When I think of the word seasons, my mind automatically pulls up memories of spring flowers, or summer picnics, brightly colored leaves from the fall or intricate feathery branches of tall hardwoods left bare of their leaves by the first frosty breath of winter. That is one definition for the word.
In God's Word I find another definition. It is far more personal. It applies not just to my life, but to everyone who has ever lived. Every person's life has season's or specific times that they go through.
The science of how people learn, or 'childhood development' has proved this through research: but it wasn't anything new.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived understood this many years ago, and through the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes he explained it to us. In these next few post, I want to explore the four seasons the Bible speaks of. The first of these seasons I named 'spring' just as the first of the yearly seasons.
Because the yearly season of spring is when most everything is new and just starting to grow, it is also a vurnerable time. Young plants can be easily stunted or deformed by too hot or too cold temperatures,lack of proper food and water. It is the same with the spring season of a person's life as well. Solomon speaks of this in his book of proverbs.
A proverb is a wise saying that sums up a truth in a sentence or two. The following is a well know proverb that has taken a lot of grief in this century:
"Foolishness is bound (or tied) in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 22:15
Solomon is letting parents know that during the "season" of childhood it is normal for a child to be: a) selfish, b) willful, c) unthinking or in a word- "foolish". Then in the very next sentence he teaches the parent how to change that behaviour- " the rod of correction shall drive it far from him(her)."
Most of the time when you hear this verse quoted, it is used to justify spanking a child. Spanking has it's place in the correction of a child, but that is when other possibilities to correct have been exausted.
The key word in this verse is "correction." Correction is the companion of teaching. Think about yourself for a moment. In school, learning a new concept, or on the job, learning a new procedure that will be necessary for you to do your work. When you don't understand, when you don't "get it the first time" they don't beat you do they?
No, the teacher or trainer shows you the mistake you made, and goes over the procedure with you again, giving you the opportunity to correct your mistake. Once you understand, once you can do this on your own, then it is required of you. If it isn't done once you learn it, then you will be held accountable for it.
Some children, just as their adult counterparts will know and understand the rules but will choose to rebel against them. This is when stronger measures should be taken.
When he speaks of 'driving' foolishness away from a child, he is letting you know that training will be a constant job. If you have ever tried to drive any type of foolish animal like ducks or chickens then you know that it can be very hard. They want to go everywhere but where you are trying to put them, even if what you are doing is the best thing for them. They must be taught what is right and acceptable.
It is the same with children. I know I will be going against the popular teaching of the day but the truth is children are not born knowing to do good. They must be taught. Thus Solomon in another of his proverbs tells parents to:
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
At the same time there is also to be balance in training a child just as there is to be balance in nature. Too much of any one thing is not good. Work and study should be balanced with fun and relaxation.
Childhood is a "season of preparation" for becoming an adult.
In my next blog we will explore the next "season of our lives".
God Bless you,