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How I could have missed my fourth birthday

POSTED: May 16, 2013 7:36 p.m.

I heard about a first-grade teacher who collected well-known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and had them come up with the rest. Here were some of their answers:

• Better be safe than . . . punch a fifth grader.

• If you lie down with dogs, you’ll . . . stink in the morning.

• An idle mind is . . . the best way to relax.

• When the blind leadeth the blind . . . get out of the way.

• Children should be seen and not . . . spanked or grounded.

Few children like to be disciplined. When Dad leans his child over his knee and says, "This is going to hurt you more than me," a lot of kids probably think, "Okay, then let’s switch places so you won’t have to hurt so bad."

Nevertheless, the Bible says, "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord" (Colossians 3:20, HCSB).

When I was 3 years old, one day I got on my tricycle and took off down the street, headed toward the highway, before my mom knew where I had gone.

It just so happened that my father was coming home from work down the same highway, and he saw me. I was only 10 yards from the highway when he stopped me.

It scared him to death, because he knew I would have been run over in the highway. He made me put my tricycle in his car and go home. I didn’t like it, but I needed to obey my father.

A lot of teenagers think that the command to obey their parents doesn’t apply to them. The famous writer Mark Twain felt that way, too.

Twain once said, "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

Children, you may not like it, but God put your parents in authority over you for a good reason. They have had experiences we have not yet had, and you need to obey them. I’m glad I did, or I may never have reached my fourth birthday, much less my 21st.

(Copyright 2013 by Bob Rogers. Email: brogers@fbcrincon.com. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at www.bobrogers.me.)

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