* * * * *
“So how did the church service go today? Did you bring down fire from Heaven?”
“Brother, I preached to the young people again. My message last week turned out to be a two-part series. They are still kind of mad at me. I won’t be surprised if some of them don’t tune in next Sunday. But as long as I have the parents on my side, I have no fear. And even if I did not have the parents on my side, I would still have no fear.”
“Now what did you say to those young people to get them all riled up?” Bishop Akron settled himself in his recliner. He knew he was in for a good time of fellowship.
“I preached to the young people, especially the teenagers, about the rebellion that’s in them and how if they don’t get rid of it, the devil is going to take it and run with it, and mess up the good life that God wants them to have. I told them what God told King Saul that ‘Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft’ and that they are practicing witchcraft in their parents’ home if they are being rebellious and that is why they are so miserable and full of confusion and don’t know what to do with their lives.”
“True. True,” Bishop Akron had to agree.
“I pulled out some verses from Proverbs, verses like: ‘Hear, children, the instruction of a father’; ‘A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke’; ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right’; ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ I told them when they don’t listen to and obey their parents they are disobeying God since God is the one who told them to obey their parents in all things as long as it is not evil.”
“I know you had the parents rooting for you,” Bishop Akron chuckled.
“I sure did. They especially appreciated it when I quoted ‘Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.’ There’s your remedy, parents, I told them. Then I said, some of you parents don’t need to say ‘amen’ too loud at that because although you have the remedy or the medicine you are disobeying God by not using it; by not administering it to your children’s behinds. God gave humans a thick behind area so it can take the pain of the rod ‘betimes.’ They must have just about fell out laughing based on the amount of times my assistant told me the ‘applause’ button was hit at that moment. But their laughter was short-lived when I asked when was the last time you applied the rod of correction to your disobedient child’s rear-end?”
Bishop Akron chuckled. He could not laugh too hard as he was guilty of not applying the rod.
“I went on and shared with them that the Bible tells them that if they beat the child, and I added out of love because sadly we have some people who are twisted in their minds today, that the child will not die but you will deliver his soul from hell. That rod will help him to straighten up and fly right. He will stop smelling himself then and begin smelling the teachings of Mama and Papa once again.”
Bishop Akron burst out laughing. Some of the phrases his friend would come up with.
“I told them to stop giggling and stop saying ‘that is so cute’ and stop thinking it is so cute when they call their one, two, or three year old and they know that the child knows to come to them but the child goes running off in the opposite direction laughing his head off. That is an act of disobedience. An act of rebellion. You had better take that child by the arm, turn him or her across your lap, and spank his or her behind and put a stop to that disobedience, put a stop to that foolishness before it gets out of hand. That same child whose disobedience you thought was so cute is the same child who is going to defy you at five, six, ten, twelve, eighteen years old. Why? You did not teach him or her to obey you when he was one, two, three years old.”
“You know, I have never thought about it in that light,” Bishop Akron said.
“I had a father tell me he had to break his little girl’s will when she was close to three years old. He was laying in the bed and she was just walking around with her little purse over her arm. He called her to come to him. Nothing serious. He just wanted to give her a hug and play with her a little. She looked at him, laughed, and ran across the floor in the opposite direction. He said he called her about four times and she did the same thing. He could have done one of three things: one, clap and say how cute she looked laughing and running away from him. Two, get up and go pick her up and hug her and play with her. Three, seeing it for what it is, get the rod, and chastise her for her disobedience. Well, he did the third thing. In fact, he said after his fourth time calling her to him and she refused he spanked her, placed her back on the floor, layed back down, and called her again. She still refused to come. He repeated the spanking. He said he called her and had to spank her another time before she willingly came to him. He then tested her by placing her on the floor and calling her and each time he did that she responded by running to him. Her will had been broken. He said he has not had any problems out of her since then. She isn’t perfect, but she knew he meant business.”
“Well, praise the Lord.”
“Many parents would have not even thought of spanking their young child repeatedly for the same act of disobedience. They would think it is cute or think that a child that young would not get the message of a spanking. Some would give up after maybe spanking them two times in a row. Child training is not easy and you have to be in it for the long haul. Just remember you are doing what God commands you to do and doing what He commands you to do will make your life more peaceful and help you to keep the right perspective, and that is, you are training them for the glory of God, and might I add to keep them out of trouble; as the Bible says, to deliver them from ending up in hell.”
“That’s right. Amen, brother.”
“I put forth this question to the parents: do you want to know why there are so many young people in jail? It is because Mama and especially Papa did not apply the rod to their behinds at every act of disobedience. So now the police officers have to do that. That’s why they carry a baton—to beat these rebellious, thieving, lying criminals who, if their parents had taken care of it at home, would have eliminated half the policeman’s job. I told those parents if you do not want the police to do it for you and then throw your child in jail, you had better do it yourself. I bet that sobered them up.”
“Oh where, oh where is Dr. Spock?” Bishop Akron said chuckling.
Prophet Malcolm chuckled. “I told them that some of them are just sorry parents. Dr. Spock and his crazy ideas on child-rearing have not worked and will not work. Putting some children in a corner for ‘timeout’ only gives them time out to think about the next evil act they’re going to do after timeout is over with. Talking and trying to reason with some children will not work either. Most of these teenagers and young folk can out-talk their parents any day. What they say may not amount to anything but garbage, but they know how to tire their parents by just talking a lot of smack. They know how to wear their parents down. And it’s easier to give in than to argue. What these children need is a good old-fashioned butt whipping.”
“You got that right,” Bishop Akron agreed. “As I shared with you earlier, I’ve been having some run-ins with my son. He wanted to borrow my small car last week to take his buddies to the movies he said. I told him ‘no’. When I jumped in the shower, that rebellious child took my keys and went off with my car. I stayed up and we hashed it out when he finally came home. It is only by the grace of God I did not knock him upside his head.”
“Bishop, these teenagers think they know it all and want to tell their parents how it should be—not how they think it should be, but how it should be. My parents always told me ‘God used me to bring you into this world, and I won’t need His help to take you out.’ One thing I can say and that is, my parents stood together when it came to disciplining me and my siblings. They may have disagreed about some things and may not have talked friendly with each other for a day or two, but when it came to us children, brother, they were together. Me and my siblings learned early not to play that game of pitting one parent against the other. They both saw right through that mess. Every time I tried to get my mother to go against what I knew my father did not want us to do, she would smile and say one of several things. She would either say, ‘Let’s just go and ask your father.’ Or, ‘You man-up and go right in there and ask your father.’ Or, ‘What did your father say?’ Parents have to stand together when it comes to raising their children.”
“Prophet, you hit it on the head again. Part of the reason we’re having trouble with our son is because my wife spoiled him rotten. She still sees this big ol’ seventeen-year-old as her ‘baby.’ I get so disgusted each time she calls him that, trying to curry favor with him. And that boy uses it to his advantage.”
“These teenagers know how to play that game well of siding with whichever parent they feel is in agreement with them,” Prophet Malcolm added. “We just have to pray for them, love them with tough love, ask God for wisdom in this area, and stand firm for what we know to be right as parents.”
“I did try to sweeten the bitterness of the message to the young people by leaving them with this verse in Ephesians chapter six, verse three to be precise, and to sum up it says, if they obey their parents God will be pleased with them, and they have this promise from Him that things will be well with them and they will live long on the earth. Now is that alright?”
Bishop Akron chuckled. “That’s alright, my brother. That is very much alright.”
“Say, I don’t know if you got that note from my secretary. I would count it an honor to preach online at your conference this year. Is there a special theme?”
“I decided to leave it open this year. I’m still solidifying the other preachers. I’ll let you know who you will be up against,” Bishop Akron said.
Prophet Malcolm laughed. “Preach in season and out of season, my brother. I look forward to hearing from you more about that. And don’t worry too much about your son. We will pray him through this time. As with most teenagers, ask him why he is acting so stupidly and he’ll look at you like you are crazy because he has no idea why he is acting stupidly. But I do: the devil is just working on him.”