Social Collapse

It has been said that society is held together by a thin veneer. Recent history reveals that supposedly civilised and sophisticated societies are able to dissolve and disintegrate into social collapse.

So, what is it that causes such social dissolution? What is it that holds societies together, so they don’t collapse? How can we best protect our own society from unravelling under duress?

Outrage and Opportunism

The six days of rioting and looting in Los Angeles, incited by violence against a helpless black American, shocked the world, back in 1992. Images of people looting shops, running rampant in the streets, damaging their own social infrastructure and creating mayhem seemed completely out of place in American society. 13 people were killed in those riots and 192 were injured.

race riots LA

That event and others like it involved two overt elements. The uprising was sparked by outrage. The local community was outraged that one of their own people was treated so badly. Outrage fed opportunism. The emotion that prompted people to react opened for them the opportunity to loot and steal, vent their anger in destructive ways, and indulge their passions without restraint.

While other factors were doubtless involved, the combination of outrage and opportunism, unrestrained reaction and unrestrained greed, quickly prompted social collapse.

Deprivation

We also see examples of deprivation leading to social decline and ultimate collapse. I recently heard a chap from Cuba reflect on the impact of continued and chronic deprivation of the most basic resources. One day he returned home from a store rejoicing that he was actually able to buy toilet paper for the first time in many months. He looked at his purchase, realised how absurd his excitement was and thought, “What have I been reduced to?”

Continued deprivation of basic elements of life “reduces” people to their baser instincts. Competition becomes fiercer. Small gains, which are inconsequential under normal circumstances, become huge personal victories in the distorted thinking of a person under duress.

Societies have dissolved into social jungles where each person relied on their animal instincts and wits to survive. People have betrayed their own family members, distrust has become the norm, exploitation has become the expected thing and there have been no bounds to what one might do to another.

Civility Dissolved

In the Bible, God warned His people that if they rejected Him He would put them under such duress in famine that they would eat their own children. Even the most delicate and inoffensive person would be reduced to lying and murder, without any care for their own children or family.

“And you will eat the flesh of your sons and daughters, in the siege and restriction with which your enemies will distress you: So that the tender and very delicate man among you will have an evil eye toward his brother, wife and his remaining children: So he will not give them any of the flesh of his children whom he will eat.” Deuteronomy 28:53-55

Imagine a situation where perfectly tender and delicate people become jealous and selfish in eating their own children and keeping the flesh from the rest of their family. It is an ugly suggestion. It occurs when all sense of civility is dissolved and people are reduced to animal instincts.

Fear and Betrayal

We have seen under Communist oppression and in situations of despotic rulers, that fear and betrayal have become the rule of daily life. I recall a friend telling me that when they escaped from Albania, many years ago, their mother did not even tell her husband what her plans were, because she could not trust him.

The mother and children escaped across a lake to Macedonia. The father’s ignorance of their plans not only spared them from potential betrayal, but allowed the father to protest to the authorities that he truly had no idea of the plan.

Under situations of political oppression people prove willing to condemn their friends and family. They betray those who care for them. They live in fear of betrayal. Trusted friends become enemies. Social norms dissolve to fearful and treacherous living.

Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow proposed his hierarchy of needs in 1943, where people who are more provided for are expected to become more thoughtful and altruistic. While this is a nice idea, it reduces people to mere respondents to socio-economic conditions. However, the human heart operates independently of our level of provision.

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

Rich and well provided for people are perfectly able to act in totally selfish and exploitative fashion. Evil continues to be perpetrated, even in the most well provisioned societies.

Similarly, not all people who are deprived become full of fear or treachery. The matter is not one of provision, but of the heart of the people involved. While deprivation brings out the worst in people, it is not true that all people have evil waiting to surface.

The Resilient Jesus Christ

True nobility of spirit brings us to a place where we do not respond differently, no matter what circumstances we endure. The Apostle Paul said of himself, “I know how to be abased and how to abound”.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:12

Paul’s role model was Jesus Christ. Jesus was persecuted, victimised, tortured, falsely accused and then killed, yet without any dissolving of His person or His divine purpose. When He was reviled He did not respond with a retort.

“….. Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps ….

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously” 1Peter 2:21,23

Independent of Evil

Sadly, most people come under the power and oppression of the evil that is imposed on them. When people are hurt, they are inclined to hurt others. When people are accused, they are likely to accuse others. When people are deprived, they are likely to be jealous of and evil toward those who have what they want.

Yet the Apostle Paul, the follower of the example of Jesus Christ, taught us to live independently of the evil which is projected against us. We are not to be overcome by evil.

Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

Having a right heart attitude enables us to be independent of the evil which surrounds us or which is inflicted upon us.

Back of the Bus

I once heard a gracious, elderly black American speaking about the days of discrimination. Some of his friends were agitating out of anger toward the white communities. His response amazed me. He said, “Jesus Christ would have been happy in the back of the bus, so why can’t I be happy there too?”

While some of his friends were being overcome by anger, vengeance and similar passions, feeding into a spirit of rebellion and violence, this man was able to endure the same oppressions without being overcome by the evil.

Purify My Heart

I hardly know the meaning of duress. I live in privilege compared to the situations which confront most others in the world. So I don’t want to sound pious. I have no real idea what true oppression is like for those living under it.

I know that when I am under what we spoilt westerners call duress, being overly tired, having my plans frustrated, being put under performance pressure that is more than normal, then my patience wears thin. I become less tolerant, more frustrated, more selfish for my own needs, and so on.

I expect that evil would overcome me much more readily than I want it to. So I need the Lord to purify my heart. And you need the Lord to purify yours, too.

“Lord, we ask You to purify our hearts, so we can live independent of the evil which is pushed upon us. We are weak, but You are strong. Keep us and preserve us from all that’s wrong. Deliver us from evil. Deliver us from the evil which comes against us from outside ourselves, and deliver us from the evil which springs up within us from time to time. Create in us clean hearts, that will serve and worship You, no matter what. We ask this in Jesus’ powerful name. Amen.”

Government of God via the Conscience

This is the third instalment in a discussion on the Government of God, reflecting Paul’s description of God’s authority hierarchy in 1Corinthians 11:3.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Apostle Paul, 1Corinthians 11:3

We have already noted that God is actively involved in human experience by His personal intervention and by His prescribed authority structures. God’s government is centred in 2 key locations, the throne and the home. It is both divine and domestic.

Direct Government

God’s Government over human experience is remarkably direct. Rather than having to work through a convoluted infrastructure of multi-layered levels of authority, people are subject to immediate accountability before God.

God exercises this government by His personal claim over the hearts and lives of each individual. Each person has a personal account with God and either qualifies for God’s blessings and graces, or for God’s judgements.

God’s Word, the Bible, is given by God to guide the actions of men and to lead them into a blessed relationship with God. Parents are to teach godly morality to their children, instructing the heart of the child and disciplining the actions of the child, so the child obeys God and glorifies Him through their whole life.

Human Conscience

A primary personal mechanism which God uses to exercise His government over the individual is the human conscience. Our conscience alerts us to our actions and attitudes which are not pleasing to God.

Humans are expected to understand truth and to come to their own convictions about that truth. As sovereign entities answerable directly to God it is an immoral action to demand that a person violate their conscience. This is the reason why the right to object to an imposition, based on conscience, is enshrined in the law of many countries. The right to engage in ‘conscientious objection’ is acknowledgement of the divine significance of the human conscience.

For example, a person may believe that it is evil to kill another, even in warfare. When their civil government calls on them to take up arms they may object that they could not pull the trigger as that would bring them under God’s divine judgement. In such cases, once the person has been able to prove the vitality of their conscience, they will be assigned non-combat duties.

Divinity of Human Conscience

Human conscience is not respected because of its human value, but because of its divine merit. The issue in a case of conscientious objection is not how well the person will sleep at night. That is simply a human consideration, like “do you like this or not?” If a person’s conscience will simply make them feel uncomfortable then that is just human self-indulgence.

Human conscience has its greatest validity when it brings a person into conflict or relationship with God. When conscience causes a person to experience a breach of fellowship with God, then the government of God is relevant to the issue.

If a person is ordered to lie, steal, cheat, kill or commit sexual sin then the person’s moral conscience before God is threatened. They cannot do those things in all good conscience because they will experience moral guilt which will separate them from a moral and holy God.

The Conscious Human

I heard some people discussing their conscience recently. A lady said that she could not endure a certain process being followed because her conscience would not sit right with it. The other person said, “Yes, isn’t conscience a miserable thing?” They were both recognising that they were restrained and motivated by their personal conscience. Others might have happily allowed an injustice to be perpetrated but these two people could not sit by and allow that to happen.

Sadly not all humans are conscious of their conscience. It is possible to abuse the conscience, and even to so abuse it as to stop it from speaking up about moral issues. Some people act as if their conscience did not exist. This is most likely because they or others have violated their conscience and it has become seared, or calloused, so that it is no longer tender and sensitive to godly morality.

“Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” 1Timothy 4:2

The Inaccurate Conscience

Conscience is a powerful tool in the government of God. God is able to direct and restrain people through their conscience. Since people are directly accountable to God it is important that their conscience is alive and tender.

However it is possible for our conscience to be inaccurate. We may have be given social or religious programming which makes us feel guilty about things which are not an offence to God. This is where parents, religion and the culture are accountable before God for their abuses of the conscience of others.

God is supreme, including supreme over our conscience. This is why the Apostle John says that even if our conscience accuses us we may not be guilty. He points out that God is greater than our conscience.

“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” 1Jo 3:20

This is an important point, because evolutionists and sociologists suggest that religion evolved as a response to the human need for such things. However John points out that God’s primal existence is supreme over the inner motivations of man, including man’s conscience

The Violated Conscience

One of the important processes in assisting people is to show them how to resolve their violated conscience. Sometimes this involves showing them that the things over which they feel guilty are of no moral weight before God’s throne. If God is not condemning them then it is a tragedy that they should live as if condemned.

Families, cultures, governments and religions impose protocols and expectations on people outside of God’s moral requirements. Failure to meet these expectations can effectively separate people from God because their conscience condemns them, even though God does not.

Where people have been out of order and violated God’s moral requirements it is our privilege to bring them into God’s presence to repent of their sins, putting their trust in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for absolution of their sins. In that process we restore the primal relationship, that of God and His created child.

The Gospel is therefore part of the Government of God, because it is able to restore people to a right standing before God. No civil, religious or domestic process can do this, just the prescribed application of the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ.

Government of God Expanded

God’s government over the lives of men is a key truth which will help us navigate through the confusion and competing claims for the hearts and minds of men. Yet that government is not readily understood and so I continue here a ramble through some of the elements of that government.

God is in Control

Deists think of God as a dispassionate and disengaged deity who initiated life but will not interfere with human existence. I am a theist. I believe that God is, as the Bible teaches, actively engaged in the issues of each of our lives.

The Bible reveals that God is in control of all that impacts us and has the power to totally transform or destroy our lives. He responds to our hearts and our prayers, giving us what is appropriate based on our walk with Him.

God is not only in control in the form of an external and interested personality able to impact our lives, but He is also in control via His prescribed order, which He has designed and instigated because it is the functionally effective form of government.

So, both by His sovereign power to intervene and by His prescribed order for mankind we have what I refer to as the Government of God.

Divine Hierarchy

Part of God’s prescription for human government is the hierarchical authority structure He prescribed for our good. God has set in place an order of governmental authority in the form of hierarchical authorities who exercise authority by being under the authority above them.

This divine hierarchy is explained by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the church in Corinth. In 1Corinthians 11:3 Paul points out that God is the ultimate authority figure, with Christ under Him. Man is under Christ and the wife is under the authority of her husband.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Apostle Paul, 1Corinthians 11:3

Insights from God’s Hierarchy

This hierarchy reveals that God endorses and prescribes structural authority. People are not to be a law unto themselves but are to be under authority. But the authority over them is also to be under authority.

The only ultimate source of authority is God. Despotic leaders, corrupt administrators and evil parents are out of step with God’s authority structure, since they are not acting according to the will of God. Those expressions of government, global or domestic, are outside of or in violation of the Government of God, because they have refused to come under God’s authority.

God’s government of mankind not only has God as the supreme authority but it also has the home as the prime component. Every individual home is a direct expression of the government of God. The hierarchy in 1Corinthians 11:3 does not mention any form of civil government, but it leaps straight from heaven to the home. God’s concern for the government of human life is a combination of the divine and the domestic.

Two Important Thrones of Government

A person who wishes to exercise government over the affairs of this world has two important arenas in which to operate. There are two thrones of authority magnified in God’s authority hierarchy (1Corinthians 11:3).

God’s throne in Heaven is the ultimate place of authority. Anyone who wishes to exercise any role within human government must bow the knee to God and Jesus Christ. All other authority springs from them. Anyone who wishes to exercise authority independent of God and Christ must engage in borrowed authority or exercise illegitimate authority over people.

The dinner table is the place of that other throne. The domestic home, under the headship of the father in the family, is the other central place of authority. Anyone who wishes to exercise authority over the affairs of men must be sure to find their place in the domestic home, either in submission or through appropriate carriage of their responsibility.

That is not to say that every husband can rule his home as he chooses. That man only has authority in his home because he is under God’s authority.

A man who will not exercise godly authority in his home, being personally under God’s rule, is disqualified from leadership. He has rejected the government of God. A woman who refuses the authority of her husband is disqualified from leadership. She has rejected the government of God.

Civil Government

The absence of reference to civil government in God’s authority hierarchy is not a mistake. Civil government is a servant to God and man. When civil government interposes itself over the lives of people, without full divine authority to do so, it is evil government.

Civil government is described as government which rewards the good and punishes evil people. When civil government functions as an expression of God’s father heart toward humanity and God’s holiness upheld by man, then it is good government and part of the government of God.

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or to governors, as to them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” The Apostle Peter 1Peter 2:13,14

Civil government is also a servant to the man as he leads him family. Good civil government will support the authority of the father in each family, as the head of his home. It will support that man and provide the resources which God the Father would give to His children to empower them to build strong families.

Kings or Consensus?

Civil government can be exercised by monarchs on a throne or elected representatives in a council, or by village elders and other expressions of administration. When that civil government (no matter how it is structured) functions in support of God’s throne and the domestic family it is a good government, whether it comes from the king and his minions or by social structures with elected officials.

Much discussion is made regarding the relative merits or evils of monarchs, dictators, village elders or democratically elected governments. If the Government of God is in place then the distinctions betweens there structural systems becomes less significant.

Ruling the Human Heart

Note that God’s authority is not expressed in the form of instant judgement. Lightning does not strike every blasphemer on the spot. Adulterers, thieves, liars and murderers are not immediately condemned by God.

Human government often seems much more responsive in dealing with evil than God appears to be. This is because God has assigned humanity the task of administering this expression of His government. It is also because God speaks into human lives via the human conscience.

Conscience

Human conscience is an expression of God’s government over the individual. Our heart condemns or approves our actions and thoughts. And so this will be an area of investigation in a follow up posting on the Government of God.

Training the Heart of a Child

There is no doubt that the heart is the heart of the matter for each of us. This is what the Bible teaches and I have mentioned it elsewhere. The Bible teaches that the responses from the heart dictate the issues of each person’s life. If your heart responds with jealousy to others, for example, then jealousy becomes the main issue of your life. If your heart responds with pride then pride becomes the main issue of your life.

Your Child’s Heart

While you may be concerned with your child’s behaviour and how well they will fit in with your hopes and dreams, the main issue and challenge you should attend to is to train the heart of your child.

You can create an academic or a sportsman out of your child. But their career is not the most important issue. You can teach them to be polite and to please your parents, making a good impression wherever they go, but that is not the most important issue.

You can even train them to be well behaved and compliant all the time, but that is not the most important issue.

Your child’s heart is the most important issue.

Discipline and the Human Heart

Some parents will instruct their child, hoping that understanding will cause them to make wise choices. Some parents will set high standards for their child in the hope that when they miss the mark they are still performing above others. Whatever approach the parent takes the most important matter is the heart, not the actual behaviour.

Three children can all do the right thing, but for different reasons. One child might come when the parent calls, because they hope to get some food. The next child comes, only because they are following their sibling. And the third may tag along because they don’t want to be left on their own. All three have come when the parent called, but none of them has any real strength of character or maturity in their heart.

A well trained heart results in a child doing the right thing for the right reasons in heart, even in the face of oppostion. When a child does what they do not wish to do, with a fear of God and desire to please Him, then their heart is in a much better place than others.

Games Don’t Help

Playing games with your child will not help your child’s heart. Placating the upset child will not help the child’s heart. Allowing the child to get away with doing wrong will not help the child’s heart.

What helps the child is reality. A word of reality is worth a day of game playing. Your child needs to be wise, knowing what God requires of them and doing it because they want to please God.

The fun games which can easily be resorted to rob the child of the chance to discipline their heart and do what is right as an act of worship to God.

The Rod of Correction Helps

According to the wisdom of King Solomon your child’s heart is contaminated with foolishness. The only antidote to foolishness in the heart of a child is the ‘rod of correction’, which is not the same thing as the ‘rod of anger’. When a parent loves his child he will discipline the child with the rod of correction and drive the innate foolishness out of the heart of the child. This is a vital part of training the heart of the child.

Any parent who neglects the use of the ‘rod of correction’ is ignoring the wisdom of God and will fail to remove the foolishness that is in their child’s heart.

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

Biblical Wisdom Given to the Child

Children respond to reality very well. Rather than telling your child fancy illusory things, instruct them in God’s wisdom and truth. They need to know that they were created by God, for God’s glory. They need to know that God loves them and has a powerful plan for their life. They need to know about the devil and his devices. They need to know of God’s grace and His ability to restore those who have been damaged by their wrong choices.

Children can comprehend that there is a devil who wants to draw them away from God and that it is up to them to choose to trust God even when it is hard to do so. Children can comprehend that when people have chosen to do something that does not please God they become trapped in that sin and find it hard to break free again. They can understand temptation, discipline and the joy of being forgiven.

Don’t hold back Biblical wisdom from your child.

Lighten Up

I have to add this disclaimer, since I have met some pretty intense dads over the years. Some parents are too heavy in their discussion of spiritual realities. Children can feel completely smothered in the weight of spiritual intensity from their parents.

While I advocate spiritual wisdom being taught to the child I also advocate that the parents lighten up. Don’t bury your child in the intensity of the truths you are teaching them. Remember that God wins out in the end. There is no need for your child to want out of life, or to feel that everything will be one enormous burden. Be sure to celebrate God’s supremacy, Christ’s victory, our liberty and the Holy Spirit’s power.

When we have an accurate view of reality we will not be buried in intensity but dancing in anticipation. If your view of Biblical reality does not make you excited then you do not yet know the whole picture.

Turn the Light toward the Heart

When you are dealing with issues either in your child or impacting your child, be sure to open up the heart issues. Turn the spotlight onto the heart to reveal the heart issues in your child which relate to this issue.

When our children were being troubled by other children we would ask our sons, “What must be going on in the heart of that child that he must annoy you in order to be happy?” Our children quickly realised that these trouble children were in fact troubled children. Our children did not envy them nor wish to be like them.

You can also turn the spotlight onto your child’s heart. If they have been annoying one of their siblings you might ask them, “What makes you feel like you need to make your brother unhappy? Are you jealous of your brother?”

Your child is aware of their own heart. Your interrogation or investigation will resonate with their own perception and give them the emotional intelligence to be aware of their own heart.

Train the Human Heart

Once the child has a chance to see their own heart you are able to direct them to respond properly to the issues springing up in their heart.

As they learn to repent and forgive, their heart will be strengthened and they will move away from compromise to clarity and purity of response.

In all that you do as a parent, be sure to train the heart of your child.

The Heart of Your Child

It is vital that you train the heart of your children. However it is popular to ignore this essential process and give in to shallow alternatives. Since many young parents have not thought these issues through I am penning these notes as a guide to parents.

The Heart of the Matter

The most important part of your child’s development is the training of their heart. While we may not be aware of what is going on inside other people, including our children, the Bible tells us that God looks on the heart.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7

God’s prophet, Samuel, did what people naturally do. He looked on external things. God accurately accused men of taking notice of external things – “man looks on the outward appearance”. That is why people have to take ‘first impressions’ seriously and why image is such a big deal for worldly people. It should not be so for those who love and follow God, but sadly appearance and image is a major focus of some churches today.

Since God looks on your child’s heart it is essential that you make it a key focus on your attention.

The Heart of Your Child is Exposed by What Comes Out

Jesus had much to say about what comes out of the heart. He said that we are defiled by what comes out of us. He then listed a bunch of things that find their source in the human heart.

“The words which come out of the mouth come from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” Jesus Christ, Matthew 15:18-19

Jesus is pointing here to both the words people speak and the motivations that lead them to do evil things. So wise parents will be attentive to the spontaneous expressions from their children and also from the behaviour patterns the children display.

A winning smile on the face of a child can be deceptive. Sweet words of promise and nicety may be a cover for wrong intentions. In the same way that adults can be expert at this level of deception, some children know how to play up to their parents’ expectations.

Key Lessons For the Heart

The heart is troubled by the presence of foolishness, which Solomon warns us is bound in the heart of every child (Proverbs 22:15). So it is important for each parent to respect the particular process that God prescribes for removing that foolishness. The prescribed process is to use the rod of correction on the child.

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” Solomon, Proverbs 22:15

Obedience is a key test of the child’s heart. If a child refuses to obey then they have foolishness. So getting the child to promptly obey the parent is a key heart training process. This involves them submitting to the parent’s authority. In that process they learn to fear the Lord, giving respect to God’s requirement that they obey their parents.

Games and Tricks Don’t Train the Heart

Some parents think that they are doing quite well if they get the desired action from the child. But it is not the action that is the most important. What is important, as we saw earlier, is the heart of the child. God does not look on the outward evidence but on the heart.

If you instruct a child to eat their food and the child is reluctant to obey, then a matter of the heart has been exposed. The child’s rebellious or independent attitude is a more serious matter than the nutritional value of the meal.

Many parents, however, become distracted with the external element, getting the food into the child. They can completely miss the much more serious issue of the child’s heart. Clever parents can resort to games to get the child to eat. “Let’s pretend that the spoon is a train and your mouth is a tunnel. Let the train into the tunnel.”

Such games may be fun, but they set the parent and child up for future pain. The child’s heart is left in a rebellious state, even though all the food is eaten.

The same is true when a parent tricks a child into doing the right thing, or fitting in with the parent’s plans. Games and fun, cute as they may be in the hands of clever parents, have no place in testing or training the child’s heart.

The most mature and complete heart training is evident when there is every reason to disobey or to get away with doing wrong, and yet the person insists and persists in doing what is right.

Tough Choices Make for Strong Character

When parents rescue their children from tough choices they undermine the child’s character. Tough choices make for strong character.

The child who must stand by his post, while others get to do fun things, or taunt him, or who is otherwise suffering in order to be there, will develop much stronger character than the child who is given every opportunity to cheat on their character.

False compassion can prompt some parents to remove the tough choices and hard situations from their child’s life. Such emotion is called ‘false’ compassion because it is not true love at all. It masquerades as compassion but it harms the child, so it cannot be real love.

You are Allowed to Play Games

Please note that I am not saying every moment of your child’s life should be a tough moment with tough choices. There is plenty of room for fun, games and play. You are welcome to play ‘aeroplanes’ and fly the food into your child’s mouth or to make cleaning up the room into a fun race against the clock.

The tough choices are made at strategic moments and are then built upon. But once the tough moment is past it is time for celebration and enjoyment of life. The problem will come when your child is never challenged to learn and their heart is not trained.

Insist that they Learn

Parents, be diligent to ensure that each of your children has learned to obey you, to submit to authority and to fear God. You will need to remain attentive to their heart, through what they say and how that is backed up by the attitudes and actions.

Insist that they learn the lessons. Don’t give in, just because they are crying, or complaining. There is much more at stake than their temporary responses.