It’s an old African proverb that probably irks a lot of people. We are very seldom willing to be humble enough to obey. Our world tells us to do whatever we feel like doing and not to conform to everyone else. That rules are meant to be broken and that being rebellious is what makes us stand out.
Listening to good guidance and sound advice is something that is quickly disappearing. When we do, it feels as if we are losing our identity because we are listening to what someone else is suggesting. A generation is rising up that is confident, but is it at the expense of being disciplined and being able to obey basic rules that make us civilised humans. Have we tipped the scale so far, that we want young people to make their own decisions at the expense of what needs to be adhered to?
Research has proven that young people are far more likely to go with what they feel, than with going with sound judgement. Isn’t it then the responsibility of grown ups, who have that ability to make decisions based on rational, to guide and support our young people. We have handed so much responsibility to our young people today, that they are drowning.
- They need firm boundaries. This gives them a sense of security.
- They need clear consequences. This teaches them responsibility.
- They need guidance. This takes the pressure off.
Children are being bullied into growing up way to fast, when we don’t enforce discipline. Discipline is merely guidance with consequences. It’s merely teaching respect and it’s a vital skill that needs to be learnt and that we need in every aspect of life. Why are we so bent on not disciplining children at home or at school, when society needs rules to be obeyed in order for it to function. Why do we seem to be slack on teaching consequences for actions, when society is full of examples.
This old Kenyan saying, “He who refuses to obey, cannot command” is so true and is so needed today. Before we can expect to be given responsibility and authority, we will first need to learn how to obey. And when we are ultimately obedient to God, He will entrust us with more authority.
So let’s realise that we are not doing our children any favours by being their friends. We are their parents and teachers and elders. We need to be role models to them and teach them what they don’t yet know so that they can become strong, disciplined and moral pillars in the future.