Something is wrong. Youngsters are committing violent crimes—killing their newborns, parents, grandparents, friends, and teachers—raping, robbing, etc. Sadly it seems many are without a sense of morality. There are no simple explanations for every case of violence. But for many others the answer is not so complex.
Loving parents will train or discipline their offspring.
The Psalmist said, "Children are a heritage of the Lord" (Psalm 127:3). Many parents do not view their children as gifts from God to be treasured as He has instructed. Rather they are considered burdensome liabilities. The very foundation of rearing children must be love. Biblical love will involve diligence to provide the spiritual and emotional support, as well as the physical needs of our children. Loving parents will train or discipline their offspring. The Bible says that parents who refuse to discipline their children do not love them (Proverbs 13:24). Love-motivated reproof shows a child that you love him (Proverbs 3:12).
Spoil your child and he may refuse to obey the Lord.
Discipline is a method of learning. Good parents want to teach their children self-control, character, orderliness, and most of all, respect for the authority of God. Children who never learn to respect their parents, teachers, and other leaders, will have great difficulty respecting the sovereignty of God. This is the bottom line—spoil your child and he may refuse to obey the Lord.
Some modern specialists advocate a loose environment for rearing children. For fear of thwarting creativity and learning, these self-made child specialists say that spanking is wrong. Instead they suggest that if you more-or-less leave him to meander through childhood, choosing what he wants to do, you produce an independent, creative individual. Just provide a stimulating atmosphere of learning, safe day-care, plenty of toys, clothing, food (fast at that!), a better than average house to live in, and a new car in which to ride. These privileges, with your understanding, will produce a productive and motivated adult.
"A child left to himself causes his mother shame."
In contrast to those advisors, the Bible says a "child left to himself causes his mother shame" (Proverbs 29:15). Without diligent training, a child will become an incorrigible tyrant or a cunning manipulator. Parents can get to the point of being unable to endure their selfish offspring. This could result in an eruption of verbal and/or physical abuse. Remember the saying, a stitch in time, saves nine!
Paul wrote that the Scripture equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Surely rearing children in the Lord is a good work. In a series of articles, we will attempt to glean information from the Bible that may be helpful.
Let us continually pray for our children.