Its 4:27 AM, I watched my almost three year old sleeping, I wondered what she must have been dreaming of; for she smiled in her sleep and then turned unto her left side. I then walked into David’s room, his comforter was on the floor, and he was half way from falling off the bed and was holding unto a race car he had received from one of his aunties at Christmas. I gently rolled him as far as I could without waking him up, covered him, watched him snore for a few seconds and went back into my room. Pradeep, my husband was equally snoring loudly; he is one of those people who could sleep through a mighty earth quake without as much as a flinch of his eye lids. I went downstairs, made myself a cup of tea and as I was about to turn on the T.V, I embraced myself to watch the latest horrors of the times we live in. The story of Bobbi Kristina, daughter of the late Whitney Houston who died of a possible drug overdose with every other detail similar to that of her mom was being aired. As usual because I cry very easily, I was gripped by the horror of a 21year old dying at the prime of her life. I began to cry, not just a mere trickle; it was like the flood gates of tears had been unleashed and I cried my eyes out for a total stranger; wondering how things could have gone so wrong with a family that had so much potential. I had always loved the sound of Whitney’s voice, I had mourned her death but somehow I had hoped her daughter would learn a lesson from her mother’s demise and I had envisaged her arising beyond the power of the bounds of her upbringing. I was dead wrong, three years later, history is repeating itself. I guess the knowledge of the responsibility and the power God has placed in the hands of my husband and I to mold the children He has placed in our care became all too clear. A few weeks back, a friend had narrated how she had taken her 5 year old daughter to the store. The little girl had grabbed a toy and had insisted her mother bought it for her. After mom having asked her a few times to put down the toy, of course she was beginning to get frustrated by her daughter’s insistence on going home with it. So like many of us were raised knowing when a parent gave you that particular glare of “you better do as you are told” she really meant business; she glared at her daughter. The little girl instead of letting go of the toy responded by telling her mom: “You are on camera and are being watched”. Being a Ghanaian by birth and having been raised by old fashioned parents, I could only imagine the extent to her mom’s fury on hearing that threat. Society is dictating to us when and how we can punish our children and obviously the theory proposed on paper is not working in the real world. Children are going astray for a lack of proper discipline. We are sparing the rod and spoiling the child. We are failing in training our children in the way to go so that when they have families of their own, they would in turn impact that which they had been taught unto their young ones. Don’t get me wrong, child abusers must be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law I certainly agree but my fear is; aren’t we letting too many bad behaviors that could have been nipped in the bud grow into humongous mountains we can barely face let alone control in the fear of what the law has to say about disciplining our offspring? I guess the bulk of the reason for my tears steered from the fact that I am troubled and wonder if the outcome of Bobbi Kristina could be different had the circumstances surrounding her upbringing had been different? Our children come from and belong to God. Scriptures from Ez.16:20, 21 prove this; Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them? Clearly, I am the one, who has to answer to my maker why I failed to raise His children in the way of His word, so why must I live in fear of disciplining them because of the dread of them being taken away from me when discipline is justified? Sparing the rod does not necessarily mean not hitting our children with a stick, in my opinion sparing the rod means failing to discipline our children in an appropriate manner befitting the wrong action they have taken. Scripture says “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." (Prov. 22:15).
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