Bob Gray once said that a good parent would be able to walk into a room of a crying infant, say, "Be quiet!", and the infant should shut up.
I heard him say that, and a bus worker heard him say that. However, I have never been able to find a written sermon that could pinpoint this child raising technique.
The disturbing part came when I heard that Bob Gray had been the de-facto counsellor for Dave Hyles after one of his sordid troubles. Dave's step-son, Brent, was found dead with broken bones and bruises. He was just an infant.
When I heard Gray was Dave's counsellor, I had to wonder if this wonderful piece of child raising advice was given to Dave, and how literally he took it!
Well, guess what? Ronald E. Williams, the brains behind Hephzibah House, a fundamentalist girl's home, has a published sermon which should send chills down your spine. He actually improves on Gray's ideas by narrowing the age range for corporal punishment down to the infant.
Ron's sermon has been brought to light, and it is pretty scary.
One thing is certain, correction with the rod should and must start very early. In fact, correction with the rod should start much earlier than our contemporary godless and irresponsible society believes is normative. The Scripture says, "Chasten thy son while there is hope and let not thy soul spare for his crying"
In this excerpt, a mother is at her wit's end. She buys a chain and lock and imprisons her daughter.
Ron to the rescue! He has 'better' advice:
I mentioned that I could give her a possible answer for her predicament. I also said, "But I doubt that you will follow through."
The mother, hearing that there might be a solution to her crisis, desperately implored, "Yes, I will take your counsel. What is your solution?"
I then proceeded to explain that the mother should get a stick that would not break and get after that daughter until the daughter asked for peace in their relationship. The mother hesitated in silence for a time on that long distance telephone call, and then seemingly made a firm commitment before me and the Lord that she would do so. She answered, "Alright, I will!" I then forgot about the mother and her call inasmuch as we receive several calls like this daily.
Three weeks later, I received a phone call from this same mother. I had forgotten who she was and was reminded of her identity only when she reminded me of the lock and chain she had purchased to secure her daughter. I remembered who she was at that point since that was a unique method of restraining the girl. I asked, "Well, what has happened since our last conversation?"
The mother replied that she had taken my advice to secure a large stick that would not break, and to quote the mother, "I wore off her behind!"
I chuckled at the mother's response and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the story. She went on to explain that she was simply amazed and dumbfounded at her daughter's change of heart following the severe thrashing that the mother gave her.
Wow! Beating with a stick works!
It's amazing the daughter is still alive, because, as Ron tells us:
"For if thou beatest him with the rod he shall not die." The condition of the promise is found in the phrase, "if thou beatest him with the rod."
Who meets this condition? Again, the original Hebrew gives us the clue. Another masculine suffix is used here indicating that the father is probably the one who shoulders the responsibility of meeting this condition.
So, if the father beats the son/daughter with a rod, God has promised they will survive. If the mother is doing the beating, we can only hope there's a survivor!
Now, I'll skip the rest of this sermon and just zoom in on the infant question:
When should a parent start using the rod of correction on a child that the Lord has brought into the family?
There is no clear and specific answer to this very good question. However, it is my opinion that the correction of children should start as soon as the need for that correction is made manifest.
Every discerning parent who has been blessed with a little child in his home realizes that his initial impression of the sweetness and the innocence of the child is in reality an illusion.
A child very quickly demonstrates his fallen, depraved nature and reveals himself to be a selfish little beast in manifold ways. As soon as the child begins to express his own self-will (and this occurs early in life) that child needs to receive correction.
My wife and I have a general goal of making sure that each of our children has his will broken by the time he reaches the age of one year. To do this, a child must receive correction when he is a small infant.
There it is! If you want to double check to make sure nothing has been taken out of context, read the sermon for yourself at:
The Correction and Salvation of Children by Ron Williams.
Ron Williams is an independent fundamental Baptist. His tax free ministry is located in Winona Lake, Indiana, home of Billy Sunday, Homer Rodeheaver, and Grace Theological Seminary.
The survivors of Hephzibah House are better organized than any group I have seen. They don't seem to get bogged down in small details, and have an open blog that posts accounts of girls who have been incarcerated at Hephzibah House.
Read survivor stories of Hephzibah House by visiting their blog, Hephzibah-girls.blogspot.com.
A quick visit to the Lavender Liberal gives us this reminder from Jack Hyles.
Jack Hyles, as quoted in the Lavender Liberal:
During the formative years, yea, the infant years, the child should be spanked. As soon as his is old enough to walk away from his parents he should be spanked if he does not walk where they say he should walk. Parents should not have to remove vases and delicate glass ornaments from living room tables. A house need not become disorderly and full of riots because a baby has come. Start early in disciplining the child.
The [spanking] ritual should be deliberate and last at least ten or fifteen minutes.
Okay, so I guess I shouldn't blame Bob Gray for this piece of advice!
Obviously, Dave Hyles learned from his father.