The purpose of education or learning is to produce a well-rounded person within a specific community. The reason why the Jewish community survives in any social setting is because of their system of raising children. They have five pedagogical approaches to learning which dates back to the time when they were a wandering nomadic community. These Hebraic methods of teaching or learning have stood the test of time, hence the need to glean a few thoughts from them.
The first method comes from the Hebrew word ALAPH which means to yoke together or to learn by yoking. This concept comes from their agrarian experience of yoking an older experienced ox together with a younger and inexperienced ox. The younger ox will be mentored by the older i.e. learning by the example of or observing the actions of the older ox.
The second method comes from the Hebrew word LAMAD which comes from LEMAD being the staff which the Sheperd used to direct and control his sheep. Children learn by guidance, goading and instruction from the teacher.
The third method comes from the Hebrew word YARAH which means to point out or to direct, hence the modern popular discourse of coaching.
The fourth method comes from the Hebrew word SHANAN which when interpreted means to make pointed or to sharpen. In as much as a dull knife cannot cut, so is a dull mind, it cannot think properly hence the need for sharpening. If you are sharpened, you work smart and not hard.
The fifth and final method of Hebraic education comes from the word YACAR which means to correct, to admonish or to chastise literally by BLOWS or figuratively by WORDS hence DISCIPLINE. This is learning by chastisement or discipline now known as Negative Reinforcement. Proverbs says, ‘Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them’. This is the scripture where the saying SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHILD emanates. But today its the other way round, SPARE THE CHILD AND SPOIL THE ROD. Today’s Church and society has thrown the rod of correction out of the window. This article does not aim to promote Child Abuse in any way but rather to balance the act in the way we raise our children. We may not necessarily use BLOWS but we can use WORDS or other forms of discipline. While the Bible instructs children to obey their parents but these days parents are obeying their children. Let us learn from our Father in heaven. He disciplines those children He loves and chastens those he accepts as his sons. Paul says to the young Timothy that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Instead of Church leaders correcting their members, its now the Church members who are correcting Pastors. No wonder their is now little or no discipline in the Church. As far as I am concerned AN UNDISCIPLINED CHRISTIAN IS AN UNSPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN even if he/she speaks the glossolalia of man and angels or has supernatural ecstasy. It is my opinion that all the other four methods will not produce a well-rounded child or christian without applying the fifth method. This is what the Jewish child is taught from birth up to the age of twelve. They are taught to OBEY and obedience cannot take place without CORRECTION. SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHILD. SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHRISTIAN. I rest my case.
SPARE THE CHILD AND SPOIL THE ROD (Proverbs 13:24, Hebrews 12:5-11, 2Timothy 3:16)