(DISCLAIMER: Remember that Throw-It-Out-There Thursday may be considered offensive to some. This week’s post may be offensive to many. Reader caution is advised.)
Last week I said one day I might deal with this subject. Well that day has come. Today’s subject is about what has become to many an acceptable form of child abuse. I am NOT making light of child abuse that happens every day. I’m with Jesus on abusing and misusing children. He said in Matthew 18:6–“But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck.“
But there’s a new form of child abuse that has become acceptable, even considered politically correct. No one is going to jail for it. There is little or no outcry against this misuse and abuse of children. And the greatest tragedy is that there are adults who will say I’m wrong and accuse me of ignoring real child abuse. This issue IS real abuse of children. So consider this the voice of a prophet who feels like he’s crying out in a wilderness.
Here is the New Acceptable Form of child abuse: People are treating children as if they are adults. The other day I was getting my daily dose of Andy Andrews In The Loop podcasts and he was addressing this very issue. Many have lost the reality–and I don’t mean the “reality TV” kind of reality, but real, as it actually happens reality—that children are NOT fully equipped adults capable of making the best decisions about their life. Heck (pardon my French), I know a lot of “adults” who are NOT fully capable of making the best decisions about their life. And it seems to me, in my humble opinion, that adults who are NOT fully capable of making the best decisions about their life are encouraging their children and parents of children to allow children to make adult-level decisions.
But a 3 year old, 6 year old, 8 year old, 12 year old, 17 year old–they are not fully capable of making decisions for and about themselves. Yes, as they get older and IF they are given the proper wisdom, they can begin to make some decisions–but still they are NOT fully capable of making the best decisions about their life. How they “feel”, what they want–this is why discipline is so essential and important.
By discipline I don’t mean punishment–I’m talking about teaching children to give up one thing in order to obtain something much better. Discipline equals training. Would you want an untrained military protecting your nation? Would you want untrained doctors operating on you? Would you want an untrained plumber working on your home? Then why in blue blazes are so many refusing or afraid to discipline their children? It’s like saying those children are NOT really important. And that, my friends, is CHILD ABUSE!
Children need to understand that they are not the Final Authority. They do not have the wherewithal to make adult level decisions. Yet this is what’s happening. A few years ago a friend of mine was telling me about something that happened to his daughter, a Kindergarten teacher. One year a “mother”, and I use this term very loosely; maybe I should say “the person who gave birth to this child”–came in and told her that her child was exploring to find themselves. One day her son may come to school as a girl, and the next come as a boy. And this alleged Mom wanted the teacher to treat and call that child according to the way they were dressed on that particular day. Child abuse, I say, Child Abuse!
They are allowing and even encouraging them to live by their “feelings”. I now refer you to a previous post, Is It Safe To Live According To Our Feelings? It is never safe to live solely by our feelings. And you can’t just do that. You could say, “But their heart’s in the right place.” NO IT’S NOT! NO! NO! NO! And yes, I hit the cap lock and bold on purpose! Stop the abuse of NOT ‘training’ / ‘disciplining’ children by treating them as fully functional adults capable of making wise decisions. The truth is, they are not capable. But they can be capable with discipline and giving them wisdom.