Proverbs 22:5-6 (KJV) Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. 6 TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Today is my day off, and I always enjoy my day off. It’s a time to take my wife out and spend time with her, loving her, focusing on her needs. We started by going to David Crockett Park in Lawrence County and hiked the trails. Afterward we ate a great buffet overlooking the Park Lake. What a wonderful day with a wonderful woman. I love my wife Sherry.
“Let’s go to the Lawrenceburg Goodwill Store”, I said. We always like that because we both love bargains. Well exercised and well nourished, we head toward the Goodwill. But as soon as we get in the store we realize something is amiss. You know how it is in the movies, the horror shows, when you hear something sinister before you see the Vampire or the Zombie? We heard something in the Goodwill that caused the hair to stand up on our necks.
It. Was. Loud.
It. Was. Obnoxious.
It. Was. Unrelenting.
It. Was. Annoying.
What was “it”? We turned the corner and saw a three year old child screaming – over and over again – at the top of his lungs. AH! AH! AH! AH! AH!
And there we saw Real Live Monsters in the Goodwill.
No, I’m NOT talking about the child. Children are not to raise themselves. Children are to be raised by PARENTS. The Bible says “Train UP a child in the way he should go”. The Child does not train himself. He doesn’t know how to go UP. The parent is to train the child UP. And, dear friends, those who will not train their children are indeed Real Live Monsters. Rather than take this screaming Child out of the store the two Monsters with him smiled, gooed, and ignored the Child as they pushed him – like a portable airhorn – all throughout the store. He was loud. He was obnoxious. Everywhere he went people ran away – like the people you see running away from Godzilla in the old “B” movies – while monstrous parents smiled and giggled at his (so they thought) cute antics.
Parents, I’m going to be very plain with you. God commands you to train UP your child. You made the baby – you train the baby. That’s how it works. Teach them what is right NOW so the police won’t have to drag them off to jail LATER.Teach them what is right NOW so that I as a Pastor won’t have to visit them in prison LATER. Tell them what is right and wrong. Draw a line and say “Do not cross this, or discipline will follow. Then DO what you say.
A three year old child can understand right from wrong. How do I know? Because I raised three children myself. None of my children are in prison, and all have given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Standards were set when the children were young, and now they are old they live according to the standards. My children could be taken to the finest restaurant in town at two years old, and would sit quietly, eat, and listen. Two years old. People used to come up and say “Pastor, you have exceptionally good children”. No I don’t. I love my kids, but they did foolish things. But I and my wife drew a line and said “This far and no farther”. If they went farther they knew that discipline was sure and swift. And my children behaved.
Oh, they tested me. I told them to turn off their video game one day and get ready for Church. They sassed me – and I unplugged the video game. They plugged it back in, and I cut the plug … along with the line …. off of the game. A month later I repaired it. They learned.
Parents, YOU must set the standard. You do not love your child if you don’t draw the line and set the standard. If they are taught they can mock momma and daddy (and dear friends, some of you bring that on yourselves) they will grow up to mock a police officer. He probably won’t just giggle at the mocking. Orderly society begins in the home, not at school. Train them, and train them UP.
If I walked around a Goodwill screaming at the top of my lungs someone would have called the Police and I would have been arrested for disturbing the peace – and rightly so. Holy cow, parents – use some common sense!
I was talking with a mother the other day who told me “My son is in prison for another three years for violating parole … but he’s such a good boy“. No darling, he’s not. If he’s in prison it’s because he did something to go to prison. No one just falls into prison. The child was taught lawbreaking at an early age. Blame the police. Blame the government. Blame poverty. Blame everybody else you want. But the truth is that “Look the other way parenting leads to a locked up prisoner”.
Children are to be disciplined. Lines are to be drawn. Parents establish what is right and what is wrong when the child is young …. and when the child gets older they will walk according to the pattern. Again, how do I know this? Because I was raised with standards, and I raised my children with standards.
Children do not need another PAL – they need a PARENT. They do not need another GOOD Buddy, but a GUIDE. Children need Parents who will not PANDER to their needs but train them up to be PROFITABLE citizens. I was at the prison one day visiting another mother’s son when I saw a small boy in a martial arts outfit. I said, “My, you look powerful. What are you studying?” The child, about 8 years old, stepped forward and without hesitation punched me in the side. The Monster who was with him smiled and said “My, my boy’s full of beans today!”
Yeah. Some pastor will be visiting him in prison in just a few years if YOU don’t start parenting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.