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Friday, March 27, 2009

Soap Box Saturday

I decided to start something new on Saturdays. It will be written on Friday night, actually. It's going to be called "Soap Box Saturday" and it's a time and place where I can get on my "Soap Box" as I do from time to time. I hope you don't mind :).

Many times my children come home from school upset about something that has happened in class. Today Zachary, my 6th grader, came home with a lot of homework from one particular class. This is very atypical for him, as he rarely has any because he gets it done during school. He has tests to study for at times, but that's it most of the time. It was very unusual, too, because it's a Friday. Not many teachers here at our small school give homework on Fridays.

Well, Zachary proceeds to tell us that the reason he has all of this homework is because of a few (4 or 5) in his class kept acting up and it ended up getting the whole class (27 students) in trouble. Now, my motto when things like this happen is always "Life's Not Fair" and, as the former 1st grade teacher used to tell this class and her other classes, "Build a bridge and get over it!" I agree with that, BUT, I do get on my "Soap Box" when the same students are in trouble over and over and nothing is done - or nothing much. I expect there to be discipline, and maybe my expectations are too high (according to my Soap Box!).

Of course, discipline is the parent(s) responsibility, but too many times, the parents leave it up to the teachers. Then, when the teachers try to do something about it, the parents get upset at the teachers....a never-ending, ever-disrupting cycle. Parents have the duty and the responsiblity to discipline their children. I believe the Bible teaches us, as parents, to discipline our children.

As parents, my husband and I realize that our children are not perfect, and we don't expect them to be; however, we do expect them to behave in a certain ways. We expect them to respect each other, as well as others. They are expected to obey their teachers. We may not always agree with how the teacher at school disciplines, such as punishing the whole class for a few student's behavior, but we support the teacher and expect our children to do the work that is given to them.

Discipline is a natural part of life, and not always pleasant for the giver or the receiver! God disciplines us, His children, and we don't always like it, do we? Look at these verses in Hebrews:

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:5(b)-11

These verses point out that God disciplines us because He loves us and that it is for our good. When you discipline your children, your grandchildren, or your students, do they feel loved at that moment? Do they say, "Oh, thank you! This is for my own good!"? Of course not! Discipline is not pleasant at the time, but it produces, as the verse above says, "a harvest of righteousness and peace". Discipline in the Greek means to instruct or train. We discipline our children because we love them and they are better for it. We teach them by instructing them and training them.

True discipline is when it is directed toward the problem, not towards punishing a whole group for the misdeeds of a few. And now...I'll get off my "Soap Box" and go make sure Zachary has his homework done!

So, what's on your "Soap Box" today???

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Well, my soap box today isn't that big of a deal,'s when school officials cancel activities on account of PREDICTED weather that DOESN'T HAPPEN!!!! Just spent my whole day yesterday buying food for 150 at Sam's and Walmart only to have it canceled!!!

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