Monday, February 10, 2014

A Real Hate Crime

By Clifton Angel

     Recently, a group of people visited my home. During their visit, I was able to observe a most intriguing event—a father disciplining his son. The three of us were in my kitchen. The young boy, not even able to talk, was attempting to get into the cabinets. His father called him by name and plainly said, “No.” The child looked at his father and immediately turned back to the cabinets to continue his endeavor. And so, the father took his son’s hand, spanked it, and repeated the command, “No.”
      The process had to be repeated at least once more, but eventually the young boy stopped, turned to his father and with outstretched arms and a smile on his face ran into his father’s arms. While such a response to discipline is less common, it speaks volumes. You see, that father was expressing tremendous love toward his son. It was cabinets—what’s the big deal? Actually, such a “small” expression has a larger impact than one may think. While I did not care so much about anything he could damage of mine, the father was teaching his son about the respect of others’ property. While the son did not know it at the time, the father was preventing him from potential greater harm; for, behind some of those cabinets are toxic chemicals. The father was teaching his son about obedience. And he was teaching his son about authority. Each of these is a great expression of love.
      Each of the things this father did is a Biblical principle of discipline. “The rod and reproof give wisdom; But a child left to himself causeth shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13–14, NKJV). Dear friends, the translation of the Hebrew into English is not advocation of physical abuse. It is a proper use of physical force stemming from a rooted love. This father lovingly provided for his son prevention, protection, submission, and correction. In so doing, he showed the opposite of hatred toward his son: “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24, NKJV).
      Daily, our world is trying to redefine things which are holy as hatred. Often, there is the push to make loving endeavors into “hate crimes.” It is past time that we see one of the greatest of true “hate crimes”—a lack of discipline. “He who spares his rod hates his son.”
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

No comments:

Post a Comment