The American culture has changed dramatically in my lifetime, and I think many, if not the majority of these changes, have been detrimental to our society.
One of them has been the lack of –– or at least our failure to use –– discipline. The first place we have failed to use discipline is in the home, and specifically with the upbringing of our children. When I was a child, I was well-disciplined by my parents and grandparents. I was taught how to behave and given either a strong talking to or a spanking when I disobeyed. There were lesser offenses, too, where I had to say “I’m sorry,” or simply “look ashamed.”
I never did learn to “look ashamed,” although I did try. I would look down at the floor with a very somber look on my face, and this would usually be accepted. But these were small punishments, the one that really got my attention and changed my actions and attitude was when my mother would say: “You just wait until your daddy gets home.” These were words that scared me, for I knew what he would do.
He would take off his belt and wear me out, and then say, “Now, are you going to behave and do as you are told?” I would promise to be good, and then it was over, we were buddies again. My parents were strict on my sister and brother and me, and they taught us to respect others, especially adults and to know right from wrong.
They insisted that we go to school and study. If we disobeyed our teacher, or got into trouble, we would be punished at home, and had to take a note to our teacher the next day thanking her for disciplining us, and saying for her to let our parents know, if we acted badly again.
We must have discipline in our homes again. Children must behave in school and learn to respect their teachers. I have talked to several friends of mine who are teachers in elementary schools, as well as high schools, and they say there is little or no discipline in classes today. The teachers cannot discipline the children and their parents will not make them behave.
If they are disciplined, their parents will threaten the teacher and say they will sue the school. Not all students are trouble-makers, but there are many in our schools, and they disrupt the teaching of even those who want to learn. Parents today must discipline themselves to raise their kids to behave wherever they are. They must partner with our teachers to see that there is discipline in the classroom.
We not only see the results of the lack of discipline in the home and classroom, and in the life of our young people, but in adults, also –– in business and in our government. We see in the newspaper and hear on TV news, every day, how people are treated — cheated, beaten, robbed and murdered. Employees steal from their work place. Politicians scheme and devise plans to help themselves rather than those they were elected to serve. It seems our politicians would rather fight among themselves than to solve the very real problems that are dragging down our economy and our standard of living.
What can be done to reverse and erase the problems we face today? The Bible and our Holy God has the answers we seek; 2nd Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.”
Americans must return to God and repent of their sins, and then, He will lead them to have Christian discipline in their lives, and to live according to His teachings. This is the best way to solve our many problems. I pray we will.