I was munching on a burger, glancing at the day's newspaper when a mother and two small children sat down at a distant booth in the restaurant. As the mom left briefly, probably to the ladies room, the boy and girl, maybe about 8 and 6, went into action.
They were apparently arguing over possession of the onion rings, when the boy went into a fit of anger and began throwing food! The splat of all beef patties could be heard slapping the face of his sister - the spray of mustard and ketchup hung ominously in the air before raining over the floor and nearby tables.
Not to be outdone, the little girl, with every ounce of strength heaved the tray, along with the coveted onion rings, down his shirt. And to top it off, she poured the full 20 ounces of her Dr. Pepper on his pants. Her face beamed with pride, as though awaiting the applause of the spectators.
By this time, the entire dining room had stopped in mid-bite, forks in hand, awaiting round two of what seemed to be a lightweight championship.
But then the real drama began as the mother had returned to the scene of the crime. The dining room was still - every eye and ear was open.
Surprisingly, there was no reprimand. "Could we have another order of sandwiches over here," she said calmly, while wiping the faces of her fast food gladiators. Soda and condiments dripped steadily down the kids hair and clothing. Food and spatterings were on the walls at least ten feet in every direction from the impact zone.
The manager emerged with a frown on his face. "Lady, I'm not gonna tell you how to raise your kids, but don't you think a little discipline is in order here?" "If you mean a spanking, I'm afraid we just don't believe in that. The children are just a bit grumpy today," she said.
It may be my imagination, but I think there was a simultaneous gasp by the diners. Unless these children suffered some type of seizure, a good brisk spanking was probably in order, and would likely have invoked a standing ovation.
What's happened to the thinking of modern parents? What ever happened to holding children accountable for their actions, and correcting...yes, even spanking them when they're out of line?
From my perspective of the Bible, the scriptures not only provide an allowance for corporal punishment, such as "spanking," but they actually mandate such discipline. The Bible says, "Withhold not correction from the child; For if thou beat him with the rod, he will not die" (Prov. 23:13).
Of course, we're not suggesting that parents should somehow abuse their children or beat them to a pulp. But moderate spanking on their bottom with some infliction of discomfort, has been, and will always be a vital means of correcting children. It was a significant mistake to ever remove it from our public school system. The lack of discipline is one of the greatest problems in today's school rooms, and has contributed to a general disregard of authority and chaos in our land. The statistics seem to show that the abundance of crime in our nation is largely a result of the lack of loving parental role models and effective discipline in the home.
Why is there no discipline in the home and classroom? Largely because of a growing, Godless humanistic philosophy that denies the substance of absolute values and morality. Also, the sad reality of child abuse by dysfunctional parents has caused society to overreact toward all corporal punishment, fearing the extremities of abuse or the backlash of lawsuits.
Will discipline solve all problems with kids? No! The child must also know a parent's love and affection, and must have a good role model to imitate. But don't be misled, withholding discipline from children is not an act of love for them - rather, it is an act of love for ourselves, protecting our emotions from the fear of rejection by our child - or simply not caring about their future outcome. If we love our children we will undergo the ordeal of disciplining them. As the Bible says, "If you refuse to discipline your son, it proves you don't love him; for if you love him, you will be prompt to punish him" (Prov. 13:24 The Living Bible).
Every Christian parent should bring correction to the behavior of their kids. The place to start is when they are small - not when they're nearly grown up. Parents can find several good books on discipline at the Christian bookstore, such as James Dobson's, "Dare To Discipline."