Column: Parents, time to step up and lead, part 2

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2016

Faye Benjamin

Guest columnist

Final of two parts

There is no greater investment than what you invest in your children. Take advantage of the opportunities to teach them while they are young, tender, asking a thousand questions, vying for your attention, at your feet everywhere you walk and at your knee when you’re sitting, and in your shadow when you’re standing.

For, one day, their shadow will outgrow yours, and your heart will be vying for their attention. The time will get away, and if you did not invest in them, there will be no return. Then you will doubt the Scripture that says, “Children are a gift from God.”

Parents, the burden of unruly, disrespectful and lawless children is too great a burden on the school system. It is overwhelming law enforcement, and it is breaking down society.

I submit that the well-being of our children does not rest in the hands of the state, but in the hands of our parents, sensible adults in our families and neighborhoods, and common sense people in our local communities. Teach them their rights? Sure, but teach every right alongside the teaching of personal responsibility.

Defend the faith

Come with me a little higher. Let me show you.

Among my people, as in all society, there seems to be a movement in progress that would seek to strip away our faith in God. This is, in essence, the highest form of discrimination there is.

Our faith in God is what has brought us, as a people, this far. It is the power and inner strength whereby we overcame. Our faith in God is the bedrock of our hope and trust. We, as a people, were called by God, chosen by God, and set free by God.

He is the Lord, our God, who brought us out of bondage, and we are equally a part of His, “Whosoever that believes in Him.” Sure, many of our people have fallen away or gone astray from the faith, yet the root of who we are as a people is still rooted in God. In fact, God, the creator, our creator, is not just part of our history. He is our history.

The God-haters of our day seek to rob us of our spiritual roots, our faith in God, and sabotage our reliance upon Him. But, let it be known that we, as a people, along with all other like-minded people, will not be moved.

Besides, who are we without our creator, what’s our purpose without Him, and where are we headed without Him? I conclude that we are part of a remnant that believes in the Lord, and we will stand with just as much tenacity to defend our religious freedoms as we do our civil freedoms.

God gives needed guidance

Come a little higher, and let me show you.

Have you observed, or even noticed, that when we rejected God and His teachings through Jesus Christ how we have to come up with replacements — man initiated fillers. For example, the Lord tells us specifically to raise/train our children in the way they should go — that is, His way.

He says to talk to your children about Him all the time; when you eat together, or walking down the street, without ceasing. He even tells us that they may grow up and turn away from the teaching, but that they would return to it.

We have not done this, therefore we are left at the mercy of behavioral medicine, sweets and other lures to get our children to behave right. It is a sick and distorted atmosphere when many of our children think that they have to have medicine to behave.

This is the groundwork for training them to depend on drugs — legal or illegal — rather than “choice” from their God-given will. Let’s also note how educators and other adults have to use candy to get desired results from students — children — and this is not only in elementary school, but in high school as well!

How disgusting it is to watch a teacher promise a 14- or 15-year-old young man a bag of Skittles just to lure him to do what he should be doing anyway to get the necessary tools to better himself in the physical world.

Accountability needed

There are way too many children acting out and acting up, and trained to blame it on the fact that they did not get their morning meds. Having said that, I realize that there are those rare occasions when a child might need such medication, but that should be the exception, not the norm.

Most of our schools operate as an infirmary every morning, just to bring a semblance of order to the day. I know this to be true.

These replacement therapies — medications and sweets — exist because we have dropped the ball in the area of home training and discipline, accountability and consequences! It’s amazing the number of children whose parents are addicted, or incarcerated leaving them with grandparents or other guardians — and, oh, thank God for them!

And when we inquire about why they are in jail, the response is something like this, “burglary, illegal drug use and trafficking, but he/she is really a good boy/girl!”

There is another area that I must address here, and that is the number of young ladies and young men barely in their teens having/fathering children — children having children.

How can an untrained child instill training in her own child? I work with and have worked with many of them. These young women, mothers, lack the maturity, the wisdom and, of course, the experience to properly raise children and provide the security children need. And let’s not forget the young men who usually lack even more maturity or sense of responsibility.

No one anywhere seems to hold them accountable. In most cases, the system/government has become the parent to these children. It provides for them, especially monetarily, and yet does not even know them. How can a system properly parent children it is not emotionally attached to? It also attempts to control their behavior from afar based on research, statistics and data.

Outgrowing authority

I am more than persuaded that God is the highest authority and expert on human behavior, and in His wisdom He gave us the Bible filled with guidelines by which to live and raise our children. Part of His guidelines are that He created marriage and the family as a safety net for children.

But it appears that we think we have outgrown the Bible and its authority, likewise, our children think they have outgrown us and our authority. And where there is no proper authority, there is lawlessness in the land, and that’s where we are now.

His Word is not broken, but the system is. I suggest we repent and return.

Faye Benjamin is a longtime educator and Troup County resident.