Recently i was the guest in a home where there are three children, ranging in age from six to eleven. These children are blessed with parents who devote a great deal of time to them, who are interested in all their friends and their school activities, and who take every possible occasion for short trips together, picnics, and other little things in which children delight. These children are secure, know they are loved, and are as happy as any I have ever seen.

But these devoted parents have also demanded and received obedience from their children. There is never any argument when they tell a child to do something, only the expectation that the command will be obeyed without question. Corporal punishment, though rare, is applied without hesitation if necessary. The parents recognize the truth found in the Book of Proverbs: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him” (22:15).

America is suffering from a generation of permissive parents who, by not requiring obedience from children, have produced teen-agers and young adults with little respect for either God or man. These undisciplined young people are proving themselves a disruptive force on many school campuses, and they are a source of embarrassment and great concern to the nation. Although they are only a small minority, they are jeopardizing the entire structure of society.

Unfortunately, permissiveness is not confined to the home; it has also infected the attitudes of some who have been given the authority and power to control lawlessness. The failure of police officials to enforce law strictly during the April riots in Washington, so that in numerous cases looting continued unhindered, is a case in point. Moreover, stern ...

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