Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
I’ve heard it said that everyone who’s born rebels. Whether they do it when they’re young or when they’re older, they’re going to rebel. The idea is that it’s better for them to rebel when they’re younger so they don’t wander too away from you when they’re old enough to do real damage.
Everyone is born with a free will. Everyone is born with the ability to make stupid decisions. And because we’re all born with that freedom, we all do stupid things in our lives. We all do stupid things because we are not only free but we are fallen. We’re free to do what we want and we are full of bad ideas with which we can choose to act. So we do. We make decisions to do stupid things.
So, if we are born with this innate ability to choose to do stupid things, the role of those who have gone before us and made those bad decisions becomes very important. Those who have wisdom we don’t have play a very critical role in our lives of helping us keep from doing stupid things.
This is especially true for parents. And this is especially true in our current culture. The role of parents has been greatly diminished by thinkers who have decided that discipline is bad for kids. Since this decision was made several decades ago, we now live in a society full of adults who were raised by parents who didn’t discipline. And now this generation disciplines less than our predecessors. It should come as no surprise that our society is also so full of folly.
But there is a solution. There is hope. Discipline. You can choose to be different. You can choose to help the next generation by disciplining your kids today.
I’ll confess to you it’s not fun. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I absolutely hate disciplining my kids. I hate making them cry and seeing the look of sadness on their face. But, there is something I would hate more.
What I would hate more would be that they grow up and make even worse decisions. I’d hate for them to grow up and make bad choices that cause greater physical and emotional pain. I’d hate for them to do even more stupid things that create even worse consequences than the punishment they’ll receive for what they do when they’re young. I’d really hate for them to destroy their lives as a young adult because I was too afraid to discipline them as a child.
Take the advice that has rung true for thousands of centuries. Discipline drives folly far, far away.