Kids are overprotected these days.
When I was a kid, my grandfather (a.k.a. Pop) told me, “Don’t run in the hall barefoot – you’ll get splinters.” After getting a splinter (or two, for us slow kids), we learned to listen when Pop gave us a warning. Children learn several valuable lessons from the hall floor; they learn about splinters; and they learn to listen when Pop gives a warning.
These days, the grandparents would probably put new flooring down, just on the off chance that their grandchild might possibly get a splinter. Granted, this is an act of love. But I’d hate to be, say, 20 years old and experience my very first splinter. Some things you just need to learn as a kid.
The above (true) illustration is representative of a lot that’s wrong with the USA. It explains why so many people have the mindset that they should never experience pain in this life.
Pain is not desirable; but it is not always bad, as illustrated above. A wise person, experiencing pain, learns from the experience. This is so fundamental to our make-up that the Bible speaks on it; “Spare the rod and spoil the child”; is based on Proverbs 13:24.
This is why all child-rearing concepts that rule out spanking are flawed. And why some laws in some places that make it illegal to spank your child are completely misguided. They’re misguided not just because the Bible says it, but also because it is true. The adults produced as an outcome may not have a firmly rooted concept of authority, and often have no concept of consequences for their actions.
Don’t get me wrong. Kids should be protected – against anything that could seriously injure them, body or mind. One way to protect them is to let them find out what is out there that can hurt them, under controlled circumstances, so they can learn to protect themselves. I expect my kids to skin their knees while playing. But I don’t let them use the chain saw until they are adult, and only then if I think they respect it.
We should also take note that this principal extends to God’s love for us. We are His children – and He will discipline us – and pain will be involved. Throughout the Bible, concepts like this are consistent, top to bottom. Although I spoke mostly about kids, the principal continues for your whole life.
I think I could write a book about the implications of this whole idea. But I’ll stop now.