Are You the Kind of Parent who is Raising This Kind of Kid?

Amy I did the most amazingly insane thing one year. Andrew, my second oldest turned 16 . I’ve tried to help my kids with cars and stuff, and Andrew wanted a Jeep.

It turns out there’s no such thing as a cheap, used jeep. So we’ve watched and hunted and finally found one on EBay. Cheap! Just one big problem.

It was in New Hampshire.

Amy and I bought one way tickets to New Hampshire. We picked up the Jeep and drove around new England. I’m telling you, it was one of the greatest memories we will have. 1900 miles in a Jeep! It was tough and loud and wonderful.

On the way home we stopped in Amish country near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It’s as if time stood still. They don’t use cars or modern conveniences. Their families live in large communal farms. They drive buggies and work these massive fields by hand.

We rounded a corner near a farm house looked up and a boy in his early teens was driving a wagon that was spraying something on the cut stalks of corn. It didn’t take long to figure out what it was. Manure. The stench was overwhelming.

We are on this one-lane road, right next to the farm, the boy is spraying manure out fifteen feet, our windows are zipped down, we’re in a jeep. And he has us right where he wants us. All he had to do was pretend he didn’t see us, and we would be covered in manure.

Oh no.

To my amazement the boy stopped the horses to let us roll by. He even smiled and waved.

Okay. Parents, what’s wrong with this picture? Think about it.

First, here’s a young adolescent boy working. I’m sure he’d hitched his own team, loaded his own wagon and gotten out there to do his chores.

Compare that to the giant ground sloths laying around your house. Do they know how to hitch a team of horses? In fact, I ask myself, what is it that they do know how to do? What job is your adolescent qualified for? X-box and Playstation doesn’t count as work.

Secondly, are there any circumstances you can think of in which they would be willing to drive a manure wagon? And if they were forced to drive a manure wagon, could you imagine them smiling?

And third, if they did have to drive a manure wagon, would they ever resist the urge to spray a couple of strangers driving a jeep beside their field with the windows down?

That my friend is Discipline. And it says as much about that boy’s parents as it does about him.

(Ephesians 6:4) Do not provoke your children to wrath but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

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