Basics Missing

In August 2015, the BBC produced a series of three television programmes entitled, “Are Our Kids Tough Enough? – The Chinese School.”  Five teachers from China came to the UK and taught the Chinese method to a group of 50 students, aged 13-14, in a high achieving school in southern England.   We were told that this was because British pupils were falling behind on the international scene.

One Chinese teacher asked the class why the Chinese academic achievement was 3 years ahead of the UK.    She answered the question herself by saying that “discipline was really important; without discipline, you don’t learn well.”   That didn’t go down well with the English students and it was appalling to see the way the class reacted and behaved.   There were many aspects of this experiment that could be commented on, but had the basics been done in the first place, many of the problems that were so clearly seen would have never surfaced.   Those problems were a lack of parental training and correction, as well as the showing of disrespect.

The Chinese, from an early age, are taught to respect their parents, their teachers and their country.   It is clear to see that the average student in the UK doesn’t fit into that category.   We do have good students who have been well brought up by caring parents but so very many have had parents with poor parenting skills.   We must also add the fact that teachers are unable to do their job properly with children having the upper hand.

In the class of 50 that was shown, there was so much disrespect and ill-discipline that it was embarrassing.   There were, at different times, singing in class; one girl putting on her make up; another girl eating jelly; another one had the ubiquitous mobile phone in class; one boy had brought in a kettle and was drinking tea at the back of the class; there was talking and yawning and disrespect to the teachers and students not turning up for lessons but were playing outside, and much more.   All of this happened because the basics were missing.

The English teacher was sent in to see how the Chinese teacher taught and said that he wasn’t prepared for what he saw.   He said that they all ignored the teacher and he would be livid if students behaved like that in his class.   The school had to bring in the Head of School who was in charge of enforcing discipline – a position that would be redundant in China because the students are taught the right principles from a very early age.   He laid down the law to the class and they took notice of him and he asked them if there were any questions or if they had any issues with what he had said.   There were no takers.   As soon as this English teacher had gone, they were back to their worst and the Chinese teacher asked the class why.   One response was that “we’re frightened of him but we’re not frightened of you”.   Such disrespect.

In our secular society, God’s Word is usually seen as irrelevant or unnecessary but it actually contains gems of understanding that, if implemented, would ensure that society would be so much better ordered, disciplined and respectful.

In Proverbs 22:6 we read: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”   Installing good habits from an early age will produce massive life-long benefits.

In our liberal society, teachers are not allowed to use any corporal punishment and the students know that they have the upper hand.   One law firm states the legal position in the UK as follows: “So long as a parent uses what could in all circumstances be deemed reasonable force in the home, they are likely to be acting perfectly legally in the UK.”   What does God say about this?   Proverbs 23:13 gives us the answer: “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.”   We only have to look at history to know that this is correct; today with the liberal approach, we have huge problems.

Of course, as we point out in our booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families,” “There is never a justification for physical abuse. On the other hand, to totally ban spanking and define it as physical abuse only shows how liberal and anti-biblical our Western society has become… As parents, we must be aware, though, that in certain countries, spanking is illegal, and could result in the authorities coming in and taking away our children. And even in countries where spanking is not illegal, many governmental officials look at such practice with great disfavor…

“Since using the rod is compared with prompt or early discipline, it is clear that this passage includes the concept of spanking, where and when appropriate. Of course, we don’t spank a teenager or an adult, so the spanking needs to be done early in the life of the child. But note, again, we discipline our children, because we LOVE them. If we discipline our children for any other reason, or because of any other motive, we do NOT follow God’s instructions. Spanking should never cause physical injury to a child. The intent is to break a rebellious spirit, not to bruise skin.”

Honouring parents is a biblical command (compare Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 1:8, Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20).  But it is not just about honouring parents and teachers, but all people.   In Leviticus 19:32 we read: “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.”

Had these biblical admonitions been implemented with children from a very early age, we would have a very different society today, but the basics have been missing.   It is because man thinks he knows better than God, we have the problems that we have today and this was so clearly seen in this BBC programme.

In the future, probably not too far away now, God’s Way will be the norm and man’s failed way will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

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