[HomeARC note (9/98): The Charter is the current source of Family policy and rules regarding the discipline of minors.]
1. THE NIGHT BEFORE MY SISTER RAN AWAY & GOT MARRIED, MY FATHER WHIPPED HER FOR STAYING OUT ALL NIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE, & she blamed my father for that & used that as an excuse that she had to run away & get married. My Mother sort of blamed my Father, too, for being too harsh & cruel to her, & too severe, but boy, I'll tell you‚ I knew my sister! I was just a kid of 12 years of age, & I heartily agreed with my father that she needed it! And if that's what drove her away, well, then she had to go!
2. IF SHE WOULDN'T YIELD TO CHASTISEMENT & HUMBLE HERSELF & CONFESS & REPENT & CHANGE, THEN SHE WAS IN TOTAL REBELLION & SHE MIGHT AS WELL HAVE LEFT!—AND SHE DID! And she suffered the rest of her life for it—for her stubbornness & rebelliousness & defiance of discipline! All of her life, husband after husband, child after child, nearly all of them were a disaster! I mean, she just ran her face square into the wall because she just refused to obey. For awhile she cursed God & cursed her parents & cursed everything—blamed everybody but herself!
3. IT'S ONLY NOW WHEN SHE'S OLD & DECREPIT & NEARLY 70 THAT SHE'S BEGINNING TO SIMMER DOWN & BE A LITTLE MILDER & A LITTLE SWEETER. But it took a lifelong series of chastisement & suffering to finally humble her & bring her really into submission. She used to curse me, & curse me for the work I was doing, but today she's finally humbled & repentant & loves me & admires the work we're doing & thanks God for it. But it took about 70 years to make a change in her—her whole life!
4. THAT'S HOW DEBORAH IS, SHE'S THE SAME WAY! She's so much like her‚ I used to confuse the two. I used to call Deborah Virginia sometimes, because she is exactly like her!—Acted like her‚ stubborn like her‚ rebellious like her, defiant, totally incorrigible‚ & finally went her own way—the way of Hell & the devil she married! And today she's a backslider, a Judas, a betrayer & hates & fights the Family & me!—Just the way my sister did my Mother & our work in those early days.
5. BUT GIVE DEBORAH MAYBE ANOTHER 50 YEARS & SHE MIGHT COME AROUND!—Maybe during the Tribulation or the Wrath of God or the Millennium! (Maria: I think she's in that category now that "he that killeth you thinks that he doeth God a service!" [Jn.16:2] Those church people! Whew! Can you imagine joining back up with them?—With anti-cult supposedly Christian church people to fight us?) Yes‚ I can imagine, that's the way all backsliders go eventually‚ if they go all the way. And I'll tell you, if a teenager is like that & severe strict discipline & punishment doesn't do the work‚ then put'm in the hands of God, & let me tell you, He knows how to chastise! He'll hound'm for the rest of their lives until they repent, if ever!
6. SO JUST BECAUSE STRICT PUNISHMENT & SEVERE DISCIPLINE DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE AN IMMEDIATE EFFECT & CAUSE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE & REPENTANCE, DOESN'T MEAN IT WAS WRONG OR FRUITLESS OR INEFFECTIVE! It is ordained & commanded by God to use the rod! And if your rod doesn't work, then you'll just have to turn'm over to God & His rod!—And let me tell you, that one really works!—Even if it takes 50, 60, 70 years! If they're truly a child of God & really saved, they'll eventually come around, but maybe after an entirely wasted life!
7. IF THEY'RE SUCH A REPROBATE AS SOME OF THESE TEENAGERS & PEOPLE WHO ARE SO REBELLIOUS, DISOBEDIENT & DEFIANT‚ WHOSE HEAD MAY BE BLOODY BUT STILL UNBOWED, I'LL TELL YOU, GOD KNOWS HOW TO HANDLE'M! Just turn'm over to the Lord after you've done everything you can do & let'm go & let God & He'll take care of them!—And He really knows how to do it! They may not come back for years, but when they're old—& they may be mighty old—they'll not depart therefrom. (Pr.22:6) If they're really saved & His child, He'll chastise them to the end.
8. SO PARENTS & CHILDREN BEWARE! IF YOU THINK YOUR PARENTS ARE TOUGH TASKMASTERS & TOO HARSH & SEVERE & STRICT IN THEIR DISCIPLINE, JUST WAIT UNTIL GOD GETS AHOLD OF YOU! Then you'll know what real chastisement is—the Rod of God! Either the rod will get rid of that rot, or He'll [deal with] you so you won't be a stumblingblock to others! [You'll] live forever in everlasting shame & contempt in the Next world! (Da.12:2) If you don't respond to the chastening from people in your Family & Home & even this life, if you refuse to change, God can get pretty tough sometimes! If you don't believe it, just read the Bible! If you think your parents are tough on you, read the way God treated the impudent disobedient Children of Israel, the Jews! Look what He's done to them!
9. SO PARENTS & CHILDREN BEWARE! IF YOU SPARE THE ROD, YOU'LL SPOIL THE CHILD! God says when using it, spare not for his crying, for foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod driveth it far from him. (Pr.13:24; 19:18; 22:15) And let me tell you, if your rod doesn't, God's Rod will! You'll just have to let him go & let God apply His Rod! Even if it takes the rest of his life, or takes his life, God will do it to save him, if necessary. So don't be afraid to use the rod, like God, & look on it as the rod of God in your hand, God's servant, as a parent, & may you teach your children to fear you as God teaches His children—us—to fear Him! If we didn't fear God, we'd go to Hell, & so will your child if you don't teach him the fear of God & good healthy Godly fear & respect for his parents & the rod!
10. IF THEY WON'T REPENT IN THIS LIFE, THEY CERTAINLY WILL IN THE NEXT—BUT TOO LATE FOR REWARD! They'll have nothing to show for it but everlasting shame & contempt, & they'll be sorry then—but so will you!—Especially if it was partly your fault because you refused to apply the rod! You spared the rod & spoiled the child, in fact, ruined him forever by your failure to discipline him & chastise him as God has commanded. Just please remember that the rod spoken of here doesn't mean a piece of lead pipe nor a 2 x 4, it means a wooden stick such as a piece of cane or the branch of a tree, something that will not actually injure the child, but will only make him sorry & to fear another such chastisement, rodding or caning!
11. AND AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, "SPARE NOT FOR HIS CRYING!"—Because they usually yell louder at the beginning to try to make you quit before they're even hurt! Whereas as you continue to apply it & they begin to simmer down & beg for mercy, then you know it's taking effect. [W]hen they get quiet, & usually beg for mercy [t]hat's a good time to quit! And, of course, nowadays in many countries they can call the police & it's a legal offense to administer any kind of corporal punishment!
13. SO IF YOUR WIFE & CHILDREN REFUSE TO OBEY YOU & DO GOD'S WILL, YOU'RE FREE TO LEAVE THEM IN GOD'S HANDS! And I'll tell you, He knows how to take care of them in whatever way they need, & He can do a better job of it than you can! But He expects you to do all that you can to begin with & not leave it all up to Him. He expects your cooperation to obey Him & train them in the way they should go, & use the rod if necessary. But if after all that that you've done, it still doesn't work & they still go the wrong way, let'm go & let God! And if God can't do it, nobody can! Put'm in God's hands.
14. YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO HAVE A CHILD LIKE THAT IN YOUR HOME OR IN THE FAMILY! He can cause too much trouble & bring shame & reproach on the work of God & the Name of Christ & on you if you don't get rid of him! Just let him go & let God. Let me tell you, God knows how to apply the rod, & if that doesn't do it, nothing will! God may even have to take them out of this life to remove their bad example! (1Cor.5:5)
15. (MARIA: SO IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT YOU FAILED AS A PARENT IF YOUR CHILD TURNS OUT BAD.) I certainly don't think I was a failure as a parent with Deborah, & I don't think my Mother failed with Virginia. We did all we could possibly do. They were just totally defiant & rebellious & incorrigible, so we just had to turn them over to the Lord. It took my sister Virginia a lifetime to change, but I don't think Deborah has that long‚ so may God have mercy! That's about all you can pray for when they've gone their own way. Only God can stop'm. And He won't even do that unless they turn out to be totally impossible.
16. (MARIA: DO YOU THINK THAT HAS TO MEAN A CORPORAL ROD OF PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT?) Not always, it depends on what they fear the most, what's the most effective for each individual child. (Maria: I know as a child my parents used the strap, the belt & fly swatter on me repeatedly‚ but it didn't have half...) Honey, it's just really hard to believe! (Maria: Maybe that's why I turned out so good!—Ha!) Amen! (Maria: But the point is, that that kind of punishment wasn't nearly as effective for me‚ who was very independent & rebellious. I really think that the other kind of punishment would have sunk in a lot more—if they had sat down with me & cried & shared the Word & prayed with me.)
17. THAT WAS ONE THING I NEVER COULD BEAR, MY PARENTS' TEARS! If they'd sit there & cry, oh boy‚ that hurt me the worst of all, to know I'd really hurt'm, & I'd cry too! Boy, I'd fall to my knees then & beg for forgiveness! But that shows you've got some heart & some conscience & you are sorry. (Maria: I felt being hit was too humiliating‚ I just felt like they should be doing it the other way instead of just whipping me. Don't you think it's humiliating for children if there's another way you can get them to obey?)
18. IT'S THE SAME OLD THING, LOVE NEVER FAILS!—AND IF IT'S REAL LOVE, IT WON'T FAIL SOONER OR LATER!—Even if it's applying the rod in love. The Lord says‚ "Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, & scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." (He.12:6) (Maria: But I think it's better if you can scourge them a different way than just hitting'm!) If all else fails, you just about have to hit'm! What else can you do? You have to use force. God does! If all else fails on us‚ He uses force, corporal punishment, the rod, sickness, accident, calamity, loss of a loved one! He won't stop at anything that's necessary to make you repent! After He's tried all the love & the mercy & the patience & the weeping & everything else, if that doesn't do it, He'll whack away until you do cry!
19. (MARIA: DENYING PRIVILEGES WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE FOR ME THAN JUST SPANKING ME, getting it over within two minutes, & I go my way & forget about it. If they had denied me some of the things that I really liked or really wanted, I would have been much better disciplined.) That's one form of discipline & it works with some people. (Maria: Don't you think you should try every other kind before you hit them?) I think you should try everything you possibly can, everything! But "spare not the rod" if it comes to that, whack away! (Maria: Because the rod in that verse means discipline or chastisement, it doesn't necessarily mean a stick, does it?)
20. IT SAYS ROD, & A ROD MEANS A STICK‚ A WOODEN STICK! In fact, normally it was applied to a staff, like a cane, like Moses' rod & Aaron's rod, which were about the size of a mop handle. And let me tell you, that can hurt! Don't apply it too hard. But I wouldn't advise applying a rod that thick. I usually used the handle of a fly swatter, & that was sufficient.
21. THANK GOD BY THE TIME MY KIDS BECAME TEENAGERS, THEY DIDN'T NEED A ROD ANY MORE! They were mature adults & grown up & out of that foolishness & were serving God & preaching the Gospel & winning souls, seriously, & obeying me & the Lord & loved it & loved us & loved the Lord & served the Lord ever since—except for Deborah—& she was a terrible case from the very beginning! She had the spirit of her mother's defiant disobedience, for which cause the Lord eventually rejected her mother & her, like He did quite a few other people in the Bible, including Esau & Saul & a lot of others.
22. EVEN WHEN SOME OF THEM LATER SOUGHT A PLACE OF REPENTANCE, THEY COULDN'T FIND IT! Even though they sought it carefully with tears, it was too late. (He.12:17) They couldn't go back & undo all the damage they'd done & it was too late for them to do the job God had asked them to do. I'm sorry, but it's not a very pretty picture when it comes to the totally reprobate & incorrigible, even if they're saved. Some of them, all God can do is get'm out of the way to save their souls & the souls of others whom they could lead astray.
23. (MARIA: WE'VE RARELY USED THE ROD ON OUR THREE CHILDREN, EVEN WHEN THEY'RE BAD, BECAUSE THEY RESPOND SO WELL TO OTHER KINDS OF DISCIPLINE.) They've never been that bad! (Maria: So therefore the rod itself is a last resort.) The little stick is a last resort, & it usually shows that there's been some failure along the line, improperly teaching & training & loving them up in the way of the Lord. Otherwise they would love you & love the Lord & love to obey, like ours do.
24. WE CAN HARDLY EVEN SAY A HARD WORD & POINT A FINGER AT ONE OF OURS, THEY CRY IN REPENTANCE! They'd feel so sorry & so bad that they'd hurt us & done anything wrong. They'd hardly even think of it! At least that's the way they are now—it remains to be seen what they'll be like when they're teenagers! But my first four certainly proved it, & they were not as good as these by any means. I had to apply the rod plenty! But most of them turned out very well & are still serving the Lord, thank God, & still love me more than ever. GB'M!
25. THANK YOU JESUS FOR NOT SPARING THE ROD WITH US OR THEM! Thank You for Thy loving chastenings & scourgings! "For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, & scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." (Heb.12:6) Help us also to lovingly apply Thy rod to save them from sin. In Jesus' name‚ amen. God bless & keep your children in His way—by the rod if necessary.—Have you?