Proverbs 13:24 reads as follows: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” The above translation is from the New International Version of the Holy Bible, whereas the New King James Version adds a critical word at the end of the verse: “promptly.”
Regardless of which translation you prefer, the veracity of the verse is indisputable. Throughout human history, undisciplined children have acted in undisciplined ways and have become undisciplined adults who likewise act in undisciplined ways.
Today, America is reaping the spoiled fruit of spoiled children.
Far too many moms and dads want to be their kid’s friend, of which they already have many, instead of being their parents, of which they only have two. And so, unwilling to tell Johnny or Susie “No” for fear that they will hurt their feelings or alienate their affections, they try to reason with them, negotiate with them, or simply capitulate to them.
How is that New Age approach working out so far, America?
Multiply the above scenario by 124 million households (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), and you soon discover why our country is in such a predicament. In fact, just last week, hundreds of marauding teenagers descended upon downtown Chicago and spread mayhem in and around Millennium Park. They looted businesses, burned cars, beat and robbed tourists, and crawled on top of a transit bus full of commuters like a colony of ants.
Fifteen people were arrested. No, that’s not a typo. Only 15 of the estimated 1,000 lawbreakers were arrested.
With a straight face, outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tried to convince city residents and the nation at large that many of the teens “were there to have a good time and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.” Unless Mayor Lightfoot’s definition of a “good time” includes rioting and ransacking, no one is buying what she is selling.
Meanwhile, Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson cautioned people not to “demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.” Excuse me? The teenagers who surrounded a young couple from out of town, punched and kicked them, and then robbed them of their wallets, cellphones, and shoes deserve to be demonized because they acted like demons.
It should be easy enough to identify the perpetrators of this heinous crime by reviewing security cameras and subpoenaing the cellphones of the callous bystanders who recorded the attack. The same goes for the 100 or so teenage thugs who robbed a convenience store in the Compton section of Los Angeles over the weekend. While the manager hid in the bathroom for his own safety, the mob looted the store until the shelves were practically bare. What items did these poor, underprivileged children target the most? If you guessed beer, cigarettes, and condoms, you would be right.
Enough is enough. If parents won’t properly discipline their kids, then it is incumbent upon society to do it for them. No more excusing criminal behavior because of situations and circumstances. Despite what the moral relativists would have us believe, right is still right and wrong is still wrong. And yes, there needs to be swift – and sometimes severe – consequences for wrong behavior.
Until we stop rationalizing illegal and immoral behavior, we will experience more of it… and our inner cities will further descend into anarchy. Lawlessness will then spread like wildfire into suburban and even rural communities, setting the stage for either a complete societal meltdown or a dictator who promises to restore peace and a sense or order, but at what cost?
Time is running out, America. We must start raising our children to respect authority or we will soon live in fear of them. Let’s begin with a few trips to church, the principal’s office, or the ol’ woodshed. As for the flash mobs in Chicago and L.A., I’d recommend a minimum of six months in a juvenile correctional facility followed by another six months of community service… along with a stern warning that they only get two more strikes before they become permanent residents of the State Department of Corrections or the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)