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Biblical Child Rearing Advice for Heathens
My Inexhaustible Moral Dilemma
I admit I am not a parent and don't care for anyone else's snot-nosed little progeny, but whose to say that some day a stork won't come to my house, beat down my door, and demand I take a set of snivelling shivering foundlings? Just in case this happens I should really prepare for the inevitable and what better source could I learn child rearing from than The Good Book itself?
I started out reading this absolutely remorseless passage: Deuteronomy 21:18-21: "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son...Then shall his father and his mother lay holdon him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city... And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die..."
I don't know if it means I'm a bad Christian if I can't bear the idea of stoning my future children to death at some later date. I mean I know parents always use the threat, "I brought you into this world, I can take you out!" but who would actually make good on that threat especially after the horrible pains of God-given natural childbirth and the traditional never-to-be-broken shotgun marriage that then ensues?
But perhaps there are other things I can do to prevent this tragic fate. The Bible seems to be in full support of spanking but I don't know, Proverb 20:30 sounds rather harsh, "The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly." I mean what if he starts crying? I can't handle crying at my hands. Proverb 19:18 puts my mind to rest with "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying." Spanking is all well and good but surely there must be a better punishment for my delinquent future child?
Proverb 23:12-14 states, "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." Where do I get this rod and will a belt work as well? Psalm 137:9 tells me rocks work best, "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."
But maybe my child's punishment won't be up to me. I know now that my child is at risk of punishment not only from myself and my devout future husband but also from Holy Men, God, and wild animals as stated in II Kings 2:23-24 "And as [Elijah] was going up by the way, there came forth little children [who] and said unto him, 'Go up, thou bald head'... And he... cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them."
Boy, all this beating has gotten me tired and the phone is ringing. I think it's those miscreant Child Protection Agencies again. Why won't they leave me alone? I'm only doing what the Good book told me to...