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Don't spare the rod

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POSTED: November 1, 2010 9:43 p.m.
This cooler air moving in reminded me of a time when as a young boy I learned a valuable lesson.
Up north with the winter weather around the corner, my dad and a friend were putting a new roof on our barn. I was playing in the barnyard but had ventured out toward the country road that was sparsely traveled. This was a blacktop road that had what we called pea gravel along the edge of it.
During the fall of the year it wasn’t uncommon for people from the city to come our way for a weekend afternoon drive to see the fall foliage. This particular day, a white convertible with two older couples came driving down our road with the top down.
I had just picked up a handful of pea gravel and when the car came slowly by me, I gently tossed it up into the air and watched in sprinkle over those riding in the convertible. The driver stopped the car, got out and spoke quite loudly and said, “Whose boy is this?”
My father came off of the roof, came over to where we were and made me apologize. Then took me over to the other side of the road where there was a persimmon tree. He ripped off a small branch, stripped off the leaves, pulled down my pants and switched me with a few licks. The folks in the car were satisfied and proceeded on down the road.
For years every time I saw that persimmon tree I was reminded of that incident. And just a few years ago the tree died and was cut down, but I still could take you to the place where it used to grow.
I will say that even though to some this punishment was a little harsh, the lesson was learned and I never did anything close to it again. And even though some may contest this, I never experienced any permanent harm. I am very grateful that my parents disciplined me because they loved me and wanted me to turn out a respectable person.
They got their direction from the scripture itself where it says in Proverbs, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
I will admit that the same exact type of discipline may not work on every child, but the parent(s) have to be willing to use whatever discipline works. And any kind of discipline must be done out of a spirit of love.

 

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