There is yet another story in the news of an intoxicated mother with a child in her car. Houston station KPRC has a report of a Kingwood mother who has been taken into the Montgomery County Jail for driving intoxicated with her toddler in the car.
No doubt, most parents who hear this story will state that they would never commit such an action. Yet, neglecting to guard the soul of their children can also have damaging effects as well. Someone might state that providing food, clothing and shelter are adequate responsibilities of parents. Providing food, clothing and shelter are certainly legitimate responsibilities for a parent, but so is protecting the soul of that child. This is especially true with Christian parents.
Part 1 of our article examines the soul abuse that results from parents not guarding their child’s soul. This parental neglect can also result in emotional abuse of that child. Emotional abuse occurs when parents seek to control their child by belittling, terrorizing or isolating them. Arousing fear in children by threats, rage, shame, or guilt is also part of emotional abuse. A true sense of responsibility is not making a child conform by instilling guilt in him. Instead, this is a neurotic approach that has detrimental results to a child.
Parents would be wise by never motivating their children through anger, hatred, cruelty, tantrums, or violence. Neither would it be prudent to encourage them to be insensitive or permit them to sulk in self-pity, or whine. Such behavior in children is an arrogant preoccupation with self that will carry over into their adulthood.
A parent protects their child by not encouraging jealousy, bitterness, slander, judging, lying or any form of meanness towards their siblings or other children. Proper and just spanking removes guilt in children (Prov. 13:24).
Contrary to the popular belief in our permissive society that advocates the advice of secular experts, the Bible teaches corporal punishment in the form of spanking. Spanking a child justly prevents guilt and a resulting neurosis from building up in the child. The Bible directs parents to always spank a child in a fair manner and with a relaxed mental attitude, never in anger. Afterwards, there should be an explanation for the spanking to the child and a reassuring of the parent’s love for them so they understand why it is to their benefit. The spanking represents the discipline and the explanation afterwards represents the training. Training and discipline go together and are not effective when one is without the other.
The words “chasteneth him betimes” in Proverbs 13:24 are actually, early in the morning. In other words, in the morning of life or while they are young, before their sin nature tendencies have time to grow, or directly after the offense. The most important period of learning for a child is between the ages of one through six years of age. It is during these years that the personality of a child is forming, either for the better if a parent teaches them humility or for the worse if arrogant tendencies develop.
Humility is the contrast of arrogance. For a child, humility begins with parents. Children should attain humility through the teaching and the just and loving function of the authority of parents. The highest function of humility is what a child learns at home. No church, school or any other organization should take the place of learning humility from parents.
Thus, according to Proverbs 13:24, parents who allow their child to grow unchecked, without any corporal punishment, actuality hate that child. A parent does not love a child if they are not willing to give them proper training and discipline. An untrained child will result in an undisciplined adult, who will not be ready to live a balanced and successful life as an adult.
The countless number of adults in our society today who fail as individuals, in marriage and as parents themselves, could have a lack of proper training and discipline in the home as the cause. No loving parent would want their child to grow into an undisciplined and dysfunctional adult who is going to grieve through considerable pain and difficulty in their adult life. This is the reason the Bible teaches that parents who do not use the rod hate their child (Prov. 3:11-12).
A lack of discipline and training will create a vacuum in the soul of a child. With such a vacuum, a child’s soul will allow everything that is false and wrong to infiltrate in. As a result, arrogant emotional sinning develops and with it defense mechanism such as suppression, dissociation and denial.
Therefore, the importance of protecting a child’s soul should be clear. To prevent such deep seated flaws, as we have examined, to develop in the soul of a child and future adult.