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Society's Scared of its Own Children
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Society's Scared of its Own Children
By Patricia Backora, author of the book
Tough Love in Christ's Millennium
Which you can order online from: http://www.publishamerica.com
How true, this prophecy in Isaiah 3:5: And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient (elderly), and the base (dishonorable) against the honorable. And in verse 12: As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them (KJV). It was almost as if Isaiah could see into the future down to our day. Men have grown weaker and more passive while women have grown stronger and more aggressive. In many churches, women easily outnumber the men because their husbands are snoozing on the couch in front of the TV watching football. Too many men are abdicating their position as priests over their own homes and delegating all the responsibility for the children's spiritual training to their wives. And as for the worsening state of child behavior in society, today even the smallest kids are telling parents and teachers where to get off.
In a neighborhood not far from us,a gang of wild teenagers has just demolished a beautiful playground equipment paid for by hard-working tax-payers' dollars. The little kids cried to see such a loss while the teenage vandals laughed. They know that even if they're caught, they won't have to compensate the community for the loss.
In parts of the UK, many vulnerable people have become virtual prisoners in their own homes, huddling behind their doors in fear of feral youths who go around tearing up everybody else's property. Many elderly residents of housing projects don't even like to walk one block to the convenience store because of the gangs of hooded youths who congregate around the doorways. They act like they own the place. They verbally harass passers-by. Young hoodlums vandalize parked cars and tear up bus shelters. If you're walking alone, they point and tease and laugh at you, daring you to say something back. Even the tiniest children know and use the foulest language imaginable. Paul describes our wild, rebellious generation to a tee in II Timothy Chapter 3. Briefly I'll comment on the passage.
VERSE 1 THIS know also, that in the last days perilous (dangerous) times shall come.***** A climate of terror has gripped the earth as never before. The Bible says that in the last days men's hearts shall fail them for fear (Luke 21:26).
VERSE 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,*****Have you ever before seen such a preoccupation with "self"? In some cases, affluent parents put their own self-fulfillment ahead of their own children's spiritual training. It is far more important to society to pressure couples to labor long and hard to pay for a fine home, a fancy new car or a designer wardrobe than to free up one parent to spend adequate time at home to raise the children to know the Lord.
VERSE 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (lacking self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are good,*****Here is one reason why Christian kids have such a rough time in secular high school. It just ain't cool to be a Christian and stand up for love and righteousness. Vicious sinners despise good people. When a fellow student is being brutalized by fierce bullies, it is rare for anyone, even a believer, to defend the victim and speak out against the evil of bullying. Why? The peer pressure is on. Nobody likes to stick out like a sore thumb and go against the flow, not even most religious people. It's cool to be cruel.
VERSE 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;*****All the popular movie action heroes act like they're the next best thing to God, and in watching them, kids live out their own fantasies through them. What kid is going to look up to a super hero who confesses that without God he is nothing, and gives God the glory for the victory? That's very uncool, and such a motion picture would go bust at the box office. The pursuit of pleasure has become a billion-dollar business worldwide, as untold millions party hard on their way to hell.
VERSE 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.***** In certain places churches are essentially little different from fancy country clubs. Oh, the devil doesn't mind churches so long as they don't stem the tide of evil in the community. When a churchgoing child's religious training is devoid of the power and love of the Risen Christ, he is much more apt to conform to the prevailing darkness at school and just join the crowd.
School bullying is reaching epidemic proportions because discipline is outdated in public schools. With no consequences to fear, juvenile delinquents feel free to boldly do the devil's dirty work for him. Today even teachers are being attacked, both verbally and physically. Many suffer such psychological distress from uncontrollable pupils they finally give up and leave the profession.
One TV "child developmental expert" gives advice on child-raising. You are told never to "smack" (spank) your children, just hold them to restrain them till the tantrum is over. Then you are supposed to send the child to a special place for "time-out" till he or she is ready to behave and apologize for the rude behavior. That advice is to be applied even to the most aggressive, foul-mouthed brats. I was horrified to watch four-and-five-year olds curse at their mother and call her degrading names when they didn't get their way. I would have faced a whirlwind of wrath if I'd dared treat any adult that way when I was a kid.
One TV show depicts weepy, helpless, parents who stand helplessly by as their own kids viciously insult them and trash the house for good measure. But oh, no, there's no such thing as bad children, only inadequate parents. Mom and Dad are forbidden to lay a hand on verbally abusive kids to correct them.
One day I saw a tantrum-throwing brat at the mall who plainly did not want to go grocery shopping with his father. The father pinned the boy's flailing arms to his side as they went along. Helplessly the beleaguered man pleaded with his son to behave and quiet down. The boy's legs dragged the floor as his dad half-carried him toward the supermarket. What made my mouth hang open in shock was this: The kid couldn't have been younger than ten. He wasn't much shorter than his dad. What an outlandish sight, a pre-teen kicking up a whiny fuss like a tiny toddler going through his terrible two's! Society might be sliding down to hell in a supermarket cart because it has rejected the Word of God, but everyday reality is getting to be more bizarre than fiction!
Only problem with holding a supermarket-trashing toddler to restrain him instead of giving him a quick swat on the seat is this: What do you do when the kid no longer looks up to you, but has stretched out so much his feet drags the floor and you break your back just trying to pick all 160 pounds of him up? If a sixteen-year-old has never learned respect for authority, he would only laugh if you told him to go sit in a corner. If you tried to ground him, he'd just hop into his car and drive off laughing. Once your feisty little toddler is well into his teens, he's big and strong enough to hog-tie you and invite the whole gang over for a beer party.
Just imagine Bud Jr. interacting with Big Bud, his dad. In the first scenario Big Bud puts into practice the diplomacy heís learned at his local parenting class.
Big Bud to Bud Jr.: I hate to sound critical, but your room is a bit unhygenic and malodorous. Pretty please, Bud Jr., wonít you rectify the situation? Come, show me how creative we can be in applying the old elbow grease. Iíll even go fetch the Ajax for you, to lend you a hand.
Bud Jr. knows heís three inches higher than his dad. He sneers down at him as if he were pond scum and says: "Shove off, you old $*
! Itís MY room!"
Big Bud loses his rag: "Shut up, you stupid punk! Iím the one who pays the rent to keep this roof over your head, so I get to make the rules. And if you donít like it you can pack up all your stinking clothes in a garbage bag and go can go sleep in the gutter!"
Bud Jr. glares at him and goes up to his room, cursing.
Big Bud is a lost sinner. Heís physically too small to discipline Bud Jr. Being the breadwinner of the home is the only weapon he has at his disposal. Bud Jr. gave in to avoid being thrown out into the street, but the air is supercharged with hostility and tension. How would Big Bud have handled the crisis had he been a Christian?
Big Bud to Bud Jr., who is fresh from school.: "Son, I donít want to sound unkind, but I can smell your track shoes and sweat shirts all the way down here. Please go straighten your room.í
Bud Jr.: "($%@#! off, you old *%&$#! Itís MY room!"
Big Bud: "Hey, where did you learn THAT kind of talk? You didnít learn it from me!"
Bud Jr.: "None of your &%#
business. Shut up!"
Big Bud, calmly: "Son, it may be your room, but the Lord has placed me in authority over this home as its head, and I am to be respected. Now you apologize to me and then Iíll decide your punishment for swearing at me."
Bud Jr.: "&$#*&!! Iím sick of the way youíre always shoving religion down my throat. Donít ever preach at me again, you little worm."
Big Bud applies a bit of tough love: "Son, go pack your things. If you canít abide by my rules, you canít stay here anymore! I wonít have you acting that way around little Ruthie and Jamie."
Bud Jr.: "Fine, Iíll stay with Gary Bradley. His dadís real cool. He lets Gary drive his car and drink out of his liquor cabinet."
Big Bud: "If you go over there, you'll STILL be under my rules, because I have legal authority over you. You take one sip out of Mr. Bradley's liquor cabinet and I'll swear out a warrant on him for serving liquor to a minor."
Bud Jr.: "Christians aren't supposed to get anybody into trouble!"
Big Bud: "All I know is, son, if you don't apologize right now to your dad and take your punishment like a man, you be in big trouble with MY Dad, because I'm gonna tell him all about you and ask Him to deal with you Himself in ways that I can't. In the Bible, God always assigns the hardest cases of judgment to the highest authorities. And if you think I'M hard on you, you ain't seen nothing yet."
Bud Jr. doesn't shout hallelujah but mumbles an apology He accepts a six-month sentence of curtailed social life and extra household chores, along with a can of Ajax.
Today, children claim the same rights as adults. If that's so, then adult responsibilities should go hand-in-hand with adult rights. One person's rights end where someone else's rights are infringed on. Delinquents should take the same consequences as adults would for destroying property and destroying someone elseís car. No, not jail. That's a disgusting, degrading place, even for adults. The best idea, I think, would be a Christian boot camp which would instill discipline into them and teach them good citizenship. They should have a drill sergeant figure overseeing their rehabilitation, who would make them snap to attention in formation and say "Yes, Sir!" In the ideal delinquent camp, all junk food would be cut out. It only makes kids hyper. Instead, wholegrain bread, fresh fruit and vegetables would be served. Devotions would be read and chapel attendance required. Bedtime would be strictly observed. Vigorous chores would be assigned to every able-bodied kid each day, rain or shine. The kids would be paid piecework wages, which would go toward compensating their victims for the damage they caused. Nothing like good old-fashioned physical work to wear out mischief makers so that they're too tired to create chaos. Demerits would be issued whenever trash was thrown around or fights started.
Corporal punishment has a built-in problem in that some individuals find it hard to draw the line between what's reasonable and what isn't. If spanking isn't an option, there are other strict ways to discipline offenders who insist on being treated like adults. Those who break the rules of the camp's code of conduct would be isolated from the other inmates until they decided to buckle down and learn a few manners.
In certain countries it's illegal to tap your kid's Seat of Education to calm the tantrum he throws when you refuse to buy him candy in the supermarket. And if your kid cusses you out for asking him to go to bed, think twice before fetching the fly swatter. Your child might be"taken into care", (put in a foster home) and you might never get him back.
Today's kids are legal experts. If they cause chaos in a neighborhood or assault the neighbors, they know their rights. If you use physical force to protect yourself from burglars who have broken into your home to harm you or your family, it's YOU who are liable to get into trouble with the law! In poverty-ridden neighborhoods, kids feel itís their right to set fire to a new car someone else has worked and sweated to earn. They often wear hoods to conceal their identity from surveillance cameras. But even if caught and tried, they usually get a slap-on-the-wrist sentence while the hapless property owner is left holding the bag for the damages.
Many Christian parents have seen the light and are now home schooling their children to prevent them from picking up the bad habits of the "cool crowd" which calls the shots in secular high schools. These parents have invested far too much love and prayer in their precious children to allow them to be contaminated by the degenerate moral decay in today's public schools. My heart goes out to poorer parents who MUST work full-time, and can't possibly afford to home-school or send their kids to private Christian academies.
It's a vicious circle. The cost of living is way out of sight. Both parents in the majority of homes must work, not for luxuries, but to cover basic bills. In the worst case scenario, a child is left to strangers to raise, and when he gets older, he virtually raises himself. Instead of one big happy family interacting around the dinner table, you have a teenager nuking a frozen burrito in the microwave if he bothers to eat at home at all. By the time he sees his parents, they're way too tired to interact much with him. All they want to do is collapse in front of the TV before getting ready to tackle yet another hard working day.
The vacuum left by the parentsí absence must be filled. If the parents aren't there to instill basic moral values into their kids, who will? There's the TV, the Internet, the movies, and the kid's school pals. They don't know right from wrong either because no one was around to teach them. That's a big part of the reason so many kids are causing trouble today. They never were taught the reality of sin, or their need for salvation in Jesus Christ.
The worst thing of all is, millions of mothers would love to be home with their children to raise them themselves, at least in their formative years. But this perverse economy demands that both parents must work to provide the basics. And even those women who are lucky enough to be financially able to stay home with their children are made to feel ashamed for doing so. That's how little the tough job of parenting is valued by today's modern materialistic society! That's saying that it is of no importance to instill good character traits into the next generation, so that they become well-adjusted, loving adults! Even horse breeders and dog trainers are shown more respect than full-time mothers, just because they earn good money making their animals the best that they can be. The ugly truth is: Money doesn't just talk, it swears! In this fallen world money can buy you just about anything, even love and respect. And every worthwhile thing can be measured in dollars and cents! After all, you can't buy a Cadillac with love!
Speaking of dog trainers, let's imagine this scenario: Roger, who lives alone and has just adopted a baby St. Bernard from the animal shelter, must go off on business for six months. Roger doesn't want to shell out hard cash to pay a qualified dog trainer to care for the puppy and train him in his absence. Instead, a kind neighbor will just drop by periodically to refill his food and water bowls. Then the man will simply leave the house and let the dog go about his business. Roger sincerely believes that firm training is psychologically harmful to animals as well as people. Freedom to do as one pleases is far better. Surely as the dog grows older he will automatically grow up to be a well-mannered hound who will say "please" and "thank you". Besides, the neighbor will leave the TV on for the dog to watch so he will learn proper social skills.
Six months pass. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess what months of neglect have done to the dog. When Roger comes home, he is overpowered by the stench left by a dog who has never been paper-trained. All the stuffing has been ripped out of Roger's leather furniture. The dog has made mincemeat out of his moccasins. Every table lamp is in shards. Total devastation.
Roger goes ballistic. He swats the 150-pound puppy with a copy of the Wall Street Journal. "Bad dog!" he scolds. He goes over to the TV and kicks it. "I blame YOU for corrupting my dog!" he shouts. "If only this stupid dog hadn't learned disorderly behavior from YOU instead of how to live together in harmony!"
Roger orders his dog to sit. Instead, the dog jumps up on Roger and tries to grab the Twinkie out of his hand. When Roger tries to take it back, his "cute little puppy" bites him.
A far-fetched scenario? Yes it is, because you would seldom, if ever, hear of such neglect on the part of a man who paid hundreds of dollars to buy a purebred St. Bernard. Most likely, the dog would have received the best of training and care because the owner had invested so much in him. Roger's St. Bernard has become a wild animal instead of a domesticated pet due to Roger's own indifference and refusal to make sacrifices to train him.
A similar thing is happening to precious children worldwide, just because their parents are unwilling (or unable) to spend time with them to raise them in the fear of the Lord. And by the fear of the Lord, I mean reverential respect, not being so afraid of God that you're afraid to get to know Him and love Him. That dog had no reverential fear toward his owner because no one had been there to properly raise the dog to know any better. So he reverted to his natural wild nature. Today in Britain a new phenomenon has arisen: what is referred to as "feral" (wild) children. Children of countless poor homes have been left to fend for themselves and figure out for themselves what is acceptable and what isn't. They are never taught about a Living Christ Who longs to transform their lives and show them a higher way to live. Christ has been thrown out of public schools except as a brief mention in courses like "Comparative Religions". According to this lost generation, anything goes, so long as it ain't you who gets hurt. Because they fear no consequences for breaking it, rebellious kids could care less about the Golden Rule: Do unto others and you would have them do unto you. Their only rule is: "If it feels good, do it."
God wants parents to spend quality time (and as much quantity time as possible) with their children, and to teach them the solid truths of His Holy Word from an early age. As the sapling is bent, so grows the tree. In Ephesians 6:4, Paul seems to be cautioning fathers not to be harsh with their children as they properly train their children. The verse says: And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Even though children need a proper spiritual upbringing, they must also be treated with loving consideration as fellow human beings.
Ephesians 6:4: Proverbs 22:6 makes a rock-solid promise: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. A child raised in a Christian home might have his contrary moments as all kids do, but deep down he will know the truth, because he received it at your knee as a small child. And if such a child should ever stray from that truth, it behooves a godly parent to stand in the gap for him in trusting faith that he will eventually awaken to a close relationship with Jesus, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
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