Life Only Works One Way

When Disciplining A Child Is Not The Same As Raising One

Moving Out Of Home
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Prov. 22:15

If you have children, you’ve probably heard a litany of excuses from them to explain why they didn’t do something they should have, or did something they shouldn’t. If you are a good parent, these excuses don’t move you. However, what if you’ve never provided the necessary instruction, training and monitoring every child needs? What if you’ve routinely ignored their transgressions or responded to them in an inconsistent way? You’ve probably ended up with a ‘Hillary Clinton!’

Consider Hillary A Case In Point!
A trained lawyer, she knows The Law! She has been operating at the highest levels of government for most of her life. Now she wants the world to believe she did not knowingly break the law by having a personal server, while Secretary of State. That the emails she sent and received were not classified (at the time she saw them), as though this makes it all Ok!

How does an intelligent person get to this place? What made her think people would accept these foolish statements? Statements that are even now unravelling before her eyes?

Answer? Conditioning. She’s never been held accountable for her actions. There has never been a Higher Authority, in her life, to require anything else. This has conditioned her to expect a pass. The crimes she is being investigated for are serious! The evidence we’ve heard is significant, precise and damning. They come with stiff penalties of up to 10 years in jail! And this doesn’t even factor in the potential damage to our National Security….the whole time she has held public office.

[NOTE: She doesn’t type. She uses her Blackberry for emails. Blackberries are notoriously vulnerable…especially in foreign countries. Our State Department does not allow employees to take them out of the country! [Dick Morris]

POINT? This is the importance of holding children accountable for their actions and attitudes. It’s called Discipline. The standards must be Clear, Consistent, Achievable, Standardized, and Unyielding! Everyone in the family must be held to the same standards. Every infraction must be corrected, if you want order, peace, productivity and a child who will grow up with godly character.

Parents can & do overlook things, deliberately, on occasion. Not the big things! Not the important things! The little things everyone does when they’re not being careful. This is not a Concentration Camp!

How important is it that a child pick up after themselves, make their bed, wash themselves, brush their teeth, put clothes in the hamper, show respect, be responsible, polite, punctual, faithful, careful, disciplined, frugal, etc? There is no way to minimize the importance of these. They are character qualities that set human beings apart from animals and provide the necessary platform for a productive life!

This is largely a Lost Art, today. Parents are busy. Parents are tired. Parents are distracted. Parents have not been raised with these qualities / values, themselves. Neglect of food is called child-abuse. Neglect of character training is worse! Miss a meal and a child will not die. Neglect character training and the child is set on a dangerous and destructive lifestyle course. Something they will not realize until it’s too late.

It is more important for a child to do his ‘chores’ and learn proper etiquette than it is to play. They need both, but play is about exercise and coordination of the body. Acculturation is about Survival! When you allow your children to ‘get away with being irresponsible,’ you are doing irreparable harm. Children are, by nature foolish, clumsy, forgetful, irresponsible [there are exceptions].

The Bible recommends ‘the rod of reproof.’ This is not necessarily a stick with which to beat the child but a methodology to correct and train the child. They MUST get caught, corrected and re-structured EVERY TIME!

IF NOT? Your chid will grow up to be unprepared for life as an adult.
They will have trouble keeping a good job.
They will live with you until they’re 30 years of age…or longer.
They will struggle in their relationships.
They will likely be undisciplined adults.
They will be shocked, should they they be held accountable for their actions.
And your grandchildren will spend an inordinate amount of time with you or in the ‘kennel’ we euphemistically call ‘Day Care.’

Why? Because you listened to Dr. Spock [who repented, by the way], the world and/or your feelings, instead of God.


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Do We Want What God Wants, In Marriage?

Marital Bliss
Recently (May, 2016), Kirk Cameron apparently voiced his opinions regarding marital roles, saying that wives are to submit to their husbands. Oddly enough the Social Media went crazy!!

Oddly enough? Not really! We can count on this happening every time a biblical principle regarding marital relationships or child discipline or sexual issues is raised. Often, whether they are raised or not!

The world is increasingly ‘secular,’ meaning: ungodly and anti-biblical. Their world view and social philosophy is on display in very overt and vivid ways, almost everywhere we turn, even in churches.

The context of Cameron’s statements are reasonable. A marriage is much like any partnership: Too Many Cooks Spoil The Stew!

The Bible does not go into detail on this subject. It merely answers the logical question: Who’s In Charge? To say the man is in charge, is biblically WRONG!

Am I disagreeing with Cameron? Absolutely Not!

Am I trying to walk down the middle of the street so as not to offend anyone? If you think that, you don’t know me, nor have you read any of my other blogs [].

THE POINT: Marriages are Vital Unions of largely differing people. Look at the average marriage and you will see how opposites attract.

There cannot be competing ideas about how important issues are resolved without chaos ensuing, yet this is inevitable. When it happens, the marriage is in serious turmoil and headed for disaster! The children will pay The Price! The Society will suffer.

Generally, women know a great deal more about ‘family’ and children and just about anything domestic or social, than the average man. Any man who insists on having his own way in ANY of these areas is a fool! [Unless HE’S the domestic partner and she’s not — which sometimes happens]

Generally, men have a broad view of life, encompassing all sorts of things most women are not interested in at all. Sports. Politics. Junk Food. Sleeping in a chair. Cars. Tools. Hobbies. Staring At The TV For Hours.

The Bible wants a couple of things to happen.
1. It wants marriages and families strong, stable and productive.
2. It wants marriages to reflect godly standards and values.

How do we make that happen?
1. We marry well! Not in haste. Not in the heat of sexual desire. Not simply for companionship. Not out of rebellion or foolishness.

2. We marry those who share our Values, Goals, Standards and Spiritual Commitments.

3. We work together to make the marriage (and ensuing family) a healthy, productive and stable environment, for all the members.

How do we do this? By working together! Meaning? Whoever has the strength (emotional, academic, physical, etc) does that which is native or important to them.

It might mean a wife who is really better at finances than her husband. It might mean a man who is better at providing food than is his wife. This is not the 12th century, people have differing skill-sets and the time to apply them.

But, what happens should there be a serious disagreement about something fundamentally important to The Family? A decision where neither partner can possibly understand nor appreciate the other’s position?

WAR? COMPROMISE? Nobody wins! Everybody loses!
What Saith The Lord Who Made You?

“Wives, be submissive to your husbands….as unto the Lord!” [Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18] A Door Mat? No. The word ‘submit,’ means to arrange your life under the authority which is being presented. It doesn’t require agreement. It doesn’t mean he’s The Boss!

It means living in harmony, under God, recognizing the larger issue at stake! An issue that goes back to The Garden, when the first man gave into the first woman….surrendering his responsibility in order to either keep the peace or keep from losing her.

Submission is not a bad thing! There isn’t an area of life where we do not submit. In some cases we simply obey, but a regular diet of that is destructive.

Submission is not Obeying! It is simply recognizing the God-ordained authority structure and bowing to Him (God)! God is calling families to be Constructive, not Combative.

AND….If the decision you disagree with, doesn’t work, You Win!?

No. In family feuds there are only losers….generally the children, who now see a division of power they can exploit.

On the other side, God has ordered that men ‘love their wives, the way Christ loved The Church.‘ [Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19]

How is that? He gave His life for her. That’s a total commitment! When that’s happening, submission is not nearly as difficult.

With that command in place God requires that wives respect the Divine order of things (for God’s sake) and let her husband have his way.

If it’s wrong, he’ll learn. It may take time, but it’s more important he learns than you get your way, over his.

Did I mention the children?

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Child Abuse In The New Millennium

ME Generation
Recently a young mother from Georgia was interviewed on National TV in response to a video she posted on her Facebook page, featuring her 5 year old son being ‘beaten’ by a school principal. The general thrust of the interview was ‘child brutality.’

According to what the mother said, the child in question was largely out of control, both at home and at school. Numerous incidents were logged, including hitting other children. There was some mention of truancy, although I don’t know how a child of 5 is blamed for that.

The mother claims she felt threatened that should she not sign off on this punishment, the child would not be able to come back to school and she very possibly would go to jail….although it’s not clear if that was stated, or something she simply imagined. Clearly this was a Last Resort!

Georgia allows for corporal punishment of children, in school, if the parent is present and signs off on it. The mother’s complaint: “Now he doesn’t want to go to school!”

NEWSFLASH!! The School Doesn’t Want Him To Go To School!!

Everyone on the TV show, talking about this issue, was sympathetic to the mother and aghast that any school district (or anyone, in particular) could condone beating a child for any reason!

Bible? Spare the rod and spoil the child!? The Bible doesn’t say this. But it DOES say:
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Pro 22:15
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Pro 23:13
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Pro 23:14
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Pro 29:15

Did I mention the ‘beating’ consisted of ONE swat with a wide paddle? And there is a video of this event. There was NO parent in the room, telling this child to stand still and stop fighting with the adults! Mom was recording the event with her phone, not 10 feet away.

What’s Really Happening, Here? A parent, clearly a “millennial” who has no idea what it means to ‘parent’ a child, is in over her head! She doesn’t know what a child is! She has no idea why she’s even in this picture, except she gave birth to the child and enjoys the idea that she has one.

Harsh? This is what ‘millennials’ are about. Statistically they tend to encourage their children to view themselves as Special. NOTE: Children ARE special, but you dare not let them know it, if you want to raise a balanced human being and have any peace at all!!

They allow them to speak, regardless of what else is going on.
They allow them to choose what they will wear (at 3 years of age).
They give them whatever they want, even if they can’t afford it.
They entertain their children every weekend.
They provide them loads of unsupervised time with electronic equipment.
They tend to convince the child that the world is a better place because they are in it.

THEN the child goes to school or to work! The world is NOT Momma! The world is REAL! The child is now in uncharted water.
These people expect that child to do what they’re told.
These people expect the child to sit in his/her seat work.
These people expect the child to leave things and other children alone.

These children and School Systems have a hard time, but nothing is harder (on the child) than going to work!
They truly believe anyone would be glad to have them.
They truly believe they don’t need to do what they’re told (they never have).
They truly believe they should be promoted, after about 6 weeks, since they now know all there is to know about that job.

This generation is frustrated, confused, angry and living back at home until they are in their 30’s. While there, they have no responsibility and no accountability. They eat, sleep and play. Why? Because that’s all they’ve ever been trained to do!

The impression this mother gives is of someone who really has no idea what it means to raise a human being. During the interview the child could be seen going from one thing to another, with his mouth open and noise coming out of it while Momma was crying.

Clearly this school had a different standard. One the child was not used to and did not have to embrace.

Did I mention, He Got The Swat!

What’s the crime, here?

ps. Please Don’t Write And Tell Me About The Exceptions!
Exceptions PROVE The Point, Not Destroy it!

The ‘Danger’ In Doing Right

Architect of My Own Disaster
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. [II Cor. 1:12]

Do you know people who just simply cannot catch a break? It’s as though they are walking around under a dark cloud. Everything they do seems to create more problems for them and no matter how hard they try, they never get out from under it.

Are you one of these people? Is God judging you? Is the world against you?

In the passage cited, the apostle Paul seems to be exposing his life-philosophy in terms of relationships, both to the world and to people in it. What he’s saying is that he isn’t trying to make things happen the way he thinks best, but merely trusting God to do what is best.

He points to his ‘simplicity’ — literally, a sincerity that does not seek his own desires.
He points to ‘godly sincerity’ — literally, a divine clearness or purity of motive.

Can we honestly say that’s how we approach the decisions of life? Or do we come at it with preconceived ideas and goals? Ideas and goals steeped in personal desire? Ideas and goals fashioned according to worldly patterns and dictates? Self-centered ideas and goals? Idealistic goals and worldly patterns?

A large part of our life’s decisions are fashioned by the context of our lives. The way we were raised will create certain values and ideals. Often, we will reject those ideals, viewing them as too restrictive or old-fashioned. Or we will embrace them, whether or not they are destructive, thinking them to be The Pattern since our parents or our community taught them.

Are you starting to see The Problem? Each of us live in a context. Each context varies, depending on the environment that defines it. It doesn’t occur to us that ALL of them may be wrong: that they are ALL crafted according to human desire and perception, based on cultural context and circumstance.

Each person must evaluate the world according to a standard outside themselves or suffer from moral and cultural myopia. One of the greatest dangers is rejecting the previous generation’s values, simply because you want better. American culture has always suggested that you can be whatever you choose. However, choosing outside the boundaries of reason or capacity is always a recipe for disaster.

Did you start out purposing to get a good education? Did you compensate for your natural sloth? Did you cultivate good character? Did you practice personal discipline? Did you protect and preserve your relationships? Did you pay attention to how people make decisions and learn from their mistakes? Did you value character development: Honesty, Honor, Discipline, Courage, Determination, Dependency, Truthfulness, etc.?

There is a reason why this blog is Characterized: Life Only Works One Way. You cannot drink a 5th of Whiskey every day for 30 years and not have cirrhosis of the liver! You cannot straighten a fingernail by chewing on it. And you cannot succeed dishonestly.

Those who suffer the most are they who keep making poor-to-bad decisions. EX: choosing a job that provides you with time to go to the beach; choosing a life-mate, based on how he/she makes you feel…at the time; buying the car you’ve always wanted; burning a relationship-bridge because you’ve been hurt or you don’t need that person anymore, etc.

The only thing worse than these is repeating them! Needing more income, you choose a job simply on the basis that it pays more; disenchanted with your marriage, you divorce…thinking the next one will better; letting the finance company re-possess the car you can no longer afford; maintaining a destructive relationship for fear of having no friends at all.

It is (literally) a mine-field ‘out there.’ and young people, today, are ill-equipped to navigate it successfully because the last 4 generations have succeeded in ‘gumming up’ the works.

Only God knows the best way to live! He says: “…incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Pro. 1:2-6

He has spelled it out for us, in The Bible.
Honor your mother and your father! Ex. 20:12
Be diligent in your labors! Pro. 14:23 … ‘in all labor there is profit’
Do not forsake the wife of your youth! Mal. 2:14
A good name is better than riches! Pro 22:1

The ‘Problems’ of life have limited Sources: 1) they come from a loving God Who is either seeking to get your attention or is working a program you do not understand….OR 2) they come from our refusal to follow God’s Word…which is perfect.

If God is working to get our attention, this is a good thing since God does not do this in every life. If, however, we are deliberately rejecting God’s Word, we deserve what we get! To deliberately reject something implies we know better. To do so anyway is stubborn rebellion.

The complication is The World! The world’s influence is stronger than ever, given the technology available to even small children, and it is unrelenting. It teaches us that we do not have to put up with anything or anyone we don’t want to. It teaches us that there are people and programs that will sustain us despite the decisions we make. And it teaches us that anyone who tells us we should do right, regardless of the circumstances, is dangerous.


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What’s Your Problem?

Hard Thing Right Thing
Think about those issues that dog your life. Where do they come from? Does everyone have these things in their life? Am I unique? Cursed?

Reality: We live in a fallen world where things break, wear out and die; where the best plans can go awry and no amount of planning is sufficient.

However, there are people who continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, never seemingly aware that what they’re doing is causing the heartache, preferring to blame circumstances or other people for their problems.

Think about it: When you are young you may be able to eat 2500 calories every day without gaining weight. Very few can do that in their 40’s. However, at that point we have stretched our stomachs and conditioned our body to desire those huge servings and empty calories.

How many children fail to get an adequate education? How many children have very little regular exercise in their schedules? How many never learn social skills? How many of those grow up to reap what they’ve sown and then blame everyone else?

Life is a Battle, not a Picnic! Choices we make ALWAYS come back around in another form either to bless us or curse our very existence. We have very little to blame except ourselves! Yet we find all sorts of external reasons why our lives are not rewarding.

Did you take your parent’s counsel in terms of a life-mate? Or choose the one that made you feel special or needed? Did you stay in school to get an education that would prepare you for an effective life? Or did you either quit school, dawdle through or pursue a Masters Degree in French Medieval Poetry?

Young people, for the last 50 years or so, have lived with the mistaken idea that life is good unless someone else messes it up for you. Here’s The Harsh Reality: LIFE IS HARD AND THEN YOU DIE!!! Deal With It!

How many serious medical conditions are congenital vs environmental, behavioral, dietary or sexual? And how many psychological problems are really beyond our control? Ask the psychotherapist or the behavioral psychologist. Unless it’s systemic a change in attitude and behavior fixes things. We are not the victims we think we are.

How many people are poor due to events beyond their control? Life is hard and things happen, however the vast majority of our problems are Self-Inflicted!

Don’t Hate Me for saying it….I don’t make this stuff up! How many people have come to this country, unable to speak the language, without an education and having no marketable skills….only to succeed beyond anything the average American could imagine?

Booker T. Washington started a school in Tuskegee, Alabama, for black folks soon after the War Between The States. By 1905, of all the graduates from Tuskegee Institute only one had been since sentenced to the penitentiary and Tuskegee produced more self-made millionaires than Harvard, Yale and Princeton combined.

Washington’s Observation:”Those who have accomplished the greatest results are those…who never grow excited or lose self-control, but are always calm, self-possessed, patient and polite.”

What was Washington’s Secret to Success? The Bible. He said, “No man can read the Bible and be lazy. Christianity increases a man’s…capacity for labor.” “The Negro doesn’t run from the Bible, either.” “Read your Bible every day, and you will find how healthily you will grow.” “The Bible should be read as a daily guide to right living and as a daily incentive to positive Christian service…”

Do You Get It? We cannot live life just any way we want without incurring disappointment and defeat on some or many levels. The Laws of nature and of nature’s God won’t allow that!

There is a significant percentage of people in the world who can never succeed, as Americans define or perceive success. But, there is not ONE who cannot have a better life through discipline and hard work, coupled with an accurate perception of life and what (or Who) makes it worthwhile.

Americans are Spoiled and it shows in the number of people on our Welfare Rolls and in our Rock Concerts and drug dens. Watch young people, today. Regardless of where they are or what’s going on, they’ve got their heads glued to a video screen and they aren’t watching The News of the Day! Listen to them talk. They have very little understanding of the English Language.

Then they wonder WHY things are not going the way they expected. Is this YOUR testimony? If your life’s a mess…before you try drugs or endless ‘therapy,’ try A Disciplined Lifestyle.