When people ask me what is the heart of the problems in our society my first reply is always “Parents Need To Be Parents”. Those who are adults today were once children. The habits and actions – the character they display – can be traced back to how they were raised. Take a tree when it is but a twig and twist it, turn it into a knot. As the twig grows, so grows the tree. The twisted twig will be the twisted tree. The twisted child will be the twisted adult. Children need parents.
Children need parents who love the Lord and model Him to the child. Children must be taught the things of God by their parents. Parents need to be parents, not buddies. Your children have all the “besties” they need – they need a parent who will tell them what is right and wrong, and who will punish them when they do the wrong. Parents must be parents. The school will not substitute for the parent. If the child is not taught to sit still at home, it will not sit still at school. In my day when children misbehaved in school we were taken out of the classroom, sent to the Principals office, and paddled in the sight of two witnesses. The Bible says:
Proverbs 22:15 (KJV) Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Following the paddling the parent was called, and when the child came home it was punished further by the parents. Not today. Today we drug our children, we excuse our children, and we expect others to parent our children. 12% of boys and 4.7% of girls ages 3-17 were diagnosed with “Attention Deficit Disorder” in 2011 in the United States. (see http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_254.pdf) Children are given drugs to combat this terrible disease. One article that I read stated:
“Unlike other medical conditions, like diabetes or a brain tumor, there are no simple tests that can tell that your child does indeed have ADHD. Instead, we usually have to rely on questionaires and observations from parents and teachers to see if a child has the symptoms of ADHD, which might include having a short attention span, being easily distracted, and/or being impulsive and hyperactive.” (keepkidshealthy.com)
ADHD is diagnosed when the child has “a short attention span, being easily distracted, being impulsive or hyperactive”. In my day this was called being a child. Again, foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. Children will be children. They do not understand the need to sit still, to concentrate, to pay attention. Though I am sure there are actually children that do have genuine problems that may need drug therapy, most often what children need is not drugs but PARENTS. They need the people who bore them to take time with them, to correct them, to love them. They need PARENTS who will teach them the things of God, to love the Lord Who made them.
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
Parents need to be parents. The Church cannot be the parent, nor can the Pastor raise your kids. If your child will not sit still at the dinner table without throwing food, the child will not sit still in a Church pew while listening to a sermon. If the child runs without restrain around the house, ignoring the parent’s plea to be still, the child will run unrestrained through the Church and scream loudly if hindered from its play. If the parent will not teach the child to respect God at home, neither Pastor nor Church can teach the child the same thing in just an hour or two once a week. As a Parent you have your child 166 hours each week, and perhaps bring your child to Church for 2 hours. If you will not teach the child in 166 hours, how can you possibly believe that the Church or the Pastor can correct the child in 2 hours?
Proverbs 13:24 (KJV) He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 23:13-14 (KJV) 13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) 6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Is it possible to train a child, to discipline that child, and to have that child go astray? Absolutely. God has created us with free will. Adam was created perfect and placed in a perfect environment and yet he still disobeyed his Parent. What did God do to Adam? He put him outside of the Garden. He punished him with thorns and thistles. But He loved Adam anyway. Parents need to parent. They need to realize that the responsibility given them is a God given and weighty responsibility. If you keep abdicating your parenting to the government or the Church the child will grow up bent. One day that child will do something that a good citizen ought not to do, and will stand before a just Judge who will hand out a verdict. I have seen in many years of ministry many parents stand before such a Judge crying “But he’s a good boy” or “but she’s such a sweet girl” only to hear “guilty” decreed. Our prisons are filled with children in adult bodies who needed Godly parents. I have buried children who have made bad decisions because their parents set no boundaries. Those children stood before another Just Judge, the Creator of Life. If they stood before Him without Christ then they rest not in His palm but in eternity’s flame.
Oh that God would touch the hearts of the parents everywhere.
Proverbs 29:15 (KJV) The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
I would love to write further, but duty calls. A great article on parenting can be found at
May God touch your hearts with His Word. I do not want, as Pastor, to go to one more jail cell or do one more funeral because a parent will not parent. Amen!