Today, I see God’s hand everywhere in my life. Growing up good examples of a father were not there. My series of stepfathers were either alcoholic, violent, cruel, and abusive or liars and more. Why would I ever want to get married and have children? In fact, what did relationships in adulthood show me except unhappiness and destruction? But I did have loving grandparents and 3 outstanding Uncles. My grandparents had a farm in the center of Michigan, and I lived there on and off while growing up. I cherished learning from my grandmother and helping my grandpa with the chores, or I thought I was helping when we called in the cows for milking. He was the best grandfather a child could ever want, and I gladly went everywhere with him. Being deaf and behind the wheel of his Ford Mercury we’d race down those old country roads and into the small village of Shepherd. He was so beloved that everyone knew he was speeding, and they always turned a blind eye. Later, back home after his chores were through for the day, he would sit in his rocking chair and take me upon his lap and begin to rock me as I would rest my head upon his chest that was filled with all the smells of the barn that I loved, I’d fall asleep. My world was complete, I had peace, and all was well. Back then, most children didn’t hear things like “I love you.” Though I never heard it, without question I knew I was loved.
I was around 6-7 years old, and we were in the kitchen one day, grandfather had finished up his lunch and I can remember talking back and sassing my grandmother. I cannot recall what I said or why, but my grandfather quickly grabbed me and threw me over his knees and spanked me. Though the spanking stung, my heart was broken that I had let my hero down. That was the first and last time I ever talked back, and he never spanked me again. I look back as a grandmother myself and can see the love that went into that correction. He loved both me and grandmother, not to allow me to become a spoiled brat and he demanded respect from me towards my grandmother. My grandmother did not deserve the disrespect I had given to her. He was protecting both of us. Grandfather did not stop loving me! In fact, if he had let the sassiness slide it would have been a sign of not caring enough to correct the rebellion.
I can remember my mother reading Dr. Spock’s book about how to raise a child and parents believed what he wrote, and a world of permissiveness was born. Before Dr. Spock came along, parents understood the work involved shaping a character:
- Children were taught never to lie.
- Children learned not to sass their elders.
- Children were not allowed to run through a store but stayed with the parent nor run through another’s house when visiting unless they could go to a playmates room or outside to play. They never stayed with the adults to listen to what they would say.
- Children asked permission to leave the table.
- Children were taught to eat everything on their plate, or they couldn’t have dessert.
- Children were taught not to waste anything.
- Children were taught how to hold a fork and other eating utensils and to close their mouths when they chewed.
- Children were taught how to hold a pencil properly.
- Children were taught responsibilities. Life meant to always help others.
- Children were taught to respect things that belonged to others and to be thankful for what you had.
- Children were taught manners. In the south, it was and still is; “yes maam, and no maam.” In the north it was “yes mom or no mom.”
As a child grew, they learned if they rebelled against any rules their parents had set, there would be consequences. If they lied about anything, they hoped it would never be found out. The child learned right from wrong. If they were raised in a godly home, they learned about God, the Bible, prayed and went to church.
Thoughts that rebellious children are only in our nation are false, the lie of permissiveness has seduced the world. Today we cannot compare which nation is worse as few of us are on the same page. We have all been exposed by the corruption of the permissive works of darkness whose lies keep them chained to an unwanted bondage and whose sins keep them blinded to the truth. The truth is, before we are born-again, [John 3:3] we ignorantly work at destroying ourselves.
Love from God and those who love Him will take the time to correct the child from going in the wrong direction. Grandpa loved me enough to nip the back talk in the bud before it got out of control. He was not going to allow me to get away with it. Once a child sees he can get away with anything, he will do it again and again and each time will scale upon a higher and more serious level. Love cares enough to say no and follows through on that decision. How many parents ask permission from their children if it is alright for them to eat their vegetables? If it is alright for them to stop hitting their sister? If it is alright for them to take a bath or take a nap? A child does not know what is good for him. Why are you asking permission from your child to do what is right? Who is the parent? We cannot talk to our 2-year-old as if he is an adult. Are you fearful that he will hate you occasionally? Chances are, if you are a good parent, he will hate you from time to time, but when he gets older and becomes a thinker, and begins to look around at his peers who were raised in permissiveness, who became spoiled and became the most disliked students in school, he will thank you for caring enough.
Growth will allow him to see the dangers your corrections had prevented in his life. Do not a