The city of Baltimore, Maryland is in flames, with young anarchists destroying property, looting stores and assaulting everyone who tries to stop them. Except in one case. A mother of a rebellious young man came to the riots and, finding her son, began to slap him, scold him and send him home. And he took her wrath and gave in to her demands. He did not respect the law or law officers, but his mother had earned his respect enough so that she could intervene. Mothers and fathers are our best hope at preventing youthful rebelliousness.
Is it okay to discipline children for bad behavior? Of course it is! Consider God’s word: “Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Go on up, you baldhead!’ they said. ‘Go on up, you baldhead!’ He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths” (II Kings 21:23-25).
Everyone must learn to respect other people, their property and the laws that protect them. It’s up to parents to teach respect from the earliest age. It’s not hard to do. Demand that respect be paid to older people, people in positions of authority and meet every transgression with instant scolding or punishment. We must teach respect for others above every other lesson in life. That’s how we avoid riots and bears.