We have been doing a Sunday School series on child training based upon the book “What The Bible Says About Child Training”. firstname.lastname@example.org It is the best book I have ever come across on the subject. Most parents might get some of the facets of child training but very few get it all put together properly. Richard Fugate does a great job. The quick summary is that there are two facets to child training, control and teaching. Your control of your child is maximized at first and then slowly your controls are released as your child takes on those controls. Establishing effective control requires use of the rod upon a child that refuses to take and follow instruction. As the child learns to obey you, your controls can be lessened as you move into a greater emphasis on teaching the why’s of life. This period usually starts around the 12 year old age.
The four parts of teaching are setting standards, rebuke, confession and forgiveness and finally setting a just punishment for the infraction. Punishment is different from chastisement with a rod which is reserved for times of rebellion on your child’s part. This has been a great Sunday school series. During the teaching segments we talked about setting standards around the word of God. On the topic of setting standards we have discussed appropriate punishment for different broken standards. Which led to the broken bicycle, with a just punishment of paying to repair the broken bicycle. The question got moved into the arena of an adult borrowing a bicycle, breaking it and the need to confess and make restitution.
This led to the illustration of the poverty mentality that can disable a person from being responsible and doing right. “Suppose I am too poor to fix the bicycle?” The answer is don’t borrow the bicycle and if you do borrow it, in order to be just with your friend you must return it in the condition you borrowed it in. If you do not have enough money to repair it you must volunteer to work it off by doing chores for the offended party. This was one of those answers that was talked about by many people after the Sunday school. I have arbitrated over several of these conflicts since I have been here. It is so easy to not do what is right and blame it on my impoverished condition. I had several people come to me and say how refreshing it was to hear that response about borrowed goods.
People are making progress here in church, we are all spiritually growing. We are not teaching Western values we are teaching what the Bible says about right and wrong. These are lessons that used to be common sense but get lost in the different translations of all of our different cultures.