Here is a marvelous proverb - and one that in many ways necessitates the entire penal system in any country. The interesting thing about this proverb though is that you see that a horse and a donkey can be trained. They may require a whip and a bridle to accomplish the task - but they can be trained. You may have to break them in the process - but with these instruments one can train these animals to be useful. But, the fool cannot be trained. The only situation adequate for the fool is a rod for his back. It is only through very specific consequences that the fool can be dissuaded from his foolishness.
Here, also, is where many people rise up and begin barking about a person's rights. How could the Bible speak about a rod for a man's back? That is against his fundamental civil rights! Yet, those who state such things fail to see the incredible failure our penal system has in this world. We no longer punish criminals. We offer them college educations, libraries, televisions in their rooms - and a whole list of rights they have learned to demand from us. It is easy some times to see why recidivism is so rampant in our prisons. The exit to these prisons becomes a revolving door. Give a fool rights - and that fool will use them to continue in his foolishness unabated. Offer him punishment worthy of the crime - including beatings and capital punishment - and many fools will turn from their ways when they think of the ultimate consequences attached to such actions. Take the much maligned issue of the caning of the American citizen in the far east. We heard howls and screams about this issue. Maybe though, we should look at the recidivism in those nations. It is almost at zero. Another thing running zero in their societies is the people who even want to commit such crimes. They know the high price of such actions, to they refrain from doing them.
Fools do not learn from those trying to educate them. That is why they are fools. They are committed to their way of living and thinking (or non-thinking as the case may be). To try to rebuke or train them brings their scorn and laughter. They are set in their ways and need a much stronger deterent to their way. That is the reason why the rod needs to be applied to their backs. Some will continue to cringe because they are part of our overly permissive society. Our society - at least the liberal parts of it - tend to blame themselves for everything someone does bad. We need to consider what we've done to cause them to act in such a way. Thus we have the fruits of the Freudian tendency to blame parents and anyone else we can find for our actions before ever considering our own choices as paramount to the situation. Perish the thought that maybe the fool is that way because he chooses foolishness. The sad thing is that we will continue to watch foolishness rise with our permissive attitudes and actions. The fool would learn just like the horse and the donkey - if the proper motivation were applied.
POSTSCRIPT: Recently, individuals have quoted articles from this section and stated that we teach child abuse at Calvary Chapel Jonesboro. To this I feel the need to respond. First, biblically, we are told that if we have a problem with our brother to go to our brother - not the internet - and confront our brother. To date, these individuals have yet to contact me to discuss these things. That should say volumes in itself.
Second, we do not teach child abuse at our fellowship. This blog is an endeavor to teach what is in the Bible for the edification and upbuilding of God's people. Anyone who has been to our fellowship knows that in our classrooms we administer NO physical discipline. We correct with words and with "time outs" and eventually with a report to parents. From our nursery throughout every age group our people are instructed NEVER to administer physical discipline. We believe this right alone belongs to a parent. Even then we teach the following about any application of physical discipline.
Discipline is about the heart of a child. Physical or corporal punishment is ONLY to be administered in a spirit of love for the child. Teaching and loving verbal correction is key - as is prayer for the child's eventual salvation in Jesus Christ. Any physical punishment administered due to anger or rage is out of line and wrong. The parent is to discipline the child with appropriate discipline - not abuse. In the end the child should be taught - and in every circumstance hugged, loved, and prayed with after any physical punishment to assure them of our love. The idea of a "beating" is completely out of step with what the Scriptures are teaching. Instead the idea of loving discipline is intended.