Monday, August 25, 2014

Who's the Parent...really?

I remember reading an article about a woman who blamed the criminal justice system for her son's bad behavior. More specifically, she blamed a local judge and probation officer for not being tough enough on her son to make him tow the line. While I confess to not being in the know about all the hidden details of this story, and while I support judges and probation officers being firm with juvenile offenders, I can't help but wonder when this mother gave up practical custody of her son.
The point here is that police departments, judges, and probation officers make a poor substitute for loving discipline administered in the home.  The only thing the criminal justice system is equipped to handle is criminal behavior, and a loving parent might naturally hope to keep their little darling away from such activity thereby steering them clear of that kind of jurisdiction.
Another group that often gets blamed when things go wrong with youngsters is public school teachers who are no better equipped to handle discipline matters than police departments and court systems. Since my wife is a counselor in a middle school, I have it on good authority that the average teacher in her school is saddled with around 150 students to teach per day. So where does quality one-on-one time fit in with that kind of student-to-teacher ratio?
The only feasible solution to this kind of problem comes back to the home, where it always belongs in the first place. Faithful fathers and mothers, lovingly nurturing with consistent discipline, can nearly always produce godly and admirable offspring.  That was God's plan from the beginning, and it is the only solution that works now. The final words in the Old Testament contain this important promise and warning: "He (the Lord) will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." (Malachi 4:6)
Anyone who willingly turns their own offspring over to the care of a judge and probation officer has abdicated their parenting role. In essence, they have placed their child under a curse. Again, I ask, "Who's the parent here...really?"

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