeline to peace with God by treating the sacrifices of the Lord with contempt.
Jeremiah 7:16 contains a shocking utterance from the mouth of the Lord, who is angry at a nation which once knew Him, but now commits adultery, steals, murders, and worships idols: Therefore, pray not for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. And the Lord repeats this to Jeremiah in Chapter 11, when he rebukes the nation of Israel for rejecting His ways and worshipping idols.
Verse 11 Therefore, thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I shall not hearken unto them.
Verse 14: Therefore, pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.
In Genesis 20:11 Abraham tells Abimelech why he lied and said Sarah was his sister.
And Abraham said, Because I said, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake. Abraham found himself in a society so evil he feared they would have killed him and taken his wife away. Wherever the fear of God is absent in the earth, evil reigns supreme.
Today it is widely taught to old and young alike that God loves everyone unconditionally, and whenever you get good and ready God will always be patiently waiting there to forgive you of any and all sin. The danger of this assumption lies in losing a healthy reverence for the Lord, and an awareness that His Holy Spirit will not always strive with man (Gen.6:3). People today have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward the one Sacrifice for sin, Christ Jesus. People are duped by the devil into thinking that they can always wait till they're old and worn out to worry about the final destination of their soul. So it follows that folks with such an attitude would not seriously concern themselves with the spiritual training of their children. God has been effectively kicked out of the classroom, if He ever was in it to begin with. Jesus never gets mad about anything, and God is depicted as a being who bestows lots of toys and continually updates his moral code to keep in touch with the times. And there are untold millions of children who learn absolutely no fixed moral absolutes from unbelieving parents who treat them as pint-sized adults who never need discipline, just indulgence.
This Scriptural passage describes our generation to a tee:
1 But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come.
2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;
Truth is like a bicycle. God's love in Christ is the most wonderful thing you can imagine. But this modern generation has lost all fear of the Lord. May God have mercy on the children of the 21st century, and may He do all in His power to reach those who are being led astray by blind leaders of the blind.
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