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A Little Ocean Ambiance
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Doctrinal Writings
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Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
Vassar, Michigan
"A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." (Proverbs 10:1)

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." (Proverbs 13:24)

"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." (Proverbs 22:15)

"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." (Proverbs 29:15)

The Book of Proverbs is the main "wisdom" book of the Bible. In it, among many other wonderful things, men have found great wisdom about bringing up children. Without question, Proverbs recommends, even commands, the use of corporal punishment by parents in the character-training of their children. This wisdom is not popular at the dawn of the twenty-first century in America, but it is profoundly important. The spanking enjoined by the Bible is neither cruel nor abusive. It is to be administered with love, purpose, and restraint. Spanking is only a part of the Biblical formula of effective child-rearing, but it is an essential part. Sadly, the sparing of the rod has produced much heartache in our country, and has populated this land with a multitude of troubled and troublesome brats!

The term "brat" has an interesting origin. It is an Old English word for a child, based on the word for a rough or trashy garment. Dictionaries say that "brat" has come to be a contemptuous word for a child. Why would a child be regarded with contempt? The answer is obvious. A child is a brat when he is selfish, obnoxious, and out of control. Any child will be a brat unless he is trained to control himself. Self-control is learned through a training program at home that includes loving discipline. Because so few children have been growing up in a disciplining family, many Americans become brats. Their lack of self-control and discipline creates serious problems in their lives, problems of which we all have become very aware.

Childish self-centeredness is the reason for many adult problems. It is behind "road rage," domestic violence, and even much suicide! When a brat gets angry, he must act it out. When a brat doesn't get what he wants right now, he throws a tantrum. When a brat is disappointed with life, he can't handle it. Brats make people miserable, but the most miserable of all is the brat himself. Highly selfish people are prone to get divorces, lose jobs, and hurt others. Selfishness is inborn, and will ruin a life unless "the rod of correction" is applied to "drive it far from him" in childhood.

A properly spanked child learns to control his offensive and harmful impulses, to subject his desires to the best interests of all, and to behave in a mature manner. A big problem in our country today is immaturity in adults! It's the cause of the irresponsible behavior that disrupts decent society: drug and alcohol abuse, marital cruelty and infidelity, as well as all kinds of criminal activity. The brats are ruining the country!

Some say that spanking in childhood produces violent adults, but nothing could be farther from the truth! Most irrational or violent acts are committed by brats, kids who never got a spanking! One difficulty we are having is in understanding what a spanking is. A swat on the hand or the face is not a spanking. To be administered Biblically, the rod must be used in association with intense parental love and clear parental teaching. Spankings must be purposeful and controlled, given with tears and prayers, in order to be effective.

The brat has not been served well by his parents or by the others that have spoiled him. He cannot cope with life without unreasonable reaction, unbearable disappointment, and unsolvable problems. Self-discipline produced by parental discipline is of inestimable value in the living of life. To withhold discipline from children is to harm them immensely. The brat is not funny; he is pitiable and sad. It is hard for a grown-up brat to learn self-control later in life, but he can do it. It is better, however, for his parents to teach him as a child.

Monthly Article
Wed, 15 Dec 1999
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
(517) 823-7848

Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data

Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)

Articles published in the;
Sword of the Lord
Baptist Preacher,
Christian View of the News,
Pulpit Helps,
Maranatha Watchman
Church Bus News,
and other national periodicals.

His Majesty's Service
In His Service,
Teaching the Word
To Glorify Our Lord
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