The premise of this series is the realization that boundaries are required to assist a youth in the development needed to become a contributing member of society, and to remain a contributing member of society. Boundaries must be respected, they must be simple, they must be understood, and they must be enforced. Sometimes, the enforcement is a spanking, a quick and unpleasant reminder that a boundary was violated.
The key to spanking is directing the offender to concentrate on the infraction. There is a renewed emphasis to avoid the uncomfortable feeling associated with the spanking, hence, there is a review by the offender to avoid the action lead to the spanking.
Timeouts may work, standing in a corner, removal of all toys, isolation in a bedroom or even deep talks with the adult in the room. Every situation is different, every corrective action is different, and every offender is different. But it seems that a focused corrective action, a spanking, after an event to break the boundaries, the rules based on age, works the best. Why? The mind cannot wander to other incidences, the mind is quickly focused on the spanking, and to the reason why the spanking was administered.
Boundaries change as the wisdom associated with age gains a foothold in our minds. Boundaries morph into laws, laws created for the benefit of the community, laws which protect man as each person lives their daily life.
The interesting point is that no law is 100% accurate, there is no such thing. Just as there is no boundary that is 100%, that covers all contingencies. Even if there was a law that was 100% fool-proof, there would be issues, for the attention span of man is short, it is more driven to the shiny object rather than the dull finish of righteousness.
Thousands of years ago, there was a group of people enslaved in a foreign land. They had been promised a special place, a home, by their God. Finally, after years a harsh labor, God heard their prayers and began punishing the oppressors, using His power to persuade the Egyptians.
The Israelis witnessed horrific plagues cast upon their tormentors, as God attempted to convince the Egyptians that His chosen tribe of men were to leave Egypt for a promised land. The Israelis witnessed the parting of a sea so that they could leave the foreign land. They witnessed manna from heaven raining down nourishment so that they could eat. They found rocks that delivered fresh clean water. They received all the gifts necessary from God as they walked throughout the desert.
Yet, they did not fully believe, and they continually violated various laws, various boundaries. For 40 years they travelled, and during that time God ensured that they receive the nourishment that they required.
Moses, their leader, was told by Divine power to visit a mountain, Mount Sinai, he was to talk with the Lord. After 40 days and nights, he was given tablets, with the Commandments written in stone by the finger of God. They were simple commandments, they were the basic boundaries of life, short and to the point, understood by all that cared to comprehend how to live together as a society.
There are the “God” commandments which demanded that people respect God, honor God, put no one or nothing above God.
I. I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods above Me. The simplicity of the first Commandment was profound. Money, greed, food, pleasure, prestige, family – none was as important as God. There were no gods in nature, the skies, or the universe, only the Almighty.
II. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. There was to be no swearing or harsh words directed toward God, and since God is in each one of us, it includes the same treatment for every man and woman on earth.
III. Keep Holy the Lords Day. We take time to recognize birthdays, anniversaries and so many other events, yet the bounty we receive is a gift from God. Perhaps this commandment is more than going to church, perhaps this commandment is an invitation to retreat into our most sacred boundary, divorce ourselves from the chaos of life, and simply reflect on the blessings we have received.
Yes, the God commandments are simple, yet they are hard at times. They represent a boundary that when we accept, it prevents us from wandering into the pit of the unknown, for the answer is in the knowledge that we will never understand the mystery of life, of God.
Then there are the People Commandments. They are the basic rules that allow a people, a diverse people, to live and prosper together.
IV. Honor thy Father and Mother. From there it flows to others, to police, to teachers, yes, to everyone. Show respect, one does not have to agree, but one should respect, there is a time and place for everything, but the first step is respect. How many horrific events in our lives would have been avoided had we simply respected someone in authority?
V. Thou shalt not kill, where the translation of the Hebrew comes from the root word “murder”, thou shalt not murder. Seems simple, seems to the point. Could this simple word also imply the murder of dreams, aspirations, thoughts and opinions or even ourselves?
VI. Thou shalt not commit adultery, which includes words, thoughts and actions. Indeed, if the core foundation is the family, there is no room for interference.
VII. Thou shalt not steal, again it is so simple! It applies to goods, thoughts, ideas, burning cars, and destroying buildings.
VIII. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. A frequently told myth of George Washington was that as a kid, he uttered the words “I cannot tell a lie.” It seems so simple, yet to all of us, it is so very hard.
IX. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Yes, the “what if” commandment.
X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. Yes, the second “what if” commandment forming the basis of the new push of the equity false god, versus the Biblical basis of equality under the love of God.
The Ten Commandments… Simple to understand, yet difficult to uphold. The Ten Commandments represent the boundaries of life. Yet due to the human trait of finding loopholes in everything, the human condition has added millions of laws in an attempt to fill the gaps.
Imagine if we could simply follow the 10 simple rules of living together as a society!
Moses was pleased to receive the 10 Commandments, the boundaries of life. Yet, after his 40 days in the presence of God, he was shocked when he came down from the mountain. Instead of finding a tribe ready to receive instruction on how to thank God for the gifts of freedom and health, many of the Israelites had changed the boundaries.
Those Israelites had invented the first version of the Internet. Most were involved in drunken parties, sexual orgies, adultery, gluttony, sloth, stealing and avarice. They were burning goods not belonging to them, spreading rumors and spitting on the authority of the elected and appointed leaders. They had immersed themselves into the passions of self. There were absolutely no boundaries.
The Bible refers to this first Internet as the Golden Calf. And the punishment for this abandonment of the grace of God for the pleasures of self, was horrific. The earth split open, devouring the guilty in a fiery chasm.
I pray for the youth of today, I pray for those lacking boundaries. And I pray for those that substitute entertainment for personal development, intended to make contributing members of society.
The story of the Golden Calf is the story of life. Human nature implies that we would rather enjoy life through momentary pleasures. However, true happiness is gained as we become a contributing member of society, working on life with age appropriate boundaries to gain the commonwealth of human existence with the graces of God.
Tom Weaver, Patriot ©2/25/2
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