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them an entire lifetime to change, grow and OVERCOME—to develop His holy, righteous character (II Pet. 3:18).

When people read Deuteronomy 21, they tend to focus on the person who is executed and thus miss the point. But God, in His su- preme wisdom, focuses on the ones who will not be executed—those who will take His laws seriously as a result of what they witness hap- pening to those who rebel. God’s wisdom is higher than man’s (Isa. 55:8).

Divine understanding is superior to human reasoning every time!

Strengthen Your Children

Today’s youth are defiant, but essentially weak, because they have not had to suffer as have most previous generations. Their defiance only makes them appear to be strong, and confuses what is actually happening. The world’s focus on pursuing pleasure and the “good life” teaches children to be weak—to lack the moral strength, stami- na and perseverance of generations past.

There are a number of studies demonstrating that teens invari- ably do better—grow stronger—when the father is involved. They become less delinquent and more educated because they have fathers who tenderly teach them everything they need to know in order to achieve success.

Fathers, of course with mothers assisting, you must always be willing to literally “spend” yourself—continually putting forth the effort to keep your children from stumbling into the many pitfalls of the twenty-first century world!

Discipline—Rules You Can Use

Every parent will find that there are a variety of circumstances that warrant the use of discipline and correction. Here are some important rules to follow:

When Giving Instructions, Always Speak Just Once

Do not repeat yourself or raise your voice when giving instructions. If you do, you are actually programming your child—literally con- ditioning him!—to respond to the number of times that you are

The Biblical Doctrine of Childrearing


willing to repeat your instruction before taking action. You are also conditioning your child to respond to the level of volume (and this means the degree of anger) of your voice—the point at which he knows that you are finally going to take action if he does not re- spond.

Your child must be trained to respond to what you are saying, not how loud or how often you give instructions.

Consider. If you are willing to repeat your directive over and over again, you have NO RIGHT to ask for or expect your child to obey you on the first time. How can you expect or even believe your child will do as you tell him the first time an instruction is given if you are at the same time telling him through willingness to repeat it several times that he need not worry about obeying on the first utterance?

Get this! You are actually—and actively—teaching your child NOT to obey your instruction the first time you speak if it is given even twice. Of course, the fruits throughout society today are that the children ARE “obeying” this popular parental “command” to disobey.

At this point, if he does not respond, you must punish him. (But make sure that he hears you. Give your instructions firmly and clearly.) Also, always be sure your child knows exactly what ac- tions will bring the punishment. Leave nothing to guesswork. That is unfair to the child.

Were you aware that God declares you hate your child if you fail to discipline him or her? Notice: “He that spares his rod hates his son: but he that loves him chastens him betimes [promptly]” (Prov. 13:24).

Most parents simply will not believe this verse. Many parents say, “Oh no! I love my child too much to spank him. I could never do that.” Regardless of what you think, God states that you HATE your child in such circumstances. You are refusing to see the long- term damage and pain your child will suffer if his actions are not properly channeled by you when he is young.

You must be willing to set aside all personal feelings and every form of human reasoning telling you to follow your own ideas about what defines love and what defines hate in the eyes of God. Recognize that GOD—who declares that He is our Father, and thus the ultimate Parent!—knows better how to rear children than do human parents, whom He sees as so many of His own adult chil-

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