CHILD REARING

We reap what we have sown!

By Leith Cunningham

I well recognize that children are the gift of God. They have always taken up a special place in my heart. We have as well always taken an active part, to the best of our abilities, in caring for, loving, and being concerned for the well-being of our own children and those of our family members, along with those of our communities. My mind and heart are filled to over flowing with fond memories down through the pages of time, interacting with little kids from the church, within our community, along with our own kids and grandkids. At one time I was involved in taking our grandkids to the lake in our area on a regular, almost daily basis. Tossing them into the water and having a time of our lives! So many kids were yelling “do me next grandpa” that even some of the mothers that I didn’t even know, began to call me grandpa. Years later when I would run into them on the street or in the grocery store, they still would call me grandpa. The little girl on the front cover ( which is not shown here ) is our pride and joy great granddaughter, Mackenna Jean Miela. But I have nick names for most all of our grandkids and great grandkids; I have always, since her birth called her “New Pea”. Grandma took care of her a lot as she would stay at our place periodically. One day I asked her if she wanted to go road hunting with me, and she jumped at the chance. She got to ride up front with me in our pick up. Heading down this two track road in the woods, she suddenly yelled out, “stop and back up grandpa, I think I saw something”. As I was backing up I asked her what she thought she had seen? She said it looked to her like two deer hugging each other. Then in another hundred feet or so she yelled out again, “back up grandpa, I really did see something this time”. I asked her, what did you see? She said, “I think it was an elephant.”

New Pea is a big hit at the local restaurants where we have taken her on a regular basis. I have taught her a few words of Japanese, like thank you and your welcome and others that she gets a big kick out of using on the waitresses’ as well as other customers. She is not shy at all and loves to be the center of attention. She is extremely intelligent and quick witted and surprises us all the time on her ability to grasp onto things so quickly. It worries and concerns us that she along with millions of other little children, without asking for it or even being aware of it, whom have been thrust smack dab into the middle of our present perverse and degenerate society, that only gets worse with each passing day. Where the lines between right and wrong continue to be blurred so out of proportion as not to be recognized any longer by the average father, mother or person being busy putting a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Purpose of this booklet

I have written this booklet to help the reader in their understanding. To let us all to know that we may have to endure it, because it looks like it is here to stay. At least until God may decide to shake the world awake again as He did at Sodom and Gomorrah so many years ago in dealing with corruption and filth of every nature. We do not have to believe the liberal media nor this permissive society in which we have to live and raise our children. God is in control of everything and all of the time. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, He changes not. We all need to be looking more into His Word and less attached in mind and body to this sin sick world in which we live. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, that God place His guardian angels around our children. To protect their mind and body from the onslaught against them! Brought on by the devil and Satan as he continues to influence Gods own people in the way that caused them to kill Jesus Christ, His own Son. Amen! 

Leith Cunningham

( The above was written on the inside of front and back covers of the booklet )

 

PREFACE

 

We will be discussing aspects of child rearing within the pages of this booklet. If we have been blessed with a particularly difficult, unruly and stubborn child ourselves, remember, we have on to many occasions, been that same stubborn, unruly child to our own parents. When we accept this, it should help us to continue on in dealing with the responsibility we have been given in raising up our own children to become balanced, well adjusted, loving and caring individuals as adults. To be able to calmly go forward and exercise a firm at times, but the same type loving, caring demeanor and character traits within ourselves that we desire them to build within themselves. To help us in doing this, the Word of God tells us that wisdom lies in a multitude of counselors. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22) It goes on then and reaffirms this principle again in Proverbs 11. Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11: 1) We should be quick to exercise this principle in any part of our lives. Seek and search out answers to the everyday problems of life we are all facing on a regular basis. Read widely, read the bible, check the internet, talk to ministers, friends and acquaintances that seem well balanced in their approach to problem solving. Avoid advice from those whom are allowing their children to become unruly brats that no one wants to be around. 

I do need to add a word of caution here. After you have done all of these things, then use your own God given mind in determining the right direction that you should go. Never substitute someone else’s judgment for your own. Be concerned about all aspects of what is happening within your own home, your own family and your own community. Things are rarely the way they seem on the surface, we live within a society that is steeped to the maximum with ungodly and Satan inspired false teachings and concepts that most all of mankind is accepting as truth. But even here, do not become paranoid and allow it to rule your life, we need to do the best that we know how to do, then relax and let God do what we cannot. “Leave go and let God” This by necessity means we should be praying and asking for His help in managing our affairs of life. Once we understand the purpose and plan that God is working out in all of our lives here on earth, we can dwell in solace and comfort in knowing He is in control of everything and all the time. He is in the process of making us all like Himself and His Son Jesus Christ. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26) To have spirit, immortal life as They have life. He is the potter and we are all the clay. He will shape and mold us all until every one of us fit exactly and precisely where He would have us to be. Therefore, do not become overly concerned about an unruly son or daughter. Jesus Christ has been given all power and authority in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18) He willingly accepts all responsibility upon Himself to personally see to it that in the grand finale of things to come, all of our physical, carnal nature will be replaced with the nature of God Himself. Read what the Word of God tells us about that time below.

Read and believe

 (Colossians 1: 15-20) 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, (that is you, me, and all of the unruly children of God) whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

There is more

(1 Corinthians 15: 22- 28) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (The exact same all that die will all be made alive) 23 But each in their own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (After death has been destroyed, the only thing left is life) 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

Notice: (Not all in a few, not all in some, not all in many, but all in all of mankind)

We need to be encouraged to have learned the truth here that very few people have been given privilege to know. God has not as yet revealed it to most, not even to His own people. I hope you will thank God for revealing this truth to you. Be of good cheer as we go forward in our childrearing efforts. All of ourselves, all of our children whom are first and foremost the children of God. All of us have been forgiven all of our sins and faults. As far as the east is from the west, that is how far God has removed our sins from us. (Psalm 103:12) Our God given destiny is to become like He is.

 Leith Cunningham

CHILD REARING...We reap what we sow!

I remember listening to the country singer Merle Haggard by the hour while driving cross country as a semi transport driver in years past. I really enjoyed his early songs with the band called the “Strangers” I believe it was. He evidently was a wild child that grew up into a hell raising adult that gave his mother much grief. A guitar picker with a soothing voice that I never tired listening to! In one of his many songs he sang one about raising cane, while his mother would be at home praying that his crops would fail. How many mothers across the land do we suppose were all praying the same prayer for their own wayward sons? All the while Merle and thousands of other young men were out there sowing their wild oats, mothers at home were getting sore knees from praying for crop failure. Since it is an undeniable fact that we get back out of anything we sow, by reaping the rewards ( or harvest ) thereof. We cannot for example plant cucumber seeds and expect them to grow high into the sky like Jack did growing his bean stalks. If Jack had planted cucumber seeds expecting to climb up to see the giant, he would have been disappointed. He would likely have cursed the cucumber seeds for not doing what he wanted them to do. “It’s all your fault, you let me down”. We live in a time and within a society that we like to blame everything on everyone else instead of accepting any part in it ourselves. Here is where cause and effect come in. Planting seeds will become the cause, reaping what we have sown, will become the effect.

Is it harvest time in America?

Blame whomever you will; there is still an underlying truth that cries out to be heard: It's seems it is harvest time for America, and America is, indeed, "reaping what we have sown." We have raised a generation of children who have been mentored by the "one eyed babysitters"-TV, video games, and computers-whose role models are fantasy characters and day care workers, whose weary mothers and fathers have pursued "success" as defined by our society, only to find its promise of satisfaction to be hollow and empty. We have abandoned the barbaric concept of discipline, in the name of "building self-esteem." We have educated our children in schools where prayer-even voluntary prayer-is forbidden, and the very mention of the reality of God can cause a good teacher's career to come to an abrupt halt. We have taught our children that there are no absolutes, removing anything resembling a solid foundation for living, and taught them to "seek their own reality" at a time in their development when they don't even know what reality looks like. We have devalued human life by making it easy and legal for a girl to kill her unborn baby for the sake of convenience. We have bombarded our children with images of violence and bloodshed, and stripped them of the joy and innocence of their childhood by making images, situations, and dialogue, that would have once been considered pornographic, standard fare on prime time network TV.

Life apart from God

After almost eighty two years of life on this planet in which we live, I have observed for myself, lives being lived with little or no hope for a normal happy and secure future. The solid and steadfast foundation they all should have been able to expect, instead in way to many cases, crumbled and came apart while still in their childhood. Where marriage has all but become obsolete and is being replaced by couples shacking up, living together as husband and wife, without the sanctity of marriage. Often after producing a child or two without anything akin to a lifelong commitment! One parent goes this way while the other one goes another. This immediately sets the innocent little children up for every type of abuse known to mankind, as they are traditionally shuttled back and forth to homes now where their parents live apart. Mothers with other boyfriends moving in and out of her home at random, while a like situation at the father’s home, stability as they should have known has permanently ended. From here on it gets even worse as records in our courts will show. Sexual molestation runs rampant within these types of relationships and can often be the reason the offender moved in to the home of the unprotected and vulnerable subjects to molest, almost without impunity. While the parent is being lulled to sleep by love! More appropriately spelled (lust) where it can go on for years without detection, and sometimes never detected. Then we all ask the question, why are there so many young people that have such a great problem dealing with life?

Are there answers? Is there any hope? Yes, there most certainly is, and it is found within a verse of Scripture that we have heard used so often in recent years that perhaps we've learned to take it for granted. I invite you to "read it again, for the first time:" "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV).

 What kind of crops are we raising?

I often watch the Dr. Phil show on television from Monday through Friday. It has some interesting content and is being presented in a timely manner that they document and expose, on many different things, to let us know what is happening around the world and in our own neighborhoods. Dr. Phil has a huge following, and He is capable of influencing the minds of many throughout our nation. A lot of it I am in agreement with, I believe overall he is doing a credible service to mankind in helping us all wake up to where our world is heading. There are however specific areas that I firmly disagree with him on. One is his position that he brings up on a regular basis, that no child should ever be spanked. He is quick to announce that it is against the law in every state in the union.

My contention is that policy also shows in every state in the union, with the children raising their parents, getting their own way through fit throwing and then being coddled for it. It is common place these days to see children ruling the roost and running their own parents around to please their every whim. Dr. Phil is quick also to quote the bible in his directing folks in the way they need to go. He obviously doesn’t know or understand one single thing about the word of God on the subject of child rearing, or he would arrive at a much different position. The book of Proverbs is filled with child rearing advice, if just some of it was exercised, believed and followed; I submit we would be able to see a more, well balanced, happy, well mannered, well-adjusted number of young people with the ability and proclivity to grow into productive well-adjusted adults.

Our own experience

My wife and I have raised up two children of our own into adulthood, we were not even close to doing a perfect job at it. We have been instrumental in raising up as well nieces, nephews, friends and associates, along with several grandkids, and even great grandkids. I have used several features found in the book of Proverbs that I consider to have been successful in causing kids to behave themselves, to mind you when you give them instructions, to adhere to authority, while at the same time creating a strong and solid bond of respect of authority with them, knowing you will always be consistent in your discipline, issued with firmness coupled with loving care and concern for their own well-being. I find in Proverbs principles that always work when applied within age appropriate discipline and correction with proper love and balance. Punishment that hurts chases evil from the heart. (Proverbs 20:30) Punishment doesn’t have to include spanking, but don’t rule it out either. I was working out in our yard one day while also watching over our ever so cute little two or three year old granddaughter. While I was doing some carpentry work I noticed she was slowly edging her way closer to the highway that goes by our home. I told her to come over by me, but with a defiant look she would take a baby step in the other direction. I told her if I had to come and get her, she would get spanked. She took one more tiny little step away to test me. I put down what I was doing and went over, pulled her little panties down and gave her a stinging swat on bare flesh. I didn’t say anything and went back to what I was doing. I let her cry for a couple minutes and then told her to stop crying and to come over to me. She immediately stopped crying and came over and I took her up, hugged her and told her I loved her and always expected her to pay attention and to mind me. Although she was around me many times after that growing up, I never had to spank her again, and she always minded me after that one incident.

Her sisters came next

The father of her three sisters dropped dead in their living room when they were in their early teens. They all at different times became a problem for their mother to handle. We would bring them over to our place for disciplinary action. I started calling it having to come to “Camp Cunningham”. The youngest one, a most difficult one for mom to control, became gangbuster rebellious at age fourteen as she fell in love (lust) with a much older boy. We got a call from one of the other sisters one evening telling us we had to come over and do something. The rebellious one was refusing to do anything her mom was asking her to do. We went over, the first thing I did was to run the boy off with the promise I would turn him in to the authorities and have him thrown in jail if he ever came back around again. (They had become sexually active) I told her she was going home with us; she refused and told us she would kill herself first. I told her she had no choice in the matter at all. She would either walk or be carried to our car, my wife, her grandmother, told her to pack some clothing if she wanted anything except what she had on to go to school in. She reluctantly did so and we took her sister along to make sure she didn’t do anything to hurt herself that night.

I immediately called a lady friend of mine about eighty miles away whom ran a home for wayward girls that usually came in, in body chains. I explained the problem and asked her if she would bring our granddaughter into her home for the week end to experience what locked up in seclusion felt like. She agreed, and we took her there, she had no privileges at all and had to call to even go potty. What she hated worst of all was, having to wear whitey tidies, used underwear that were being issued to inmates. It had the favorable impression upon her that I had expected. Her ordeal did not end there.

Bury the coon

We brought her back to our home in a couple days, where I had just killed a raccoon that had been stealing from our bird feeders. This was during the month of July and was really hot. I told her I wanted her to give the raccoon a proper burial. I took her out back where the sod was about a foot deep and marked off a six by six foot spot for her to dig a six foot deep hole to bury the coon in. She dug it after many hours and then had me come and inspect it, it passed the test, I told her to bury the coon. When she got it all finished, she called me out again to inspect the job. She had done a good job but there was one more thing left to consider. I reminded her that we had agreed to give the coon a proper burial, so I asked her which way the coon was facing. A proper burial would have it facing east, otherwise she would have to dig him up and turn him around. She asked which way is east? I pointed and said that way. She said YUP! that’s the way he was facing. During the whole thing I tried to make it fun as well, I developed a chant to help her dig the hole and get a rhythm going. Bury the coon, bury the coon, bury the coon, bury the coon. I even nailed a chair up in a big pine tree in our yard where she could go to for some personal solitude and reflection upon life, we named it “Effie’s Place”. This was the fifth and final time she had to spend time at our place, it was for over a year and well worth the effort. She raised her GPA from out of the tank and up to a 3.85 and became the Michigan State pole Vaulting champion in her class for the next three years. This little girl is now nearing thirty years old and has three children of her own. She never quits thanking us for taking her in and helping her to become a productive citizen. She is forever grateful and thankful and always lets us know it. She is a joy to grandma and myself that we love and appreciate very much. I need to add here as well, that this granddaughter has borrowed many thousands of dollars from me, and has always paid me back as promised.Her credit rating with me remains A-1.

How about one more

My wife Nancy was taking care of her sisters little three year old girl one day at an earlier time, when Nancy’s mom, the little girls grandmother came to visit. Aunt Nancy had told the little girl to do something or not to be doing something, I can’t remember which. The little girl spun on her heel and went the other way as she sassed her aunt Nancy. With her grandmother there she assumed she would be able to resist without incident. I immediately instructed her to mind and to tell her aunt Nancy she was sorry. With her grandmother there she felt secure and decided it was time to test the situation and refused to do it.

I told her if she didn’t I would spank her, she still refused, as I got up to follow through with my promise, she ran as fast as she could to her grandmother and tried to crawl up on her lap. My mother in law was a kind and wonderful person, but she knew well not to interfere when I was correcting those within our care. I pulled the little girl off her grandmother as she clung onto to her and screamed bloody murder. I took her into the adjoining bedroom and pulled her panties down and again laid an age appropriate sound, stinging swat on her bare skin. I told her she could come out of the bedroom when she was ready to tell her aunt Nancy she was sorry for misbehaving. Within moments she called me and told me she was ready to tell aunt Nancy she was sorry, and then she did. Things immediately returned to normal as life went on. Within a few minutes the little girl was on her grandmother’s lap having fun with each other when grandma asked her, “do you love your Grammy”? The little girl answered and said, “yes I do, and I love my uncle Lee too”. We went on from there and had to many enjoyable times to count while she was growing up. She is in her forties now with a husband and one child of her own. She has always been special in her own way and we have built a lasting bond that continues on today. ( she lives a couple hundred miles away from us, I just called her today and had a fun and enjoyable conversation with her ).

What does the bible say about child rearing?

It is the responsibility of both the mother and father to raise their children. However, in scripture, the primary responsibility of raising children is placed on the father, not the mother (Ephesians 6:4, Isaiah 38:19). The women are to "help" the fathers raise them (Genesis 2:18, 20). Love is the basis of child training. I can selfishly spare myself the pain of spanking my child and send him out into the world unprepared for the natural suffering the world will give him. But an unselfish love realizes that an adjusted child is produced at the cost of pain. And, ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)  Discipline with love is obedience to God. Some say, “I tried it but it didn’t work.” But, it’s not debatable. It’s God’s command. You can rest in assurance in the following verses:  Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives. 19 Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again. (Or as the KJV has it) "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying." Proverbs 13:24, Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. Proverbs 23:13-14, Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death. Hebrews 12:6-8, For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate ( KJV has it as bastards ) and are not really his children at all. (Proverbs 29: 15 - 17) 15 To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child. 17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad. Proverbs 13:1 A wise child accepts a parent's discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction. Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother. Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him.

The bottom line, chiseled in granite, and recorded in the Word of God, is the key to child rearing. While demanding at times, it is not to awfully complicated in my opinion. Especially, so if certain criteria is followed religiously. The biggest by far mistake I have seen mothers especially do is to threaten again, again and again without any follow through. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat and heard mothers tell an unruly child, “I am telling you for the last time.” or “Wait until your father gets home”.

After hearing this for over a dozen times without any follow through, I feel like it is the mother that probably needs the spanking. I have heard it said, “that you teach people how to treat you”. Mothers, fathers or anyone in a leadership position applying this type method of teaching is doing just that. You are effectively teaching and training your children or those under your authority that your empty words mean nothing. Most any normal, reasonably bright youngster learned that way back when they first began to hear it and nothing ever happened. While the one applying that type teaching and training goes on all the way through childhood, adolescences and on into adulthood still applying the same method. Reminding me of a quote from Albert Einstein, telling us this! Insanity is: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So rule number one is, do not threaten or promise EVER, without follow through.

Be consistent, do not be wishy-washy and shaky in the leadership position that God has given you in child rearing. Be firm, in control, in balance, and discipline with love and care, never in anger or in an out of control attitude. Keep in mind that you are the adult, let them see you and feel safe in your steady, strong but calm and loving care. Children need to know and understand that their parents love and care for them, discipline helps them to know and feel this. It gives them limits and guidelines that are consistent that they can depend upon, and let them learn to count upon and to respect the one in authority.

Our lives were saved one night

I am not suggesting that we did everything right in raising our own two children, but like most, we did the best we could by what we had learned at the time. We always exercised what we considered to be age appropriate discipline upon our children, including spanking when called for. Because someone had noticed this method within our leadership position of child discipline, all of my families’ lives were quite possibly saved one winter night, from being burned up in our home. Nancy’s seventeen year old sister came over to our place one evening suffering under the normal stress of being a teenager. Her folks (mostly father I suppose) had helped her get a brand new car and she was allowed to come and go as she pleased. Lacking in parental guidance she was crying her eyes out because she had noticed how we were always closely watching and caring for our kids, setting down the rules and guidelines we expected them to go by, while she wasn’t getting any guidance at all, and was allowed to do anything she wanted to do. She acquainted the lack of discipline and guidance to that of being unloved and being less cared for by her parents. She was getting things off her chest that had been bothering her. Being quite distraught, our session of listening and offering her advice and sympathy the best we could, went on until 2am in the morning before she decided it was time she went home, and had calmed down to where we felt she was feeling good enough and would be alright to be on the road.

An act of God

Our lights in one section of our home had gone out about 4pm in the afternoon and we had not determined the cause for it yet. As we walked her sister through that part of the house on her way to her car, I heard strange sounds by our wood stove that I had not heard before. I placed my hands on the sheetrock and it was to hot to hold it there. We had evidently had a chimney fire earlier that day and it was burning inside the studding. It had burned through the electric wiring there which had caused the lights in that part of the house to go out. I put my ear up to it and could hear it inside. Since no oxygen could get to it, it had not burned its way through the wall yet. I knew at that point, as soon as we opened the wall to put the fire out, it would likely explode into flame. I called the fire department and got them on the way. They came out, got the fire out and sat with us the rest of the night, to make certain it didn’t flare back up. So it was in my mind, that it was God that had caused Linda at that exact and specific time, to come to our place to counsel with us that night. Had it not been for her being there so late, we could have in all probability burned up during the night. In this way we had realized then, that our child rearing principles along with the intervention of God had probably saved our lives on that night so many years ago.

We are all the children of God

More on child rearing strategy whether we acknowledge it, know it, recognize it or not, it is God that has created us all and knows us each intimately. It therefore is God we need to turn to for instruction on the proper way to raise our children. Contrary to the popular belief that continues to permeate our present worldly society under the influence of Satan the devil, it is not Santa Clause that sees us when we’re sleeping and knows when we’re awake, as we deceptively teach it unto our children, it is our God and creator that actually does have that ability. He changes not; He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Consequently, the words that He has inspired to be written to us all in the pages of the bible, is good for all time. The child rearing instructions that I searched out and listed down earlier from the book of Proverbs is the instructions straight from the mouth of God. All we have to do to see the evidence of our worlds child rearing policies, is to go to a restaurant for a quiet meal and a relaxing evening and be seated by a family of undisciplined, fit throwing children. Or be in a grocery or department store and hear unruly, undisciplined little children screaming their lungs out where they eventually then bring their parents under their control and get their own way. On the other hand, how wonderful it is when we notice a family that has well-disciplined little children where it is a joy to be around them and becomes a pleasant, calm and relaxing occasion! It becomes obvious that these parents have accepted the responsibility upon themselves, not to just bring children into the world, but to teach and train them in a manner that will bring them up into being well adjusted adults that are able to withstand the normal and natural pressures of life. Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it. (Proverbs 22: 6)

I am a disciplinarian and employ a somewhat military approach to those within my care. I expect my instruction and correction to be accepted and followed every time, the first time. I learned during my own military experience, it was this type of strong leader that the troops would gravitate to, and do all in their power to obey and stand behind them. It gives one the secure feeling of being safe and knowing what it is that is being expected of you. In dealing with children under my care I always try to make a difference between serious time and play time. I feel like a kid at heart much of the time myself, and always set aside plenty of play time. All of my adult life I have always enjoyed and appreciate little children, and over time have noticed as well, children I am involved with in my care, will gravitate to me and enjoy being around me, even though I am demanding and strict when need be. Children are a gift from God that need to be treated as such. That doesn’t mean to be coddled and spoiled because as “MY CHILD” and a part of my empirical self, we should look the other way and let them raise themselves. We can see the evidence all around us, of what that sort of childrearing policy will produce. Proper child care of our own kids should include much love and letting them know it, along with positive reinforcement when they have done well. Then coupled together with hugs of warmth and closeness at every opportunity possible! I can guarantee anyone whom waits to long to begin correction on an unruly, undisciplined child, is asking for plenty of future problems at some point that will have to be dealt with.

When should child rearing begin?

I would say at birth, but that would be nine month to late. Child rearing should begin at conception. (Or earlier, in educating ourselves to the task before us ) The atmosphere and conditions within the home where the baby is growing and developing in the mother’s womb, is becoming part of what that child will become. We need to understand what exactly it is that will come poking its head out of the birth canal nine months later. This is where we should not be trying to deceive ourselves. All of us human beings have one thing in common, we are all without exception, being born and come into this world with a carnal nature. And unless it is being dealt with from the beginning, in no time flat it will manifest itself into unruly, unacceptable behavior. The sooner we accept this fact and apply age appropriate discipline and correction, the more love and appreciation we will be showing for the gift that God has given us. ( do not assume I am advocating spanking a new born baby as correction ) Correction in some cases can be as simple as maybe holding out picking him/her up the moment they begin to fuss. A mother will soon learn the difference between the needs and the wants of a baby. It is not always wrong to consider the wants along with the needs, but the wants can be a way of slowly teaching a baby to be more patient, and less self-centered. Remember it is the carnal nature that needs to be realized, accepted and to be dealt with, even in babies. Anyone waiting too long to realize this, can always look forward to paying the cost later, when we begin asking the question, “Where did we go wrong”.

What is a carnal nature?

Synonyms: 1. bodily, lustful, lecherous, lascivious, libidinous, concupiscent. Carnal, sensual, fleshly, animal all refer to bodily rather than rational or spiritual aspects of humans. Carnal although it may refer to the body as opposed to the spirit, often refers to sexual needs or urges: carnal cravings, attractions, satisfactions. Sensual implies a suggestion of eroticism: sensual eyes; a sensual dance; it may also refer to experience of the senses: a sensual delight. Fleshly may refer to any physical need or appetite, sex as well as hunger and thirst: the fleshly sin of gluttony; fleshly yearnings. Animal refers to sexual appetites in a censorious way only; it may also describe pleasing or admirable physical characteristics or appearance: animal lust; to move with animal grace. 2. Earthly, natural. This my friends is the carnal nature we human beings all have to accept and contend with as a  God given fact from our birth onward till death. It is our job to help our children to grow and develop in learning how to adjust to life and deal with their carnal nature. It is not enough to just produce children; we have been instructed by God what it is we need to be doing. Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it. (Proverbs 22: 6) We should be learning to teach and train our children by our example.

How to recognize carnality

How can a parent know when a child is manifesting a self-centered, carnal nature, exhibiting the character of take and receive from others, like the devil and Satan, as opposed to the give to and serve others character of God or Jesus Christ? This is most easy to detect whether it is in our own child or within ourselves. We can tell by how much outgoing love, care and concern we are in habit of showing towards others, as opposed to the indwelling, selfish concern for ourselves. It could be described in the most simple way as practicing the ongoing character of give as opposed to get. We are admonished in the word God to be a cheerful giver. A cheerful giver can consist of just giving and exuding cheer, of serving our fellow man/woman/child with a hearty smile, a light hearted grin, a sincere friendliness, a hand of kindness or body gesture, noticing and giving positive reinforcement to those deserving of it in giving a sincere compliment. A physical, reassuring handshakes or pat on the back where appropriate. Offering to help those in distress, giving of ourselves in service to others, lending a helping hand to someone whom is down and out! Don’t be afraid to contribute goods or money to those actually in need. (this doesn’t include being taken advantage of by panhandlers or swindlers). There is actually a never ending opportunity to serve others in this way, on a regular ongoing basis every day from morning till night and beyond. It just takes an ever alert awareness of our surroundings to exercise and make this become a part of our nature. The more we exercise this trait in our lives, the more we then chip away at replacing and dealing with our ever present carnal nature.

How do we recognize carnality 101?

It will be manifested in the exact opposite of give, within the mannerisms and character traits of those brought up, molded and shaped in the pursuit of get. It becomes most obvious within a variety of different ways. I have all of the following listed down in my booklet, “Our Carnal Nature” I will list them all down again here for you to review. “Traits Of The Carnal Mind” The following are some of the features and manifestations of carnality:

Do we ever feel

1. A secret sense of pride; an exalted feeling in view of our success or position; because of our good training and appearance; because of our natural gifts and abilities; an important, independent spirit; stiffness and preciseness; married to our opinion?

2. Love of human praise; a secret fondness to be noticed; love of supremacy; drawing attention to self in conversation; a swelling out of the ego when we have had a free time in speaking to others?

3. The stirrings of anger or impatience -- but worst of all we call it nervousness or holy indignation; a touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent and retaliate when reproved or contradicted; sharp, heated flings at another?

4. Self-will; a stubborn, unteachable spirit; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions; an unyielding, headstrong disposition; a driving, commanding spirit; a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed; a peevish, fretful spirit; a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored?

5. A jealous disposition; a secret spirit of envy shut up in our heart; an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than ourselves?

Do we ever feel?

6. Lustful stirrings; unholy actions, a carnal leaning; undue affection and familiarity toward those of the opposite sex; wandering eyes; looking the second time?

7. A dishonest, deceitful disposition; evading and covering the truth; covering up our real faults; leaving a better impression of ourselves than is strictly true; false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth when it is to our advantage?

8. Unbelief; a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition; lack of quietness and confidence in God; lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence; an overanxious feeling whether everything will come out all right? These are some of the traits which generally indicate a carnal heart. If one principle is lurking there, we can depend on it, they are ALL there.

I don’t know about you, but these indicators make me realize that God has a lot of work to do on me yet. I don’t worry about it too much though, because I know that He is up to the task and will not stop, quit or slack off until He has perfected me for service in His Kingdom. That goes for all of you whom are reading these words as well. ( 1 Corinthians 3: 13 ) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. The symbolic fire of God destroys only the works of the flesh. It is the fire of God that saves all of mankind and reconciles all things in heaven and earth, back to God the Father. Then the end will come, when he (Jesus Christ) hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15: 24)

Carnality is a fact of life that we all have been inflicted with in our short journey as physical beings on this earth. We have the opportunity to accept it and deal with it on our own, or leave it up to others to have to deal with later on. Instead of us trying to change the other guy to fit our concept of how they should be doing things or living their lives, it would better serve us to be concerned in how we go about changing ourselves. After all, the person that is looking back at you in the mirror when you drag your donkey out of bed every morning is the only person that you can change anyway. Step one of that process is first to acknowledge that we need a change, and all of us do. You cannot change what you do not acknowledge that needs changing. God wants to see us involved in molding and shaping ourselves according as He has left it recorded in His Word.

God is the potter, we are the clay

The more rough edges we can chisel off ourselves, will be that much less He will have to chisel off when He (symbolically) puts us back on the potter’s wheel. This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message. So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.‘ (Jeremiah 18:1-6) Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'? (Isaiah 45:9) Make no mistake about it, one way or another, we are all going to end up exactly and precisely the way that God has ordered and ordained it to be. Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. (Genesis 1:26) Just like God and His Son Jesus Christ now are, immortal, spirit beings that can never die. That is what They tell us, believe Them!

Reap what we have sown

We are learning here in this physical life that God has given us on this earth, that we all will be reaping that which we have sown. And in this instance today we’re discussing child rearing and raising children up to become responsible adults. What a wonderful thing it is to travel out in society as we come into contact with the offspring of those diligent, loving, caring and responsible folks that have done their job in sticking with it no matter what. Never mind the inconvenience, the bending the back, the nights of walking the floor, changing diapers, doctor and hospital visits, dealing with and solving family problems, just biting the bullet and going forward in everything involved in raising their own children up in this manner. We take note of balanced, well-adjusted and mature individuals showing proper respect for their own parents and all whom they come into contact with. It is so pleasant and reassuring to be met with smiles as opposed to frowns, with uplifting and positive speech and gestures, a friendly greeting, a hand shake, a pat on the back, or best of all a warm and sincere embrace, nothing beats an appropriate hug. Folks being brought up to emulate and imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are prone to be like this. As one person once said, “when you accidentally bump into to one of these folks, Jesus Christ will splash out! I want to personally thank every parent on earth that has fought the good fight against permissiveness, and the removal of God from our instructions on the way that God and not this society would have us to raise our children. May He bless our efforts in this area that we not have to hang our heads in shame and disgrace, but instead, receive our reward in the benefits of reaping what we have sown?

Born without survival instinct

All of the creations of the insect, bird, fish and animal world have been made with an inner instinct that dictates their survival mode on our planet, from the moment they come into existence. A genetic code that keeps on working generation after generation! A beaver for example will always cut down trees and build a dam to serve their own purpose. A barn swallow will always build a mud nest to lay their eggs in and raise their young, while a monarch butterfly will only lay their eggs on milkweed, then in the fall migrate to California. Sea turtles migrate thousands of miles every year to certain and specific areas in which to lay their eggs. Salmon will go up specific streams to spawn year after year. It is what God has programmed them to do. A butterfly won’t attempt to build a dam or go upstream to spawn; a beaver will never attempt to fly south for the winter.

Each, specie will do exactly what God has placed within them to insure their survival! A baby wildebeest for example will be up and running with its mother in seconds after its birth. Unlike the rest of creation, mankind alone it seems has been created totally dependent upon having to be individually taught, looked after closely and nurtured by others, otherwise they would all most likely die within a few hours after being born. For this reason God has placed us parents and all concerned, caring, loving and decent people on earth to step up when called upon to do so, to be an active part in properly educating the young, innocent and vulnerable children in the way that God would have us all to go. Without being taught truth and right principles to live by, mankind would soon parish from off the face of the earth. But our God would never let that happen, He is in the process of reproducing Himself in us. But we should be asking ourselves, how well are we doing in our own child rearing, in the job that God has given us to do? Can we and should we become more diligent in teaching the purpose and ways of God, instead of letting them be taught and programmed by the permissive society in which we live, under the sway and influence of (Satan) the god of this world? (2nd Corinthians 4: 4)

How might we teach our children?

In order to teach our children about our Almighty God, the first thing one needs to do, is to become acquainted with whom and what God is ourselves. A good place to start might be just to look at what the fruits of the Spirit of God consist of. We can find that here in Galatians. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5: 22 - 23) When we can see these things of truth from the Word of God with our own eyes, we should acknowledge as well, one of the best teachers, is to be leading by example. How well are we doing in this area? Are we continually, consistently and usually showing these attributes of God ourselves? Even if we are being good examples in this area, we need also to go beyond it in helping our children to understand God by talking to them about God and His purpose and plan for all of mankind as they are growing and developing into the Gods that God would have us all to be. Teaching them things about God in an age appropriate manner in which they will be able to comprehend at their own age level. We can also use this same principle in helping our neighbor, our fellow man/woman/child we come into contact with, to become better acquainted with the real God of all that exists. To help us in this area, it is important that we understand some of the attributes of God.

The attributes of God

When we talk about the attributes of God we are talking about His nature—who God is in His manifested character. These 8 attributes are not the only ones set forth in scripture. However, these will give you a better appreciation of who God is.

Omniscient

God knows everything and His knowledge is complete. This is called His omniscience. Isaiah said that Israel had not seen everything that God had planned (Isaiah 40:28). Job said that God had all  knowledge (Job 37:16). The psalmist said that God’s understanding was infinite (Psalm 147:5). The New Testament also claims God’s omniscience in 1 John 3:20 and Romans 11:33.

Omnipotent

God is able to bring to pass everything that He chooses. He has no external limitations. His only limits are those He places upon Himself. The book of Job (42:2) says that He can do all things and that nothing can restrain him. Genesis 18:14 simply asks, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” The answer, of course, is “no.”

Omnipresent

God’s omnipresence speaks to the fact that He is present in all places at all times. While God is in Heaven, His throne, He is also present in every place. Proverbs 15:3 says that His eyes are in every place. Jeremiah says that God is close at hand and that no one can hide himself from God (Jeremiah 23:23, 24). The classic passage on God’s omnipresence is Psalm 139:7-12 where the psalmist says that he can never be out of the sight of God.

Immutable

By nature, God is absolutely unchanging. For this reason, the attributes He possessed before the creation of the world are the same ones He has today. Psalm 90:2 says that before anything was created God was eternal and existed in the same state that He is in now. Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, I change not.”

Holy

Though all the attributes of God are important and dependent on one another, the fact of God’s holiness seems to be the one He wishes us to put emphasis upon. When God revealed Himself to man (Moses, Job, Isaiah, Mount of Transfiguration, etc.) each encounter mentions His holiness. Isaiah called God “the Holy One” more than 30 times. Psalm 99:9 says, “The Lord our God is holy.” Because of His holiness He cannot accept, nor even look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). However it is important to note at this point, God did create evil for a purpose. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7. We could never become like God is without knowing both good and evil, and in us God is reproducing Himself.

Righteous

God’s holiness is manifested in His righteousness. Because He is holy, He is righteous. This attribute of righteousness is the way His holiness is expressed when dealing with men. Psalm 116:5 and Ezra 9:15 say that God is righteous. Many verses declare His righteousness (Exodus 9:23-27; Psalm 129:4; 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1; 1 John 1:9)

Sovereign

God’s sovereignty is how He rules His creation. This is what makes Him free to do what He knows is best for us. He is in complete control of all things and all the time. The entire first chapter shows God’s authority and sovereignty over His creation. The Bible is full of passages that show God leading or commanding people to do certain things.

Love

If there is one attribute that people love to embrace, it is the fact that God is love. This word encapsulates for us His mercy, grace and loving-kindness. God is not like the deities of other religions who are thought of as angry and hateful. God is loving towards His creatures. He wants to share a personal relationship with us. 1 John 4, talks extensively about God’s love. Not just that God has love, but that He is love.

Will we follow God or man?

It is not enough my friends to turn the minds and hearts of the precious little children we have been given by God, over to others to teach and train them in the way that they should go according to the Word of God. I guarantee you that it will not happen, our school teachers are not allowed to do that, The 10 commandments of God are not even allowed in schools. We must accept their teaching, learning and understanding of God as best we can upon ourselves. Even enrolling them into a neighborhood Christian church and walking away feeling as though you have done right by them, is not the total answer either. We need to be aware of exactly what is being taught and given to them as truth. Do not take the word of every minister that makes the claim that what they teach is the truth of God. The churches are filled to the brim and overflowing with the ministers of Satan transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2nd Corinthians 11: 14 - 15. Study to show ourselves to be approved and do not be afraid to question the teachings of ministers as the people of Berea were accustomed to doing. And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.  Acts 17:11 I have heard many ministers try and make one to believe, questioning their teachings is the same as questioning and defying God. It is not! Know yourself what you believe and it is what your children are being taught. Is it time to break away from the increasingly evil and immoral society in which we live? The country song tells us, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. Have you noticed how our national and even local government officials are conducting themselves? Almost every week another local person has been caught with their sticky fingers in the cash box. Here is what the Word of God has to say. When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability. Proverbs 28:2

Obama our national leader and president

When one of our fallen soldiers has given up his last measure of life on this earth, has paid the ultimate price for protecting the freedom of our country, he will be sent back home in mangled pieces of flesh, bone, blood and brains. Then eventually his family will receive a written message of condolences along with an American flag. While in contrast, recently a black pro athlete came out of the closet and announced that he was queer. President Obama immediately gets on the phone and calls him and congratulates him for having courage. I have to tell you here, I am not a homophobic; I do not hate nor fear homosexuals or lesbians. But there is something about this picture that offends my sensibilities and causes me even more to wonder about where we are headed as a nation. The lines between black and white, good and bad are becoming increasingly blurred. We might ask who in their right mind would expect the leader of the most powerful nation on earth to be defiant enough of the Word and truth of God, to reckon this depraved sin as a great and honorable badge of courage. This, my friends goes a long way in answering my question, where are we headed as a nation.

Given over to a depraved mind

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper. Romans 1:26 - 28 We may be even further down the tube then we have realized.

How can we know the way to go?

It would seem to me, that we as citizens of this great nation established on the principles found in the Word of God, instead of trying to fit in with the political correct crowd, the liberal media, holding still without a whimper, while all the filth and grunge of our society is being crammed down our throats as something pure and good. We ought to reestablish our ability to think and reason for ourselves, we do not have to put our minds into limbo while being bombarded with the false concept that we need to go along, to get along. We need to learn to put our faith and trust in the God of all creation, in the God whom it is that made us all to conduct ourselves in a certain and specific way. He has left us an instruction manual called the bible on exactly how it is to be done. The other day as my wife and myself were driving down the road, we noticed the clock in our automobile had not been reset to correspond with the recent time change.

Consult the instruction book

We both tried to randomly punch everything on the panel to get it set right, nothing worked. We finally pulled over to the side of the road and kept trying for the next half hour, still nothing worked. As the last resort we got the owner’s manual out of the glove compartment and now our clock works fine with the proper time set once again. The point I am trying to make here is this. We do not have to stumble and fumble around with some hit or miss system of how we are to live our lives. We do not have to accept the teachings of our out of whack, permissive society either. We all have Gods own instruction manual that will guide, direct and lead us in the way that we should go. Whether it be child rearing or any other aspect of living, let’s get out Gods instruction manual to find the truth of the matter. We must first believe what He says, then comply with it. What a wonderful thing it is to have planted the right seeds within our families, neighborhoods and our communities. Then in our old age to reap the benefits and rewards! To experience a close and respectful relationship with those we have been instrumental in some small way, in helping them to grow and develop into caring, loving and concerned people within the communities where ever they live and function, during this temporary and fleeting physical life that God has given us all. This booklet in no way is meant to cover all bases on child rearing. It is just to important and far reaching in scope to be a complete guide. We should recognize child rearing as one of the most rewarding and important ventures that we will ever be involved in, in this physical lifetime. Children are the gift of God that He has given to us to nurture and raise up as the Gods that we are all intended to be when complete. God is reproducing Himself in all of us. We will all reap that which we have sown! I’ll leave you here today, with a quote to think upon.

“I was spanked when I was a child, now I have been inflicted with this incurable human trait, it’s called, respect for my elders”.

Leith Cunningham 3/18/2014