Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Pain in the Butt

Last Sunday a friend and I went to the Minnesota Vikings home opener against the New England Patriots. One key player was missing in action. Running back Adrian Peterson was deactivated for the game due to child abuse charges resulting from him using a wooden stick to punish his four-year-old son. After a brief activation by the Vikings, Adrian has now been banned from all team activities until his legal situation is resolved.

Seeing released photos of the cuts and bruises on Adrian’s son was disturbing even though that kind of corporal punishment is common in Texas where Adrian is from. Nevertheless, I pray Adrian will be redeemed from this incident because he’s cooperating with authorities plus he’s my brother in Christ. Last year I met the pastor of a church Adrian attended at that time.

In these days of political correctness, parents face increasing challenges with raising children. Unless your kids are homeschooled or enrolled in a Christian learning institution, they are likely bombarded with ideas contrary to Scripture. I would think twice about sending children to public schools that nowadays hand out condoms and teach it’s okay to have two homosexual parents.

The law has gotten more invasive in how we should discipline our children. Nearly four years ago, another parent in Texas lost custody of all three of her kids for spanking one of them! As part of a plea deal, Rosalina Gonzales of Corpus Christi was sentenced to five years probation, ordered to take parenting classes, and make a $50 payment to the Children’s Advocacy Center. Gonzales was told she wouldn’t get her children back from their paternal grandmother (who reported the spanking incident) until the court deems her “capable.”

I could agree with this decision if child abuse happened but the prosecutor described it as a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.” Gonzales didn't use a belt nor leave any bruises. During the sentencing, Judge Jose Longoria stated, “You don’t spank children today. In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children.” 

This judge should take time to open that Bible people in his courtroom swear an oath on (if they still do that there) and read the following verses…

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” - Proverbs 13:24

“Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.” - Proverbs 19:18

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” - Proverbs 22:15

“Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.” - Proverbs 23:13

“The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” - Proverbs 29:15

I once heard a children’s pastor advise that we shouldn’t spank kids with our bare hands. He pointed out that hands are for holding and loving.  

When I was little and got mouthy with my mother, she threatened to take out a wooden spoon and occasionally used it on my behind. Certainly, I didn’t like the punishment but have to honestly say it worked. Frequent sittings in a “time out chair” would not have the same effect.

An American pediatrician once proclaimed we shouldn't spank our children. In his 1946 book “Baby and Child Care” Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote, “The American tradition of spanking may be one reason there is much more violence in our country than in any other comparable nation.” I totally disagree. We have since seen a dramatic increase in divorce, youth crime, and teen suicide.

In addition to disobedient children, I believe some of our politicians and judges who legislate from the bench could use a good spanking. Maybe that would stop them from passing laws and making ridiculous decisions that are ruining our society.

“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” - Hebrews 12:11

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